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  • Writer's pictureRosalind Kaplan, MD

Editing 2024

Rosalind Kaplan

New Year's Day, and everyone is setting goals and making resolutions and starting new. The gym is very crowded today.

I'd like nothing more than to believe that 2024 is going to be a new start, a closing of the book that was 2023. My particular book was rife with discontented characters. The plot-line was somehow boring, overwhelming and alarming all at the same time. The ending leaves me without satisfaction. Whoever wrote that novel ought to burn it and start over...oh, whoops, that was real life. For just a second, forgot that truth is stranger than fiction. Nevertheless, I truly hope for the book of 2024 to be better.

Here's the problem as I see it. I am not the author of the book. It will be written by a combination of fate and luck and politics and all the people in my life and lots of other forces, maybe even some higher power.

I'm only the editor, which isn't nothing, but I've got to work with what's in front of me.

All kinds of events will happen in the world as a whole, and in this country (yeah, its an election year, and Trump will likely be on that ballot...) and in my own little world. Much of the time, I won't have a say. What I do have control over - my choices and my behavior and my words. That's really it.

I didn't make New Years resolutions. Instead I took stock. I used a writing prompt from Jaleika Souad, author of the book Between Two Kingdoms, to create five lists: what I'm proud of from the year, what I yearn for, what gives me anxiety moving forward, what resources and skills I've drawn on to deal with the year's challenges, and finally, a list of my craziest, wildest dreams and ideas. I feel like, for me, that introspection was exactly what I needed to move forward. It acknowledges all the power I have as well as all the limitations. It reminds me that, despite the stress and struggle and ennui and even occasional despair, I am so fortunate to have everything I need to get through. It reminds me of life's dichotomies, and of all that can't be known.

I have no plans to lose weight or exercise every single day or to read 300 books this year.

I'm just going to do the best I can to be healthy and kind, and to do useful and meaningful work when I can without depleting or exhausting myself.

I can't predict the action or structure of 2024; there's no book until it has been written, but at least I have a plan for editing.

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