If you’re reading this, you survived 2021!

And so did I, although it’s been a bit scary lately. There’s the omicron variant; there are tornadoes demolishing entire towns; there are people being shooed out of a Costco into blowing smoke and ashes. And I won’t even get into politics.

For me the last two months have also offered the banal middle-class horror of Lots of Stuff Breaking at Once. I unexpectedly require a new boiler, a more reliable car, minor (but expensive) dental work, and minor (but expensive) surgery for Penny the cat.

Penny irritated at the attention I’m giving a book.

It could be a lot worse. I have savings. I still have a house to put a new boiler into, unlike a lot of other folks. I still have my teeth AND my cat. And I haven’t lost anyone dear to Covid or anything else, knock wood.

It’s good that the new variant seems a little less brutal, at least to the vaccinated, since we’re all getting rather “whatever” about it. Last week I finally managed to get my hands on four home tests, but my stepdaughter agreed that using them was kind of pointless since they’d already had a bunch of exposures that week. We still went, because it was Christmas, and I hadn’t seen them in ages, and those kids were due for some pumpkin muffins. (The tests will come in handy before I fly to visit my folks this winter, assuming the plane actually takes off.)

If the pandemic taught me anything, it’s that I have too long taken for granted the ability to get together with people I enjoy. Like many of us, I want to do more of that in 2022.

Which brings us to RESOLUTIONS…

Yeah, no, let’s just call them GOALS

(Maybe they’re a little less likely to be quickly abandoned that way.)

Besides the getting together: 1) Take care of all the broken-down issues without much more agonizing, 2) Get back in the product management groove with the books, 3) Lift weights at least twice a week instead of maybe once every two or three weeks when I finally stop saying I’ll do it tomorrow, and 4) Work towards giving a full 10% of my income to charity on a monthly basis instead of trying to figure it out at the end of the year when (cough) I might suddenly be facing a whole host of unexpected expenses.

Yes, part of me is thinking but isn’t it a good thing you didn’t spend all that money already? Because you sure as heck need it now! But I don’t think it really works like that. Have two coats, give one away, that’s the ideal Jesus preached. And I still literally have at least three coats. (Four, if you count a really ratty one I ought to throw out.) If I’ve already spent that money, I’ll adjust as I go along. If life as an adjunct and a writer has taught me anything, it’s how to cut back on expenses.

Oh, and while the ten percent goal comes from the Biblical concept of tithing, it’s not all going to my church. I’ve been involved enough with that organization’s budget to know that while it requires my regular support, too, if I want to actually feed the poor, help heal the sick, build affordable housing, etc., I’d better support various charities that actually focus on that and do it well: Feeding America, Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, and more, including good local charities. And most of them would benefit from steady monthly donations instead of the usual end-of-year clumps.

So I commend them to your planning for 2022, too.

So that’s it. Maybe I’ll publish the next book, or maybe I’ll hold it until I have a sequel written. I’m planning to read FEWER books in 2022, because I got to 122 I liked enough to recommend on Goodreads this year and that’s ridiculous. (That’s either #123 up there in the photo with Penny or #1 for 2022.)

And tell me your goals for 2022 if you’d like. I’ve changed the moderation on posts so that those of you who’ve had comments approved before will get published without having to wait for me to notice your comment waiting.

P.S. If you’d like more of a catch-up on my writing, I was recently the subject of a lovely interview by Suanne Schafer. Folks are telling me it’s a good read, and I certainly enjoyed doing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One writer’s resolutions for 2015

  1. Keep a drafting-new-work schedule, with no clicking out to “research” or just peek at social media. I had resolved to do this last semester and failed miserably. We’ll see how I do this time. I’m going to set up timers and documentation I can see on the bulletin board. Maybe I’ll give myself a gold star each day I get it done.
  2. In the time allowed for it (and no more!), get a much better handle on my social marketing and content marketing, including figuring out just what the hell those things really are. I need to get serious about this blog and make it worth the time involved.
  3. Get the audio books done. Some people just read their books that way.
  4. Read more. Just chip away at the to-read pile. Because it’s horrifying, and because writers must read.
  5. Find a way to help out fellow writers that doesn’t require me to have actually read and liked their work yet (see #4). Maybe on my web site, which might hit two resolutions at once.
  6. Get rid of more stuff. The move helped a lot, but when I went downstairs to organize the basement this weekend I realized how much more crap needs to go. I want to sit down with at least one file folder or drawer or cabinet a night and WEED. Once that’s done, I can take another look at organizing what’s left. This includes my computer files. Hopefully I will spend less time looking for stuff and more time moving ahead.
  7. Make fitness a priority – Writing is bad for you, physically. You’re mostly sitting on your butt, hunching in some cases. In the last three years I’ve been coping with Achilles tendonitis from a disastrous flirtation with barefoot shoes and a frozen shoulder that probably started with some minor injury and then blew up from all that hunching. I happily took the excuse to avoid weight work, but it’s time to get back to it. (Well, almost – I’m still holding off on shoulder work until I get an all-clear.) I tried Zumba for the first time a couple of weeks ago (fun!), and I plan to stop being a yoga virgin this year, too. And I’d like to do more country and contra dancing. And then, of course, there’s walking. I live on a hill, so I get a little workout just going around the block.

    Set up for weights and meditation. It ain't pretty, but it gets the job done.

    Set up for weights and meditation. It ain’t pretty, but it gets the job done. (Making it pretty can be next year’s resolution.)

  8. Meditate. I’ve known how to do this since college, but do I make time for it? Hardly ever. I have no idea if it will help with writing, but I suspect it might prime the mind for creativity a little less wastefully than standing in a hot shower for too long (which is what I do now – and since my shoulder IS still a bit stiff and my husband has retired to Puerto Rico, I’ve had to start applying lotion to my back with a rubber spatula – so dignified!).
  9. Have more real life contact with real people. Facebook is nice but it’s no substitute for knowing what’s really going on in the lives of the people you love. This has nothing to do with writing per se, but writing is rather isolating, and even introverts need friends.
  10. Practice gratitude. The picture below is a gift I got myself this Christmas. The space for each entry is short, so I’m going to challenge myself to also tweet something I’m grateful for each day in 2015. I was invited to do a shorter version of this on Facebook this year, and I found it helpful.
A Christmas present for myself

A Christmas present for myself

The evidence of 54 years on the planet suggests that I’m not going to actually accomplish all of these, of course.

But hey – any forward progress counts. Add it up day by day and that is the trick to getting anything done.

What are your resolutions for the New Year?