I have been gone from The Blog for some time, due to the Beach Vacation of 2011 and the beginning of the fall semester. But I’m ready to return to running with carrots, starting off with a steady jog, perhaps, before committing to a full-tilt run. I’ve updated my reading and music lists on the sidebar, and I feel stretched and ready to go. Onward!
It’s this time of year when I start to think that we have it all wrong with this whole January thing. The academic calendar still rules my life, and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and the possibility of a new First Day of School outfit announce the new year far louder than any post-Christmas champagne binge. Here in Houston, it’s still in the high 90s, but many back-to-schoolers are enjoying that creeping, smokey autumn smell as they fill their thermoses and cut the crusts off their sandwiches. Summer whizzed by, and I’m mourning the loss of all that productive, unstructured time, but I am determined to embrace the 2011-2012 year with finesse and pizzazz. Jazz hands!
I am, after all, starting an entire new decade. My thirties will, I hope, be good to me, and I ushered them in with good humor with a week-long vacation in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. I spent my mornings jogging on that hard-packed line between ocean and soft sand, my afternoons lounging in a chair while reading Patricia Highsmith’s strange short stories about snails, and my evenings enjoying the cuisine, chatter, and cocktails of some of my best friends. (Only my dear Bee was missing. A Bee-inclusive vacation is in our future.) I spent a lot of time consciously working hard to get some Perspective but, when that became frustrating, I decided to just have a good time. And apparently just having a good time provides some perspective, because I feel relatively refreshed and ready to face another crazy year of student essays and job applications. And another decade of Life.
Apparently my new attitude and my commitment to pizzazz originates in the universe. Stars are aligning to make my pizzazz possible. Consider the following: My talented writer friend Marcus Ewert, author of 10,000 Dresses and do-er of many impressive things, sent me my June 2011–June 2012 horoscope:
Jupiter entering Taurus on June 4th places Jupiter in your solar tenth house. From June 2011 to June 2012, this transit brings Jupiter to the top of your solar or natal chart. Increased public recognition and professional success are very possible now. This can be a time of achievement, career advancement, and success in business. Business-related travel or the reaching of a wider audience is possible during this cycle. Your worldly or public status may change for the better. There could be a promotion, new job opportunities, a diploma, an important award, or a marriage. You may come into the limelight. Authority figures or other influential people tend to look upon you favorably, see more potential in you, and readily help you along, so work it! Something might happen now, or circumstances are such, that your career (or professional interests in general) expands, and you find more joy and pleasure from your work. You could enjoy more freedom, or possibly even responsibilities, in your career–however your career changes, it’s likely to have you feeling enthusiastic. Integrity, directness, and honesty will get you everywhere now. The more willing you are to put yourself in the limelight, the more positive the rewards–this is not the time to be a shrinking violet! These positive circumstances won’t necessarily fall into your lap, and are unlikely to come all at once. You need to keep your eyes open for opportunities in these areas of life. Because Jupiter rules your creative fifth house, you might have opportunities to bring creative work to the public eye or to your job. Sports, artistic pursuits, or children, all ruled by the fifth house, might figure strongly in your career. Creative works might be published or successfully promoted.
I’m going to go ahead and read that as confirmation that I will get a job and find a publisher for my book. Who am I to argue with Jupiter? Jupiter’s pretty huge, right? In a battle between my doubts and negativity and the planet of Jupiter, Jupiter would win. Like, big-time.
It’s good to have promising omens at this moment in my life — a time that still feels transitional and uncomfortable and frustrating. A time that — for me, at least — still includes job applications and rented living spaces and some pesky debt. Noel and Erin are in similar places, and we decided together that the next years might be challenging but surely will lead to good things. Clarity, Noel decided. Our thirties will be about clarity.
Maintaining this positive attitude will probably take some doing, especially in a difficult economy and a job market that thrives on bad feelings and unsavory competition. I’m working on some ways to stay focused and positive, to do the universe’s happy prediction justice, and I may write about some of them here. Not in an annoying self-help section way, I hope, but as a way to start a conversation with others trying to hold onto a similar worldview.
So suggestions are welcome, carrots readers. And I hope Jupiter is as good to you as he is to me.