I have spent several days pondering what 2016 will look like. I have to say, there is a certain amount of stress already weighing me down as this year poses more challenges than I think I can deal with. However, I return to this idea of not setting resolution, but finding a word that can guide me through the upcoming year. After much soul-searching and finding key points in my life I need to modify, this year I’ve decided on what I think to be a pretty hefty word: abdicate.

abdicate definition

I have a lot on my plate. Between teaching full-time, and now being an adjunct professor, I find my writing has filled up all my free time. I’ve started telling people I have three jobs and that two of them are currently full-time. Somehow that gets me more respect than saying I teach and write. For the upcoming year, I’m focusing on putting aside projects that either don’t satisfy me creatively or simple don’t make my life better. Since quitting one of the jobs isn’t an option, I’m looking to push projects aside that have left me stymied and irritated.

There are two big things I’ve been preparing for emotionally that I will be abdicating this year.

  1. I.Am.Maine You have been the source of much therapy and I have enjoyed you thoroughly despite the amount of creative juices you tear from my body. You have shown me where my roots are, grounded me, and given me a sturdy base on which to grow. This year, with Snapshots of Maine as the final chapter, I will be saying farewell to the project. It’s time to turn to the future.
  2. Suburban Zombie High You were my first. You were the project that turned me into a writer and showed me the possibilities. You are the humor and sarcasm at the base of my personality. You have let me unleash an uncanny amount of foolishness and for that I am forever grateful. With the publication of Suburban Zombie High: The Final class and the omnibus, you will be over. We had our fun, but it’s time for me to make a new set of characters to poke and prod into outlandish situations.
  3. While not pertaining to my writing, I am actively looking to change some of my schedule at work for the 2016-2017 year. I will be removing some classes from my roster because of how complex they are for me to prepare for. Currently many teachers at my school teach two, maybe three different classes with each requiring their own prep. Next year, I am going to be changing my schedule so that I am only teach two or three per semester as to maintain my sanity. While I’m sure it will leave me somewhat bored, it will help me in the hours I spend outside of school preparing for the day.

There will be more I am sure. For now, these are the things I am working toward leaving behind. It’s almost as if I’m using 2016 to prepare for 2017, and to some extent, I most certainly am. 2016 for me is going to be a year of holding steady while I make some long-term life changes that will allow me to start pushing into a new stage in life. For now, these are the abdications of my life.