Yeah, I'm a few months late with making New Year's resolutions. My friend, Katherine, actually made a post about New Year's and why she finds it better to make goals in March instead. At the time that I read her post (at the end of December), I thought it would be hard to wait. But, I halfway committed to trying it. Mostly because I was feeling a little down and overwhelmed and lazy.
Here it is now, three weeks into March. I suppose I still haven't worked out many specific goals, but I've tested out a few that I'd like to continue with as the year progresses.
I was happy with that. I mean, yeah. I'm just not a nerd. Or a geek. Or a dork. Well, I'm kind of dork even though this quiz says otherwise. And maybe when I was thirteen and was obsessed with my NES and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, things might have looked a little different.
At this time, I think I would like to aim to be a little smarter. To have more knowlege. I haven't made a specific plan for how I'll go about this. I've been, you know, reading stuff about stuff. And thinking about learning new things. Yes, this is definitely going to be a work-in-progress goal. But the fact that I've decided to make an effort counts for something, I think.
2. Nail Care. Last November-ish, some men in the foyer in my office building were talking loudly about women. One of them was insisting that "A woman has to take care of her hands! And her feet!" Meaning that he won't be with a woman who doesn't do those things. I thought to myself, "Whatever, you picky bastard."
But, then, I don't know, after painting my nails for my company party January 10th, I started thinking that I might want to start taking better care of my feet and hands. (Not to impress that guy, obviously.) So, I have. My husband and I have several television shows we keep up on, so I spend at least an hour every week filing my nails and/or changing my polish while watching TV. I've become addicted to buying new colors of OPI. (This is not entirely a good thing.) No one else ever comments about my nails, so I'm guessing they aren't impressed or unimpressed with my efforts. I'm going to keep going with it for now, though. I like this ritual of doing this for myself and trying out the various colors I've collected.
3. Do scary things. I was never all that into the song, "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" when it was getting lots of airplay ten years ago. But I heard it again in the car a few months ago, and parts of it resonated. As my husband commented, "Huh. Hearing that now that I'm older, I can see that there really is some good advice in there."
I am a particular fan of these lines:
"Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself."
"Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's."
"Do one thing every day that scares you."
I haven't made a conscious effort to do the every-day-scaring-myself thing. But I do think about it. I'm constantly considering what things scare me and pondering whether I ought to do something about those things. It's a start, I think? :-)
4. Exercise. This is one where, when I bother to make a goal some years, I find that I have disappointed myself by the time March rolls around. Mostly, I get bored of it and give up. This year has been different so far. I asked msktonic if she'd care to join me for water aerobics class once a week. To my surprise and delight, she said "yes!" So, we've been doing that since mid-January. In addition (or alternately), I've gone to her house a few times to try different workout videos (kickboxing, Yoga for Indie Rockers, and (I think) Cardio for Indie Rockers. I don't know, maybe it sounds silly, to drive down the street to work out at someone else's house, but it really has helped keep me motivated.
5. Stop being afraid of revising!!!!!!! I spent much of aught-eight paralyzing myself regarding my writing. I got frustrated with my drafts because they weren't perfect on the first try. I spent lots of time planning scenes and looking at them from every possible angle to make sure they were going to work. I was so afraid of writing something that would *gasp* not end up in the final draft.
It helped, doing a critique for a manuscript I read as a first draft a long time ago. Seeing how much had changed and how far the writer had come was inspiring. As was revising Seth over these past few weeks. I was able to look back through old notes and remember characters who don't exist anymore or the subplots that were added or removed. I made SO MANY changes to that story. And, yeah, it took a long-ass time, but it was worth it, right? Right. Now, I just need to put this inspiration into practice when I get back to Kae.
6. Be more thoughtful. For the past few years, I've been very caught up in my own stuff. I've become terrible at correspondence. I called my aunt on her birthday this February and she said, "Wow! I didn't know you knew my birthday!"
I've known her birthday since I was a little kid. I remember it every year when I see the date on the calendar. But I rarely send a card or call or do anything to acknowlege it. I want to make a specific effort to try a tiny bit harder to keep up with people. I want to be the kind of friend/relative who remembers people's birthdays (without the aid of MySpace/Facebook) or who randomly sends cards or who calls up and plans nice things for them.
And that's all I have for now.
No, I didn't set any goals for completing manuscripts or reaching word counts. I have an idea that I'd like to finish at least a first draft of SOMETHING before the end of the year. But whether or not I accomplish that is going to depend on what happens with my ms that might be going on submissions soon, how well I succeed at #5 on this list, and what my agent thinks of the idea(s) I'm planning to pursue moving forward.