I meant to write this earlier—before New Year’s Day, in fact. But in days full of church, children, family, and work, I didn’t set aside the time. And now it’s January 3rd: not quite New Year’s Day, but close enough for rhetorical purposes, I guess.

It’s hard to escape the cultural conviction that a new year’s beginning means a reëvaluation of one’s life and a rededication to living better—or maybe to just do the things one ought to have been doing the whole time. Like many people, I have good intentions for the rest of the year: pray more, eat better (or at least, plan out meals better), exercise, engage more with family and friends, read good books, and so on. But of course, I’ve had good intentions in previous years too: the track record isn’t looking so hot.

But one thing evidence shows I can do is talk—my mother has told me several times I could argue with a brick wall and win—and by extension, that means I can write; though whether you’ll want to read it is another question. So while I’ve chosen to set the 100 Days to Offload challenge as my goal, fortunately, the rules—such as they are—provide that “Posts don’t need to be long-form, deep, meaningful, or even that well written,” nor do they have to be posted on any particular day or schedule (though I’m aiming for twice a week). You’ve been warned.

This is the last week of school holidays. The kids are tired of sitting around the house, with mom and dad grumbling at them to pick up and clean up after yourself and don’t do that to your sister and be nice to your brother and use your inside voice—and all the things parents say and have to say to their children. Even though next week will bring the end of staying up late and sleeping in, I think they’re ready to get back to classes and homework. My wife too is already looking towards what her own semester will bring: in addition to the usual crop of students, yet more travel for recruiting, and continued work on the department’s accreditation and all the administrative tasks that go with that.

As for myself, I’ve been considering my own working life in 2024. This year will mark a full decade with one employer. There aren’t many things in my life that I’ve done longer. I have to admit, there’s a part of me that’s restless and chafes a bit at that—“Move on! Find some place new!” it growls. I’m not completely opposed, I suppose. But I like my coworkers and the work I’m doing; there’s no sense in doing the same thing somewhere else. A move would have to be both quite different (and, frankly, equally lucrative) to attract me.

I’ll end here. I’ve got 99 more posts to fill, after all!