Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Resolutions: Who Needs 'Em?

As I suspect was the case for a lot of folks, 2008 was not the best year for me. When the year finally drew to a close, the only resolution I'd made was not to make any stupid resolutions. It seemed pointless, futile. There was no hope.

Somewhere between New Years' Eve and today - which, if you live by the general business calendar, is actually the second day of the new year - I realized there are some things I want to change. I also realized that New Years is not the only appropriate time to make resolutions. Why should we be constricted by a dictatorial calendar? Any time is a fine time to move yourself closer to what you imagine your life could be.

Not all of the changes I'd like to make pertain to writing . . . except, in a roundabout way, everything does. I am a writer, after all, though sometimes I forget that fact when life throws a hurricane in my face.

So, with that in mind, here are a few Today Resolutions I'm making:

-I will say 'yes' more often when my son asks me to play a video game or watch cartoons with him, even if I think I should be cleaning or working. I will say 'yes' when he wants to talk about something, even if he brings it up when he's supposed to be going to bed (which is about the only time he wants to talk - but that's okay. Ten minutes of lost sleep won't kill either of us).

-I will listen more and argue less with my husband. Just because I'm comfortable in our relationship doesn't mean I should vent all of my frustrations on him and expect him to deal with it.

-I will not mope, scream, or rant about the publishing end of writing. I will remember that I write to exercise the voice that I can never seem to find any other way; to express my thoughts and observations, the truths I have learned in my life, in a way that I and hopefully others find interesting and entertaining. I write to create something. I will remember that fiction is not pointless just because it's made up.

-I will continue to paint my nails black, because I like black nail polish, and I will not let the opinions of others stop me from enjoying anything. I will also stop talking about some day getting something pierced besides my ears (no, not that!) and start putting aside a little money so I can actually do it.

-I will cut back on my caffeine intake, because people who care about me believe that drinking two pots of coffee per day is bad for me. I will not give up drinking coffee, since I love the taste of it; instead, I will learn to enjoy decaf.

-I will not censor myself so strongly in order to remain polite in company. If I feel like singing a dumb song out loud in public, I will. If I get upset about something, I will speak directly to the cause of my problem rather than complaining to others about it. I will run outside during a downpour and get soaking wet, just because. I will make more trips to the beach this summer, even if I am still fat and look terrible in a bathing suit, because I love being in the water.

That's about all my resolutions for today. Tomorrow, I might make some more. Do you have any Today Resolutions you'd like to make? Share them! :-)


Kathryn Magendie said...

I haven't made resolutions in so long! But, if I had to make one, it would be "Enjoy all the moments of this process towards publshing my first novel..." I tend to become frightened and nervous and worried and obssessed - and instead I should be ENJOYING...

s.w. vaughn said...

That's the idea, Kathryn! Enjoy it all. You'll never have another first time. :-)

Best of luck with your publication!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

I LOVE this! And I'm thrilled that your outlook on life is so positive. Those few minutes of conversation before bed or watching cartoons together with your son will always be remembered by him, as the ministrations of a loving mother. And I hope you DO sing a silly song out loud in public. Go for it!

I resolve today to stop feeling guilty when I can't do it all. I'm going to let more things go, and focus more on creating rather than marketing right now. I spent last night reworking my first chapter in The Aviary, and will be lost in that world for a few months now! Yay!

s.w. vaughn said...

That, my friend, is a fantastic resolution! Guilt = bad. Creating = good! (And it'll mean I get to read more of your wonderful work. Yay!)

As for me, I've surprised myself with this attitude. See what losing your transportation for three weeks does to you? It makes you crazy! LOL

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Isn't it funny how terrible ordeals can shake up our mindsets and get us going again? I'm proud of you for this and can't wait to read the next chapter you write!

Kim Smith said...

This is a wonderful post for so many different reasons. First let me say, your list is stellar.

1.You know kids grow up and move away so every moment is precious.

2.Husbands love us unconditionally, only on certain days, so this one is good.

3. Publishing a book is not the end all be all do all, will not make or break us as people, and we have more than one story in us so we all need to lighten up. Writing is what we do to illuminate who we are, show the world we are dreamers, creators, thinkers, and wonderfully made.

4. Black nail polish is stylish, has been for years as it was touted as the "new pink" only a while ago. Let me know when you want to go for that piercing, my daughter has two, both facial and can lead you where ever you fear to tread.

5. Cutting caffeine is a good idea. Cutting coffee is not. Trust me on this one!

6. Live your life. Rain only happens once in a while, stifling your thoughts will make you cranky, and everyone knows the only way to rid us of a song that keeps playing on and on in our heads is to SING IT OUT!

Hugs to you dear friend. I loved this post!

s.w. vaughn said...

Thank you, Kim! And would you believe I want to get my tongue pierced? Hee hee. That's going to HURT. And I'll definitely trust you on the coffee thing. I can't give up drinking it!

Aaron - it is weird how that happens, isn't it? :-)

Marta Stephens said...

Great post, SW.

Losing weight is always at the top of every new year's resolution. Ha. I just move it from one to another.

I too plan to concentrate more on my writing and have made a vow to not allow time-killing distractions to zap my creativity.

2008 was a good year for me and mine in many respects, but as I look back, it involved a lot of work and not nearly as much fun. This year will be my "fun" year to focus on my writing.

All the best!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

S.W., your resolutions are fabulous and inspiring. It's freaky how much we think alike. I, too, was through with resolutions. I, too, was thrilled to see 2008 end. And that's sad. Along with your inspiring post & Oprah's new take on life, I'm vowing to spend 2009 appreciating who I am more & learning to love myself. It's certainly about time.

When I first thought about this "loving myself" stuff, I was embarrassed. I thought "how ridiculous". Then it occurred to me that that is a problem with a lot of people of our generation. For some strange perverted reason, we don't think we deserve to be happy. Isn't that stupid!

I'm going to be cheering for you, S.W. And I'll be following your progress, so please continue to keep me posted. Your success is just one more indication that I'm on the right path.

Happy New Year.

s.w. vaughn said...

Thanks, Marta. I always shuffle losing weight to the bottom somewhere too. I just love food too much. :-)

Joylene, I think you're completely right about the generation that feels it doesn't deserve to be happy. I'm not there yet (feeling that I deserve it) and I still feel guilty for even thinking about it - but hey, maybe I'll give it a try.