A lot of people don’t like doing New Years resolutions, and I don’t blame them. Each year of our lives has a particular flow, and the flow we are in in one year is different than the one we veer into in the next, and therefore the expectations we develop from one may not apply to the other at all. We can’t always control the way our lives flow.
But I think those of us privileged enough to have some semblance of control over at least part of our time ought to at least visualize how we’d like to spend that time, even if other stuff comes along to divert us from those visions. 2012 was a case-in-point year for that.
My 2012 writing resolutions were:
• “keep up the momentum I gained on my new story. I can’t let work steal time and energy from my writing next year.”
But it did. It totally did. I distributed out my vacation days so I’d have at least one three-day weekend a month between vacation days and holidays, but the workload of a 40-hour week can still leave you drained at the end of any day, and a lot of days, you’ve given all your energy to the job, not your writing.
And yet, I finished the first draft of my new novel on Halloween day. This month, I am deep into plotting the next draft of what looks to be a trilogy.
• “finish my old novel and get it out into the world.”
I did this, too. By old, I mean “that one I should have finished in 2004.” I got it out into the world by dividing up all the arduous tasks into a hour here and an hour there: last minute edits, learning how to format ePUBs, Mobis, and hard copies, getting my book on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords and B&N one at time.
It was exhausting work, and I found I didn’t have much energy left over when I was done for lots of promotional tricks. I only wanted to get that book out there so my plate would be clean for the story I am writing now. And I did that.
In 2013, I want to write the second draft of the first book. It’s going to go deeper than the first draft, and I hope it will be something I will be proud to submit for publication, after it is polished.
2012 home and personal resos:
• “hire an interior decorator to just ‘finish off’ a few things in my living room and bedroom.”
I did this, too–sort of? I hired a decorator, but for most of the year, I ignored her. She came in in January and rearranged all the furniture and doodads in my living room to give it a better look and flow, and then in April, she helped me purchase a new couch.
Then I went into a home refinance and all my savings were tied up as collateral and I didn’t have a cent to do anything with. The refinance thing came out of nowhere. I remember a year or so back, I went into Wells Fargo to talk about refinancing, and the loan officer laughed me out of the bank. Then this year, I decided to get on the ball with my retirement and investing, and went to a financial planner. He told me I really *did* have a chance with refinancing now, so I tried again, this time through the mortgage company I already had.
Going to a financial planner was not one of my 2012 resolutions. It just felt overdue, and I did it. But good lord, if that refinance didn’t drag on for over three months. Four? I was in financial limbo through all of that. Not in a bad way, I could still pay my bills, but I couldn’t be tempted by any extravagances (which was probably a good thing, for a while). And, ironically, I had no money to invest.
But I got my house refinanced. And this month, I am finally seeing that new patio door I wanted to put in gracing my living room.
I am going to be getting the living room repainted and new curtains put up in in 2013. Then I think I’ll take a break from that for a while.
Another goal for 2013: continue organizing my retirement and investing, two projects which started in 2012 and then fell by the wayside during the refinance.
• “look into Weight Watchers online tools to give me a little extra structure for getting back to my weight goal.”
I did use the online tools for most of the year. And I got back to my goal weight. For a while. The online tools helped teach me the new Points Plus system, which I never learned after reaching my goal weight in 2010. Now I am back to tracking with an Excel spreadsheet and a Points calculator.
And I have a few extra holiday pounds on at the moment. So sue me. I joined WW in the first place to have something to keep me accountable and my weight healthy, and it’s done that. I need to exercise more just to stay fit and keep my mood level, so I will keep that up in the new year.
Health-wise, I was thrown for a loop this year. I had a check-up in April which said I was mostly fine, but I had been feeling my anxiety disorder flaring up and asked for medication (I’d been off prescription meds for anxiety for four years at that pt). My doctor put me on some, and they, in turn, gave me debilitating insomnia. So we experimented with different anxiety meds–four or five different ones in all–over the summer, and each gave me one of two deal-breaker side effects that made them not worth the trouble. By early fall, I felt like a wreck. I stopped all meds at that time and started acupuncture.
I have been going to acupuncture for two months now, and I feel as anxious as ever, if not more so. I will give it one more month before I give up on that route, but right now, I’m a little discouraged by how the year has played out in that respect. I am starting to wonder if I’m treating the right thing, if what I’ve assumed was my anxiety disorder is actually coming from menopausal mood swings, at least in part.
I really had no 2012 resolution here. I only noted that the Sculptor had become part of my family in 2011, now officially expected at holiday gatherings and the like. Which continued. She joined us at Christmas this year.
One thing I have noticed this year, though, is how my moodiness and constant feeling of being on edge has affected my relationship. I get testy with her a LOT. And she just puts up with it. I don’t think that’s right, but I’m not sure how to address it, because simply talking to her about it doesn’t help. She makes excuses for me, and that’s not a good thing at all. I need to deal with this in the new year–how not to get caught up in the wave of irritability and anger, where I let the biochemistry do the talking before I realize it’s doing so. It’s coming out at work a lot, too, and that’s just so unprofessional.
2012 had a lot to commend for it. And more than one place to improve.