I’m currently going through the promotion process at work, and which, in the academic world gives a way to measure the tangible work that has been done over a few years. At EWU, the process is very numbers driven and the evaluation focuses on certain measurable outcomes, which has me focusing probably too much on the quantitative, and not enough on qualitative aspects of the world right now. My mind is full of numbers and questions of “is it good enough” as I start the new year.
I think one of the hidden blessings of having work review assignments due right after the calendar turns to January again is that I can spend some time pondering the qualitative world of resolutions and exercise that side of my brain, moving away from the concerns and numbers at work. I’ve never been a big New Years’ resolution guy. I don’t think when I have done resolutions I’ve ever lasted longer than two weeks. The idea of the resolution is great – the follow-through, not so much.
I found myself bogged down at times in 2018. Overall, it was a good year. I live an incredibly privileged life and my family is deeply blessed. Even with an intellectual awareness of those the positives, my brain focuses on the anxieties and unknowns more than those that are known. While I know that the new year will be similar to the last – full of incredible highs and deep lows, I have decided to be more intentional in my gratitude and appreciation in 2019. I decided to write this column to publicly declare my resolution, and, maybe, to give fair warning. I have decided to take a bit of ownership for my role in causing strife in the world – or at least not working to bring about more confusion and brokenness in relationships.
Each week in 2019 I am going to send one note of appreciation to somebody in my life. It could be somebody from my past or a relatively new connection. The note will not simply say “I appreciate you” but rather, will seek to give specifics on why I think the person is special and needed in the world. 52 weeks and a minimum of 52 contacts of intentional appreciation.
I don’t know how it will go, but I have a feeling that it will help my qualitative soul while hopefully bringing light to somebody else.
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Chadron Hazelbaker is an Associate Professor of Physical Education, Health, and Recreation at Eastern Washington University.