Archive for New Years resolutions
As that hectic shiny newness of the New Year glamour begins to ease into the day-to -ay of 2015, it’s time for me to evaluate where I am, and maybe figure out how to decompress from an incredibly stressful December and an inauspicious start to the year.
Hint: Don’t injure your back the day before New Year holiday insanity starts. It’s just awful.
I’m home after a crazy weird night in the hospital, after a painful and frustrating week without answers mostly spend on the floor trying not to cry. I came home with a plan for wellness, a diagnosis (which is helpful, ya know, for treatment!), and a delayed resolution, since I was too distracted on New Years to resolve more than “don’t cry right now”.
I actually don’t do resolutions — at least not in the traditional sense. I’ve always felt like New Years is really just a day like any other. That change and promises start in our hearts, and that any moment in our lives is the best moment for them. But the New Year does signify a marker, a setting off point for so many, so I get it.
Mostly, it’s a day for me to consciously check in. Have I been the person I want to be the last year? This for me is a time to look inside, say, “hey self, you did your best, you’re doing your best.” A time to remember that I’m a constantly working, loving, flawed person trying their very hardest.
Sometimes you just need a little self love with a reminder that you are a work in progress, and that you have present and diligent in order to work for that progress. It’s so easy to slip, and to forget, and to get caught up in the day to day. It can be months before something in my life trips me long enough for me to sit down, evaluate my life and my actions and bring back into focus the ideals of who I want to be and how I want to live and love.
I feel like the last month and a bit was an exercise in dodging lemons being hurtled at me from somewhere (fruity clouds? the universe?). Well, now that I can walk around a bit more, and that I hope the weeks ahead hold some more calm, I’m ready. I’m so ready to pull myself out of this anxious, negative whirlwind and attitude and refocus.
I’ve got a large pitcher, I’ve got a fruit masher, I’ve got some sugar…time to make some lemonade!
Well it is a new year again, and here I am again, wondering what the heck happened. You may or may not know (or care) but I have never been a particular fan of New Years, or of resolutions. In fact, New Years Eve found me in bed by 9:45, wishing I’d gone to bed an hour earlier.
Ok, so that was probably 78% baby and 22% Tania, but still. I have never really cared for the whole, new start, ball dropping, counting down fiasco that is New Years Eve. I do enjoy a nice get together, when I have a baby sitter and am not pregnant. Next year…yeah!
Since I am not a fan, it would follow that I have no resolutions, and I don’t.
I’d like to resolve to blog more, but with a baby coming in April, this doesn’t seem realistic. No new baby this year and I didn’t even do that.
I’d like to resolve to lose weight, but again, that won’t be a possibility until April. And even then, I know I’ll do it. I always do. I may not have lost all 70 Parker pounds, but I lost a good 65 of them…it just took two years 😉
I’d like to be more organized, more scheduled, to conquer the constant struggle that is getting my toddler to eat…but those are daily desires; they don’t change just because one day marks the end of an arbitrary time period and another starts.
And, I’ll be honest, I could go on and on. But I am so hungry, it is hard to concentrate. So I’ll move on. Both to a snack and a new topic.
I once read that Stephanie Meyers got the idea for her Twilight novels from a dream- she dreamt (is that even a word?) of the meadow scene from the first book (I believe). I was a bit irked when I read this, as I’d already had my own amazing vampire dream years before- honest, it was an incredible dream, the kind that stays with you for days and really resonates with you. Unfortunately for me, Stephanie Meyers proved to be more motivated than I. This is why I am freaking out about a $500 plumbing bill and she is probably counting her cashes and laughing.
Good news, kids! I had another dream. And no it was not about vampires. I doubt I would have what it takes to write a good vampire story anyway, and who would want to? Everyone and their mother are jumping on that one already. I’ll stick to what I know…nice middle of the road women’s fiction. Thrill a minute people.
Sorry, self deprecating moment has passed…I think….ok.
Anyway, I had the most amazing dream…in fact my sister woke me from it (Thanks Pilar). I can’t begin to describe it- I think I need to write it first on my own privately, so that I can remember it more clearly. The really great news is that I believe this is my NaNo story for this year. It’s only January, so I might be jumping the gun, but I’m pretty psyched. I’m not the kind of person who is flooded with novel ideas…I generally only get about one a year, and use NaNo as an excuse to make it happen. Mostly cause I love a deadline, and my husband respects the one month time limit and is very supportive during that time (Well he is anyway, but during NaNo he helps me out with the house and the baby quite a bit so I can get it done).
