Exploring the intersection where theory meets life.

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Beyond the Conjunction

Interlude: Holidays


It’s the new year! YAYAYAYAYAY!


Happy 2019! Congratulations to us all for surviving another year. I hope you’ve had a chance to think through what made the year happy and what difficult circumstances you have survived, realizing what strength and virtue you have developed in the course of things.

Here at And/Or/Versus, we may not be big on the traditional resolutions that accompany this time of year, but we are all about finding ways to make life more positive and fulfilling. As Diane said, if there are any resolutions worth making, they are often those that celebrate life and opportunity, rather than punish imperfections.

To that end, we both have set a couple intentions.

We both are going to focus on living with more daily gratitude.

Diane has decided to learn how to bake really good bread (and thus I have decided to move to Seattle and live with her). Wish her luck on her sourdough starter!

I have decided to learn as many songs from an old piano book as I can. These fingers haven’t totally forgotten their wily piano ways.

I have also made one more rather broad resolution, and that is simply to remember the lessons I learned in 2018. I did WORK in 2018 (both with and without the help of my wonderful therapist), and I want to benefit from those lessons, to use them in my life.

I also don’t want to forget them and have to do the work to learn them again!! Waaaaah.

My biggest lesson, the one I want to carry close with me into 2019, is to remember that happiness is a better goal than perfection. I’m such a perfectionist, and it can wreak havoc on my mental well-being. So this year I am going to try to remember how much more valuable (and attainable!) happiness is than perfection, and how much I really do have to be happy about (and grateful for) in my life. Diane’s Ursula K. Le Guin quote felt chosen just for me:

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
— Ursula K. Le Guin

Perfection is all about the end result and neglects the value in the journey, neglects the happiness and satisfaction and meaning-making that can be the journey. I don’t want to neglect the journey, especially as life is composed of journeys, be they big or small.

As I continue to work through my perfectionism (and angst) in 2019, Diane and I look forward to wrestling with more great and complex ideas with you in the journey that is this new year! January 15 we will kick off our season on Emotions, with a discussion of the false dichotomy between reason and emotions and how Martha Nussbaum helps us think better about those wonderful, sometimes-pesky feels.

In the meantime, we both wish you much fulfillment and joy on the start of your 2019 journey, and a few mini happy endings along the way. Cheers!

love and hope, Jana

Jana Light