You know that feeling on January 2nd, when you go back to work or school or resume normal life under the guise of new life gifted to you by the calendrical change from one year to the next and you are pumped? Your sleeves are up, you’re clenching your fists as if they’re a physical reminder of your strength, and you’re walking on the kind of heels that are high enough to activate your confidence, but low enough to walk in like your confidence is activated?
You have a clean slate, it’s sparkling and unassuming, telegraphing neither your innocence nor guilt; good work nor bad. What happens on that slate is up to you—and the thought is firing you up. So you get to your desk or your seat or wherever you have to get to and you start going. You go and you go and you keep on going as your slate fills back up.
And then the year inches forward and eventually towards its end and either you’re exhausted or mostly unfazed by the break ahead. If you’re exhausted, I wonder how that correlates to what you put on your slate. Were you even aware it was anything? Did you kind of just let stuff in? Is it the same stuff you were relieved to wipe off of it the year before? And if you’re unfazed, I hope it’s because you’re motivated. Because you’re conscious of your agency, aware that the new year is a concept, not a magic wand. The correlated day is an arbitrary date that has assumed the story of change. Every day can be New Year’s Day if you’re aware there’s a slate by your side and that, whether or not you’re watching, shit is being piled upon it. You can wipe it off whenever you want. At the end of each day, if you so please. So you don’t need a break—you give it to yourself all the time. If you’re from this camp, you probably already know this.
And if you’re my editor, you’re wondering what the fuck I’m talking about, and why it’s taken me three paragraphs to get to the point. Point being that we’re out of office. We will be all week. We tried it last year, and it worked—so we’re trying again. Consider it a mid-year Christmas break to evaluate our slates. For the duration of the week, you’re invited to visit twice daily: once for a new article, and once for an oldie from the beloved archive of guts we have shared. We’ll resume business as usual next Monday morning with the publication of new stories starting at 7 a.m. EST and on Tuesday, you can participate in the final drop from Repeller’s spring range. Then you’ll have the rest of the summer to look at it all together, like a finished painting, and get whatever you want. Consider the link over that last part an unsolicited recommendation.
For what it’s worth, I don’t need a break; me and my slate, we’re ready to rumble! It’s been a while since I last felt this way, and it feels gooooood. But you know what they say, boats rise at tide together, or whatever that saying is, so here’s hoping you—yes, you! (but also you)—get some time to look to your slate this week. I’ll expect to see you Monday; clenched fists, sensible heels and all.
Feature photo by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.