Thoughts on the first day of 2014

Jan 1, 09:51 PM


Thanks to my family and friends for their love and support. Especially Jennifer, sine qua non, and the rest of the Heuers, Ogilvies, and Ebys.

Thanks to my students, who keep me on my toes, and make me connect my research interests to big historical questions.

Thanks to my colleagues, who remind me that it’s worthwhile to devote some of my energies to a relatively narrow set of problems that interest a smart, learned group of scholars.

Thanks to my bicycles for allowing me to explore and enjoy the New England countryside, and to the D2R2 and Great River Ride organizers for putting together such fun events.


Between multiple illnesses (flu, nasty colds – nothing too bad) and taking on too much, I am behind on some of my professional commitments (a book MS, book reviews, articles, reports, etc.). I apologize to all of you who are affected, and I’ll be in touch in the next week to negotiate new deadlines. Mea maxima culpa.


I’ve lost 45 pounds in the last year. I hope to take off a few more this year, and then avoid gaining them back.

I have several open writing projects (see “Regrets,” above). I want to finish them, and avoid taking on more than I can handle in the future. I got a fair amount done in 2013, including three new book chapters, but it was touch and go too much of the time. More time for contemplation would be a big help.

I’ll be traveling to France and England in March for a lecture and a working group meeting, and the Netherlands in May for a symposium on Maria Sibylla Merian. The rest of my travels are up in the air, but I hope to visit some interesting places and bicycle through them.

And finally, I hope to spend more time in 2014 doing and experiencing things, and less time reflecting on them. Metacognition is useful, within limits, but it can also devolve into navel-gazing. My navel isn’t particularly attractive, so I should focus elsewhere.

I hope that you all have a great 2014, and if anyone is reading this and just wants to say hi, feel free to leave a comment!

Brian W. Ogilvie



Leave a comment...

  1. Mountain-biking across Central Iceland?

    (oh wait, someone doesn’t want me to encourage that adventure…)

    hilary · Jan 3, 04:53 PM · #

  2. Well, that’s more in the “someday-maybe” category than “definitely do this summer” category!

    Brian Ogilvie · Jan 7, 11:22 AM · #

Commenting is closed for this article.