I am pleased to have made it through another month. This January was a good one, actually; I wrote more than I had in some time (although, admittedly, not so much as I really ought to have), and I did not have to make sudden trips to the Texas Hill Country because my people and my wife's had diminished. Too, teaching has begun again, and it seems to be going quite well so far. There is a marked difference in performance with those who are in a class because they either perceive the need to be there or actually *gasp* want to be there. It reminds me of why I do this thing that I do (and such reminders are sometimes needed).
Obviously, there is more that needs doing. The world is still not right, after all, and although my efforts to improve upon it are infinitesimally small against the need for improvement, I must offer those efforts. My teaching will need to become better, and my work on The Work--the pursuit of Truth through the study of humanity through investigation of its products and the contexts of their production--is not so advanced as I would have it be. I am fortunate, then, that I have the opportunity to pursue both the betterment of others and of myself in the position I have. As I search for others, I search mostly among those that will continue to offer me such positions.
As I consider things, I find that I am grateful for the opportunities I have had. Sure, things could be better (could they not always?); I could have a bigger paycheck and a smaller belly, and a number of other things could be different. But I am not doing so poorly. My bills are paid (payday was yesterday) and there is a little money left over. I do not have to do my work under the threat of murder or torture. I get to pursue strange ideas with intelligent people and to take those ideas to yet other people and see what they make of them who have not yet been shaped so much by other notions as I have (although they have their own shaping with which to contend). My life is quiet and settled, not so much subject to massive upheaval, and that allows me to focus on what I feel called to do rather than so much upon the lower Maslovian levels.
I complain, certainly. Things are not as good as they could be. But they are also far better than they could be. I know people who are much, much worse off, and not all of them as a result of their own deeds. So even amid my complaints, even amid what I voice from time to time that sounds like despair, I know that I have much to appreciate--and I really ought to be better about appreciating it than I am. I do not want to learn in lamentation what I could have learned in quiet reflection.