My only tiny, insignificant little caveat here is the story of what happened to me during NaNo this year. I’d come up with my story in July, and for the entire month I was obsessed with it. I ate, breathed, dreamed that story. But I refused to write it, saving it for November. Of course, by the time November finally rolled around, the fervor had passed. I got it done, but I don’t know that the story is as good or the same as it would have been, had I written it when I was really in it. I don’t want a repeat of that this year, but at the same time, I have to trust that I can do this, and that I need more than the frenzy of sudden inspiration to create. I have a kid, and another on the way. I have a house to care for and my niece (for now) to watch. I’m not always going to have the luxury of time whenever I want to write.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I need to trust my skill as a writer and know that I can craft a good story, even in the moments when I don’t feel absolutely struck by inspiration. If I can’t, then there isn’t really a point is there? Because editing is so much slower, more precise, and so much less about the initial lighting strike moment in which the story comes out. And this is the skill I am trying to hone and to strengthen; I am great at banging it out during NaNo, not so great at working on it consistently. And all that mumbo jumbo about trusting my skill as a writer…that’s all talk. But I am working on it. Right now I am at the stage where I am still to embarrassed to tell people that I consider myself a writer, or to tell people what my books are about. Not a great way to sell yourself. If I should ever get to the query stage (which I hope to, but that means I have to get back on the editing wagon), I’ll probably want to do it will a little more confidence than….well it’s a story about a girl…it’s dumb really, you won’t like it…
So, at the end of the day, what I’d really like to see from the New Year is this. A little more confidence, a new book in november, and the will to keep editing. And I need to find a crit group. Anyone know how I can do that?
Oh the circle of life. How it turns.
Ok so that makes no sense, but hey, Parker and I watched the Lion King (again) this morning, so I have it on the brain. Now we are watching Finding Nemo. Poor guy inherited my immune system. Which is to say he got nothing good. Thank goodness he got the de Sostoa hair, or I’d be feeling pretty guilt, especially as he’s coughing up a little lung right now.
So, I am back. Morning sickness is over, NaNo has been defeated yet again. I made it in the nick of time- I was only 4,000 words short at about November 21st, and then for some reason I stopped writing and just…stopped. It might have had something to do with the death cold I’d contracted, but details, shetails. Finally, November 29th, I camped on Maura’s couch, cementing my bony butt into her cushions, and declared I would not leave until I was done. Unfortunately, her family expired before I got to the goal, and at 9pm, I left, with only 500 words to go. Motivation being my middle name by this point, I settled on my own couch and made it work (A la Tim Gunn, of course).
I won’t pretend this book is anything as good as I’d hoped, or even really somewhat like my vision going in, but that is what NaNo does to you. It makes a mockery of all your carefully laid plans, spits on your hopes and dreams; and just at the moment when you are curled in the fetal position, quivering and crying for your mother, shows you the light. Did that make any sense?
Ok, it is obvious NaNo has sucked the life and intelligence out of me at this point. I am mostly here to update you all, get back into the swing of blogging, and talk about the future.
I’d intended to keep track of all the books I read this year…which I did for about half the year. I have no idea when I stopped really, so I can’t even guess what I am missing. Which is a good thing, actually, since I haven’t read a single thing of substance in months. I don’t know why, but I guess I just decided to read easy stuff and skate along for a while. I never read Dangerous Liasons, and now I really would like to get that done, if only that, by the end of the year.
I’d like to set a timetable for editing and querying for the first book, and get back to reading SRP books with Maura. I think those will be on my mind for next year. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, as a rule, but I would like to start the year with a plan. Of course, several things will be getting in the way of that plan….Relay for Life, having a baby. You know, the usual. For now, other than reading Dangerous Liasons, my number one task is to pick a name for little baby boy. Any suggestions?
Well, lets face it…I was a bit of a blogging failure in 2009. In fact, I’ve been a bit of a blogging failure ever since Bloggate 2007 ( I’ll explain that one later). Anyway, moving on. If Step One is admitting I have a problem, Step Two must be assigning blame. Now, now, don’t you start with your pious, “There is no one to blame but yourself” speeches… I must blame someone, if only because the blame game is so much fun, and I don’t really feel like taking the blame myself.
Actually, since it is a new year and all (although generally I don’t do the whole new year/resolution/starting over type crap, believing instead that each day is a new opportunity to try again, and commit to being a better person, whatever that may mean to you), I feel the urge to recommit myself. To creative pursuits, to blogging, finishing at least one novel, and of course, being a better person. Mostly this is due to the amazing inspiration of my love, Jenney, whose blog has me in stitches quite often, and who is generally a totally awesome woman.
