Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I had GOALS? Or, what's different about this year's New Year Resolution

Happy New Year, Dear Reader!

One of the first things I do in the New Year is to get the last year's blog posts printed out in book form, because it's somehow very satisfying to flick through the pages of a paper book and prove to myself that I actually wrote something. When I've done this year's book I will have four--FOUR--of them on my shelf. How did that happen?

And it's becoming a tradition that I look back over previous New Year posts and laugh hollowly at the resolutions I didn't keep. Most of these lofty goals have to do with writing or cleaning up my office (the two are related because the tidier my office, the easier it is to write.)

Last year's post sent me scurrying to my journal to look at the Goals mentioned therein. Not only did I not print out those goals as I resolved to do in the post, I completely forgot they existed (probably around January 3). So I'm surprised to find that I achieved nine out of the 18 goals I listed, which makes me think that I'll make another list for this year and promptly forget it because it's rather fun to find you achieved stuff despite yourself.

2012, while not rising to the spectacular goal set for it by the Mayan calendar, managed to be a quietly eventful year for the Steen household. Felsted (eventually) got the new job he's been wanting, I published a novel and wrestled with its sequel, Orangina made a huge amount of progress toward adulthood, and Wasabi is currently living in London (lucky, lucky, lucky.)

And its sequel, 2013, is already shaping up to be quite interesting. There are possibilities of travel on the horizon, a family wedding in England, the return of Wasabi, and Orangina's graduation from Special Ed. and entry into the world of work (we hope.) We're thinking of giving the house some overdue TLC and maybe even making some broader changes. Having a family member with special needs ensures that my role as caregiver Mom will never quite become defunct, but adult children bring about new opportunities as well as new challenges.

So it's likely that my next New Year's post (if I'm spared to write it) will reflect a big shift in my life, and who knows how big it might be? With this in mind I'm not really making resolutions except the ordinary ones about eating better and exercising regularly (the sort that last as long as they last and that can be abandoned with the merest shrug of a been-there-done-that shoulder.)

Instead, I'm couching my intentions for 2013 in the vaguest of terms: to write more, enjoy life and appreciate the people in it. 2012 brought several reminders that life is short and art enduring, and the overwhelming impression made by the last twelve months on my ever-busy brain is that it's a tremendous privilege to be able to string words together into a coherent sentence, and I should never underestimate that gift.

I have an acronym written on my whiteboard: WIBBOW, which stands for Would I Be Better Off Writing? (I can't find its origin; if anyone could tell me I'd be grateful.) I could add: WIBBOL (Would I Be Better Off Living?) to get me off the computer from time to time. I also have the graphic from this post printed out and stuck on my notice board, to remind me that marketing my books is way less important than growing myself as a writer in ways that give my readers the best of my potential, whatever it may be.

How do you see 2013 from this end of the year? Is it exciting or daunting? Do you make resolutions or just wing it?

Photo credit: herrberg at Stock.Xchng