It’s hard to believe that I will have my AA degree in June. Seriously, Four. More. Classes. This three year journey has been exasperating, stimulating and transformative. I spent a lot of time going back and forth as to whether I should continue my formal education or not. Oregon State University has a wonderful online Human Development and Family Sciences degree that I’d love to have. Education, while taking time from some of the things I love to do, also helped me do other things with more clarity and understanding. I believe more education would take my ability to create social change to the next level. However, not only is it cost prohibitive, (especially since my husband is seven years from retirement), but working full time means I could only go part time and it would take me another three years to finish. So that’s probably not in the cards. Most of the time, I’m at peace with that decision.

So. What to do with the time this will give me? My themes for the year run the gamut from creativity to self-definition, from developing leadership skills to developing the discipline necessary to do the work I was put here to do. Whether that work is in my outer world—activism, career, writing/publishing, relationships—or in my inner world—peeling away the layers of bullshit to reveal my authentic self, being more mindful of the needs of others, etc—it all needs discipline.

Because discipline is by nature active, I’ve come up with a couple ideas to help me foster it. I signed up for another half marathon to discipline my physical self and I also plan on taking a meditation retreat or two. In addition, I’m looking for a project that will help me grow my already formidable organization skills and foster my creativity. What that project looks like, I’m not sure.

The first half of 2018 will mostly be about finishing up school, political resistance and getting better at my job as a transition specialist for LD youth, but after that… I’m excited for the possibilities. I have several writing projects floating around in my head and I’m waiting for one to stick. I’m also waiting for that project/opportunity to tap itself on my shoulder and announce itself. I am by nature a planner… but this waiting, being open… it feels kind of good. It feels right.

Happy New Year!