I defense of, well…myself, I must say that 2009 wasn’t a complete letdown in the writing and creativity fronts. I did finish the second edit of my first novel, and began working on the third. I took a giant leap of faith, and began emailing chapters of said novel to friends for advice, critique, and tomato throwing. I also managed, somehow, to complete another 50k NaNo novel this year, in a record 10 days (a success which I owe completely to Maura for egging me on in our strange little competition, and Dan, for letting me hole myself up in the study for hours at a time while he played with Parker).
Anyway, on to 2010. The start of a new decade. I think that some goals are in order. I love lists. Lets face it, who doesn’t? The satisfaction of crossing something off of a to do list is pretty awesome. I’ve been guilty in the past of adding things I’ve already done to a to do list, just for the satisfaction of crossing it off again and feeling accomplished. Yes, I am that lame.
Ok, so lofty goals for the year
– Finish editing novel #1. Also, re title it. Hate the title. Begin shopping for an editor.
-Write at least one poem. (I wouldn’t want to overdo)
-Read every book chosen for The Book Club
-lose the rest of this darn baby weight
-Begin working on baby #2
-Keep up with my blog
-NaNo 2010…though maybe not in 10 days….
– Read every Jane Austen book (ok, so this is a cheat, since I started this in 2009 and am halfway through the books, but again, I like to know I can cross at least one thing off of a to do list.)
–Make dinner today
All right…I know that I will think of more, but for now, that ought to do. I have a plate full of things I must get working on. At the moment, I am not working on any…well except for the Jane Austen part. I am in the middle of Mansfield Park. Although it is slow going; I’ll admit, it’s no Pride and Prejudice. But it has it’s own charms, and I am enjoying it. Maura and I both want to be through with the Austen’s by the end of January (I think), which means that in a few weeks I may be crossing at least one thing off of my list. Wonderful.
Plus, in recent and stupendous news, I already made dinner- that is I threw lots of canned goods and some frozen chicken into the crock pot. Yay, I get to cross something off of my list! The year is off to a roaring start!
I must have stored a lot up in this lil’ head of mine because last night I could not sleep- I felt as though I was mentally blogging for hours. It was like a switch I could not flip off. This is lame (yes lame) because not only is sleep a rare and precious commodity in my life at the moment, but also because I don’t remember any of it now. Do you ever wish you had some sort of recording system in your bedroom at night? I often find myself half awake, thinking through a poem that has been nagging at me, tweaking the potential plot of a novel I wish to write, or blogging away. Of course I am much too tired to get up and write any of it down, and come morning- Poof! Gone. Or mostly gone.
As the poet who has not stopped chasing the perfect poetic moment, this is frustrating. The times when I have actually gotten my self out of bed to write whatever it is I have been mulling over, it never comes out quite right, or just the way I was thinking it. This is why I propose the development of some sort of high tech psychic recording device. As you are lulled to sleep by your internal dialogue, just press the button next to your bed and it will all be recorded for you. Of course, the implications of any kind of device that can record or read your thoughts are far to frightening to seriously contemplate. But still. I’m staking my claim in this idea. Along with my theory that new mothers should receive mainline IV’s which supply them with a constant supply of caffeine. Maybe then I wouldn’t have to support this Diet Coke habit. Think how much formula and how many diapers I could purchase with the leftover money.
As is only natural, I have the feeling I’ll be in here a lot in the next few days- I haven’t blogged since April of 2008, so there is a lot stored up in here. After a while I am sure I’ll slow down. I hope this won’t become tiresome. There are so many things I feel like I have to say. I love my son completely, but the majority of my day is spent talking to a darling 13 lb bundle of joy whose repertoire consists of “ahhh”, “baaa” and a strange noise characterized by squeals and growls which has no real phonetic counterpart. After a while, one starts to seriously long for adult conversation. And if one is me, this longing often translates into an ongoing internal monologue. Forgive me if I feel the need to share this internal monologue several times a day.
I’ve added some new blogs to my blog roll today- Kudos to Roz for getting me thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. I am not a resolution girl. I’ve always just tried to promise myself to be the best person I could, and to never stop growing and learning. That is not to say that I don’t make, set and occasionally accomplish goals for myself. It is more that new goals are constantly occurring to me, and I prefer to set my mind to working on them as they come to me. For example, after I had the baby, I decided I would try to lose the massive amounts of baby weight I gained by Parker’s first birthday. In December, after some honest self-reflection, I realized I needed to do some serious work in forgiving myself for mistakes I have made. Other things that have occurred to me recently- I’d like to read and write more poetry than I have been, and I would really like to attend some sort of creative workshop this year. We will see how that goes though. I wonder, if, in the end, it all amounts to the same thing. As evolving, growing people, don’t self evaluation and the promise to do something better/different/new amount to nothing more than a resolution to change? Does it matter what time of the year this revelation falls at?