So - right. It's January and time to: manage my money, manage my weight, get rid of wrinkles, overcome my shyness, stop smoking, exercise, learn how to speak a foreign language (merde!), or - last and least - learn to juggle. Those who know me know realize that most of these familiar life change thingies are not my own resolutions, but a few could and should be. Anyway, my point is that I really hate being typical. I hate the flippin' cliche concept that is a grand marketing shtick this time of year - self-help and New Year’s Resolutions.
I don't want to be a cliche!! I don't know why this bothers me so much. Sometimes it seems to me as if people make resolutions solely because the calendar prompts them. Has there been soul searching? Insomnia? Has that person really, really given this a lot of thought?
Well, damn it, I have! And it's high time I did something about my angst. Need to make some good life changes. But now, does this mean that I am one of those unimaginative types? Gym-flocking, calorie counting, Rosetta Stone uttering, ball-dropping sheeple? Hold on now.
Wait a minute.
This needs to be sorted out.
See, as a parent of a high school kid, schedules and life choices often follow the school year calendar. Typically, September is the time to re-think a lot. Backpack weary and stinky? Time for a new one. Last year's pants too short? Gotta hit the Mall. New teachers, new friends, maybe new activities/sports etc.
And then the pace picks up. By mid-October I think I might want a break. But ahead is Halloween, then November comes quick and then it's The Big Holidays - and like my expensive-but-tasty roast - I'm all done. I can't bear to think about much else. Hell, and that's when times are "normal". So it only makes sense that we look to a future time to regain our footing in our life paths.
These last few months brought some odd stomach ailments for Tom. Some of it has been recurring bouts of C. diff., while some of what's been going on has been harder to figure. Problems with digesting fats, or acids getting too active - something isn't right and we've found ourselves in a similar roller coaster of illness that we faced in the extended spring of 2009, and again in the spring of 2010, I guess you could call it the Chronic-Coaster. Of course more recently Tom's illness put a strain on our holiday prep, not to mention his schoolwork, and other things. The good thing is this has nothing to do with his new liver.
But since Tom's health ordeal began three years ago, and I occasionally ride that Chronic-Coaster, it's been taking me longer to recover, to bounce back into normal patterns and schedules. Thinking is muddled, I'm distracted, and naturally somewhat depressed. And a lot of important things get neglected, or at least postponed, à la Scarlett O'Hara, which brings me to the fresh slate month of January. It's probably illusion, but I feel like I have more free time in January. And I want to try to pick up some threads of my former interests and needs.
So, now with that pesky list I opened with. There are things that should have been on the list, and one big one is to write. Anything. Write more often, and write better.
I have several Works In Progress going, and very recently I did some revising - which is great. But I know I need to get back to blogging and blog simultaneously while working on other projects. I know I jokingly blamed Facebook for my lack of blogging, and there’s some truth to that.
Or sometimes I can get caught up in my email. My good friend Mark Saleski and I have occasionally written our share of email screeds a-back-n’-forth about all manner of things. Music, food, our fellow Mondos, the Internet, books – etc. As a matter of fact, just before I had started my re-blogging adventure recently, I interrupted my work to shoot him an email – “do you know that I have tried to spell ‘resolution’ three times, and I keep making a typo?” (And he’s just one friend; I have other email pen pals that I write nice long letters with.) Of course, I had to laugh at the irony, here I was trying to be really productive, and I couldn’t last but a minute before I had to go off into email land. Which reminds me of a funny story.
One day Mark and I had planned to meet for lunch and before that I had been doing some shopping. I had just picked up Julia Cameron’s great book How to Avoid Making Art (or Anything Else You Enjoy). It’s done cartoon style (and tongue-in-cheek) with statements like “tell your most negative sibling your dream, and then listen to their reasons why you shouldn’t do it”.
Basically it’s a humorous way to look at the toxic relationships in our lives or our own bad habits and how they hurt our creativity. I had thumbed through it briefly, and was feeling extra magnanimous and offered to let Mark borrow it for a while. He flipped it open and randomly landed on a page with the illustration of a dog (the characters are mostly all some canine breed) sitting by a computer. The copy reads “write long emails to your friends instead of writing your novel.” Mark just closed the book with a resounding “Fuck you.”
He still borrowed the book though.
But regardless of the source of my lack of productivity, and my aversion to New Year’s Resolutions – I have not been writing enough, and I need desperately to fix that!