Archive for January 2, 2020

Not my New Year’s Resolutions

Posted in Biographical, Music on January 2, 2020 by telescoper

What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.

from Four Quartets, ‘Little Gidding’ by T. S. Eliot.

I said yesterday that I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions (largely because I know I’m no good at keeping them) but in an idle moment this morning (or should I say “a period of reflection”?) I posted on Twitter a few things I hope to achieve in 2020 and thought I’d share them here.

In no particular order:

  1. Go to more live concerts. Although I enjoy the radio and recordings, I far prefer to listen to live music at concerts. Attending such events helps also support the venues and musicians as without an audience both would die. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t heard any live jazz in Ireland!
  2. See more of Ireland. I moved to Maynooth two years ago but apart from one visit to Galway and one to Armagh I still haven’t travelled much beyond the Dublin area. I must get around more, especially to the South.
  3. No more working weekends. I’ve been in the office for at least one day every weekend since I started at Maynooth. I did the same when I was at Sussex too, and seem to have relapsed. I have always had problems managing my own work/life balance but I realise it’s not setting a good example to younger folk to be getting it so obviously wrong. I’ll add not reading work emails at weekends to this.
  4. Be a better colleague. This is something I think one should always strive to be, but I have particular need to improve. I know that over the last four years or so things weighed very heavily on me behind the scenes and I ended up letting people down on too many occasions. I apologise for that and will try to do better in future.
  5. Read more books. I used to be a voracious reader of all kinds of books, both fiction and non-fiction, but I somehow got out of the habit. I now have a stack of unread works that I must try to read before the year is out!
  6. Finish more things! Not unrelated to No. 4 above, I have been very poor over the last few years at completing projects and writing papers. I need to clear the backlog and get on with some new things.
  7. Do more to promote Open Access publishing. I’m not surprised that the status quo in academic publishing is proving hard to dislodge, but I believe that change can be achieved if researchers take the initiative. I’m proud of what we have achieved so far at the Open Journal of Astrophysics but there’s much more to be done.

There are some others, but they’re too personal to put on here!