You know that phrase “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”?

When I was in grad school, I couldn’t wait to re-join the workforce and have my nights and weekends to myself. I recalled lazy weekends spent reading, and actually being caught up on all the TV shows that everyone is always talking about. Now that I’ve been out for a little over a year, I miss school. I miss having someone push me to learn new things and solve problems. I miss the structured discussions and the camaraderie of working exclusively with people who were all focused on the same life stage.

I figured out recently that one of the things I like most about online journalism is that there is constantly something new to learn, from stuff as basic as a new HTML tag or CSS property, to whole new social networks and web apps.

For me, this realization led me to another. That the only person pushing me to learn new things… is me.

So, since I’m not in the habit of making New Year’s resolutions, I will set a goal instead: I will structure in time to my life to learn new things, at least one session a week, starting with an open course I bookmarked at NiemanLab in August. (I’m starting the “summer reading” this week, so that’s how far behind I am with that).

It won’t be easy. Since coming back from grad school, I’ve fallen into a lazy pattern of dinner and TV after work. Weekends are scarcely better. Somehow, errands that took an hour a week in grad school seem to take all day back in D.C., but I am committed to trying.

I’ll let you know how it goes…