I was scrolling through Facebook today when I saw that a friend and colleague of mine wished his friends a happy new year saying “here’s to making new things in 2018 and breaking all the things that need to be broken.” I am struck by the sentiment. It resonates with me as I look forward to the new year.
Making. There is something appealing about the idea of making, of creating, something. Similarly, I like the idea of making as existing, of being in the making. 2018 in the making. So while I have no resolutions per se, there are things I hope to make this year, and I thought I would put them in writing as a reminder to myself.
This year I want to make a conscious effort to be present and in the moment. We are all told when we have children that the days are long and the years are short. I recognize the truth in this statement, but lately even the days seem short. We are all pulled in so many directions and have so many things competing for our attention that there never seems to be enough time in each day. So, this year, I am going to make every effort to ignore distractions. When it is time to write, I will write. When it is time to teach, I will teach. When it is time to listen, I will listen. When it is time to learn, I will learn. When it is time to pray, I will pray. When it is time to hug, I will hug. When it is time to hold, I will hold. When it is time to sleep, I will try. But primarily, my goal is to simply be present and as undistracted as possible. And if accomplishing this goal means “breaking things that need to be broken,” then so be it.
There is so much I want to accomplish and make professionally this year. I go up for tenure in 2018, so there are narratives to write and binders to compile (Typing this sentence also reminds me of using the word “make” as an accomplishment or the end to a journey. I hope we make it in time. She wants to make full professor one day). But there are other, perhaps more important, narratives to write. I want to write a piece about our current writing program—the building and dissolution of a program in which I have invested ten years of my life. I want to write more with Rebecca. We have more to say, and when we write together it feels honest and significant. We need to write at least one more piece about course contracts, but we both have ideas for other works as well. I want to write my book, but the book eludes me. My goal for this year is to make the book a priority. It is time to stop kicking the can.
2018 is a potentially life-changing year for families dealing with XLH. We will know in April whether or not the FDA will approve burosumab (yes, it sounds like an Old Testament name). This year I had the opportunity to be a part of creating a long-term natural history study for XLH, to speak to the FDA with my daughter, and to meet more friends in this community than I ever thought possible. This coming year, I hope to make a difference. I don’t yet know what that difference will be, but our family will be praying about how we can help patients who may not be able to advocate for themselves. There is much work to be done.
And, finally, I want to continue to make memories with my family. I hope that even the most mundane of days are days that my family and I can recall with all of our emotions, from bliss to boredom to anger. And I hope that we enter and exit this new year with stories to tell and stories to write.
Here’s to 2018. Love more. Make more. Break more.