2011, blogwise, started off with a bang and then just…kinda…stopped. The highpoint was definitely the Blogging Archaeology panel at the SAA meetings, and I left there very inspired. I just couldn’t maintain that enthusiasm in the face of professional discouragement and frustration. On the occasions when I’m in the field, I also generally have a lot of post-field paperwork to do and things to deal with, which eats into my mental energy and time.
I started another blog for a project, and had my friend use it in her classroom. Then, that project ended being almost a complete failure in terms of delivering interesting information, particularly for the elementary crowd, and I couldn’t think of a positive way to spin it.
With the notable exception of a recent tragedy, my personal life has been nothing but positive. I have a really great girlfriend, an amazing group of friends that seems to expand weekly, a social life often overflowing with possibilities. My softball team won the championship trophy and finally beat our archrivals on the way to that achievement. I visited Maine and New Hampshire for the first time, saw my little sister graduate from college, went camping and to the beach with friends.
The work highlight was the Fannin Battleground metal detector survey. We found a lot of really neat stuff related to the Texas Revolution. I got to work with some avocational archaeologists, learning things from them and hopefully teaching a few things as well. I even ran the project for a week and did a damn good job if I say so myself.
The work lowlight was more or less blowing my contributions to a couple of reports. This was especially rough as my writing is my strength and probably my most valuable contribution to my office. I also left someone I really respect and like working for in a bind, and I’m worried that he’s lost trust in me. The whole process leading to the failures was frustrating and somewhat exhausting. It’s hard to struggle all day at a desk, being disappointed in yourself and waiting for some light to shine or corner to be turned. It’s harder knowing that there are limited hours and budget, and not wanting to give up, and realizing in retrospect I probably should have. The biggest kick in the gut of it all was that I went against my instincts and went with something really boring and generic, when my boss wanted more what I decided not to do. The only thing I can do is learn lessons from it, and hope I get another chance.
So that’s that. As always, I have some ideas, but I know better than to predict that any of them will ever actually make it to the blog. I’ve found that the immediacy of Twitter has been more suited for me of late, and I do talk about my work and share photos there (through Instagram) somewhat regularly.
I do want to blog more often, make this a learning tool, make it a positive reading experience. Maybe putting my mind to that will put me in a better place regarding my work, as well.