Judging from the content of my Twitter and Facebook feeds, it seems most people spend the week between Christmas and New Year's Day in eager anticipation of what the future will hold. For me, this week is more about reflecting than looking forward. Perhaps I spend so much of my efforts in getting the job done, making progress, working on the next problem that I reserve this particular week for looking backwards instead of forward. I recently took the "16 Personality Types" quiz for a class. (You can find the quiz here if you're interested.) My results identified me as an "Assertive Commander." While obviously there were several sub-sections and breakdowns in the report, and I disagreed with more than a couple of the assessment notes, on the whole, I couldn't find much room to argue. I do tend to take charge in chaotic situations. I am not one to panic or crack under pressure. And, I successfully intuit how to best motivate others on my team. I am also aware I can be a bit of a bulldozer when faced with group indecision and am not afraid to make 'executive decisions.' Even if it means apologizing later on. Still, the quiz results gave me information and insight into bits of my personality which could use some work. Assertive Commanders can be impatient. I recognized this trait years ago and determined to work on cultivating patience in my interactions with others. AC's are also prone to speak more than they listen. I admit learning to listen more closely has been a struggle for most of my life. Listening to understand rather than to respond is a skill which requires practice. I suppose my intention here is to let you know I realize I am not perfect but that I work to improve every day. This may be why I spend as much (or more) time editing my writing as I do actually writing it in the first place. In spite of my "Assertive Commander" personality tendencies when it comes to interactions with others, I often find myself at a loss when arguing with my muse. I am often paralyzed at my keyboard. Not paralyzed with writer's block but rather with an insecurity born of a lack of confidence. But, during this week of reflection, I have realized a few things. In 2021, I have had three short pieces published. (What??) I have maintained a 4.0 GPA in my MFA Creative Writing Program. I have developed my own website, created a monthly newsletter (thank you for subscribing), provided editing services to two newly published authors, and have a nearly-finished first draft of a novel. Surely these things should bolster my confidence a bit. And no doubt, they do. They also make me look forward to what I might accomplish in 2022. You see, by looking backwards, I find the confidence to forge ahead. So tell me, what did you accomplish in 2021? I'd bet it's more than you think.
Where will those accomplishments take you in 2022?