The Word of the Year: Hustle
I’ve come across the idea of declaring a Word of the Year a few times, but it hadn’t really solidified in my brain until New Year’s Day, when I read this article on Kristen Larson’s Believe in a Budget Blog. Her word of 2019 is Nurture, which has all sorts of fabulous connotations, in my opinion. Personally, I didn’t so much choose a Word of 2019 as I did acquiesce to the idea I couldn’t get rid of: Hustle. 2019 is the Year of Hustle. In my career, in my hobbies, in my blog, in my writing: 2019 involves setting goals are working towards them. Hustle is defined, in part, as busy movement or activity (cite Google), and common phrases include “hustl(ing) one’s ass.”
Ms. Larson has several years worth of data for having a Word of the Year, but I’ve never done this before. I’ve also never started a blog--unless you count the attempts at making a French horn website for my high school marching band--so this is a year for novel efforts.
One of my interests is in gaining an income for a (or, more likely, several) side hustles, which is part of my verbal inspiration. I’ve applied with Wag, a dog walking app, but haven’t finalized my membership or taken any walks yet--to be honest, with the multiple new courses I’m teaching this quarter, they aren’t a high priority.
This blog is also a new effort--I’m definitely not yet in the habit of posting regularly! I wrote this article shortly after reading Larson's article, and I'm only just now getting around to posting. My husband spends all his evenings and weekends playing video games--or cooking, depending on whether we’re having leftovers or not that evening--but I’m working on finding a way to be productive while he’s gaming. The nice thing about working on a blog is that I can hang out with the husband, in the sense that we’re in the same room, working on totally separate aims.
To be perfectly honest, though, the blog pales in importance in my life right now. Those of you that know me know that I recently went from part-time to full-time (salaried!) at my academic employer. Making this transition--and, now that I’m full-time and teaching twice as many courses, making it work--are my greatest priorities, as far as increasing (and maintaining) my income. My school is on the quarter system, so I really want to get through this upcoming quarter before focusing too much on increasing any side source of income.
That said, the number one place that I want to get my hustle on... is at work. I’ll be teaching twice as many classes, working twice as many days, and I won’t have time to dally with grading and planning. I need to hustle to be ready for classes and labs, to be responsive to student communications, and to return graded work promptly. Some classes include material I’m less comfortable with, so I need to hustle to learn everything I’ll be required to teach.
I fantasize about making an electronic resource for my students--that is, a website that has no profit motives, only academic support. Basically, this means I have two websites I’m trying to build while working a full-time job (that still feels good to say!). This, in essence, is why 2019 is the Year of Hustle. I have to commit to spending a fair amount of my free time to my blogs, including both weeknights and weekends.
I spent several hours today, on a Sunday, prepping for this week's classes, but I'm not sticking to the initial frantic pace I'd envisioned for myself back on New Year's Day, with either school work or the blogs. That's ok. I'm still hustling, and that's what matters. Any writing is more than I used to do. Any school prep contribute to an improved classroom experience. Hustle towards good habits on a number of different fronts, and progress will be made.