Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Three R's of 2011: Renew, Resolve, Relinquish

Ok, those may not be The three R's but they are my three R's for the New Year.

First of all, 2011 will be the fucking hugest year of my life in a long time (Yes I can, I can describe it that way if I want to), as I am finally mere months away from an effort that was a decade in the making coming to fruition: the debut of my first novel, The Pull of Gravity, due on bookstore shelves near you on or about May 10, 2011, but likely to make appearances sooner, if I am learning anything about this book business (which I may not be).

Second of all, after several years of what felt to me like nearly-insurmountable upheaval, my life seems to be returning to a calm and peaceful "normal." In most ways, this is a pure, good thing and I am grateful. But in some ways it worries me as I don't want life to become staid or lazy. I don't want to find myself blindsided by a life lived in a rut, that is something less than I thought it would be. Thus, I want to count my blessings, but not settle. I want to remember to make life happen, and be brave enough to do so.

Which brings me to my New Year's Resolutions. I tend not only to make new ones, generally a mix of the physical and the emotional, but also to renew old ones that have made my life richer, or me a better person, even if it's only been in the struggling to keep them.

As such, here are a few of my Renewals, Resolutions and Relinquishments for the New Year, gulp, 2011:


  • take the stairs, up or down, for anything five flights or less (I made this resolution probably six or seven years ago and haven't broken it since except if there were no stairs to be found or if my arms were laden with heavy things);

  • Swim regardless - if there is one thing I have learned it is this: no matter how hard it is to drag myself to and in the water at times, I am NEVER sorry I swam. Never.

  • Be a good friend and confidante; do not share other's secrets nor say behind someone's back what you wouldn't say to their face - I am usually successful at these, and the few times I have failed, I have usually "reported" myself to the person on bended knee.


  • Attempt (and make) a five mile open water swim;

  • Burpees, every day. I don't know what it is about me and Burpees (they are my nemesis and I will beat them!) but I have decided they are the ANTI- ass-in-a-chair and I will do (X - number t/b/d) every day. If you don't understand why I think this, click on the word Burpees up there and do ten good ones and you will start to see;

  • Be Brave. Whatever this entails. I presume I may have to do some travelling alone this year, get up in front of audiences, push myself beyond my comfort zone. I'll just have to feel the fear, and do it anyway.
And, last but not least,


and by relinquish, I mean this more in a "let go of the things you cannot control" sort of way, rather than any connotation of giving up. Maybe the better word is ACCEPTANCE but it messed with my whole R thing.
  • Age gracefully. No matter what I do, my face and body will age. Nope. Are aging. If you are not yet 46, you will be one day, and you, like me, will go, "holy fuck, how did I get here?" No matter how many crunches you do, your stomach will be softer; no matter how squats you do, your knees will sag at least slightly; no matter how many miles you swim, the skin around your shoulder muscles will be softer. There will be 40, and 50, and 60, and godwilling 70, and 80 and more. I will age. I am aging. I might as well try to accept it with grace. Or, if that is too hard for now, at least, focus on it less.

  • Strive to do better without disregarding past efforts. I think I'll let that one stand on its own.

  • Enjoy the Success and Let Go. And, as for my book, The Pull of Gravity, it will get out there. I may love the cover or hate it; it may get less marketing attention and dollars than I hoped for, or more. Some people will like it, some (yes, breathe) will not. And if I am lucky, a few will find it memorable.
          It will be whatever it will be, and it won't be what it won't be. But it's gone to print now, so I might as well enjoy the ride.

Happy new year.


p.s. Got resolutions? I'd love to hear, and cheer you on.


  1. I just blogged about this too. :) The most important things for me are to forget the past year (except maybe the book deal part) and try to be happy in life.

    And to find out who the person behind the mother, wife and writer is.

    Love the post Gae. Many happy returns to you in the upcoming year.

  2. I think instead of resolutions I end up with disolvelutions. Lack of resolve I suppose.

  3. This is strange, but true: I've never made a New Year's resolution. Notaone. I wonder why?

    I LOVE reading other people's, however! You're a good soul, Gae. Very good.

  4. Happy New Year, Gae. I like the relinquish part. It is the hardest thing to do in life, especially when you've lost something dear or a job has taken an unexpected turn for the worse. Letting go takes courage and can bring new horizons. I once took on a history job for a group of people who loved their town's history and wanted children to learn about it. There was no money, but I knew that I was the one to create it. It was like laying back on a cloud and hoping it would hold me up. It did. The money eventually came through -long after I started. The program is 14 years and still going strong.
    Yes, we age, but I'm at peace with that too.

  5. I blogged last night about my Best of 2010, and tomorrow morning have a post scheduled for my own resolutions if you'd like to see them.

    I like the idea of daily burpees. I'm just crazy enough to try something like that-and maybe get my kids into it as well. I did that 100 pushups thing in 2010. Maybe I'll manage something like that with burpees.

  6. Thank you all for reading and commenting. :)

    Ian, I had already read yours, but tried to visit a multitude of blogs this morning, so breezed through enjoying but not commenting.


  7. not much for me to say - your post was way too sincere for my typical tomfoolery. HAPPY OH ELEVEN!

  8. Man, I LOVE your resolutions. You spoke from my own heart. Is it stealing if I appropriate yours???
    xo B
    Happy New Year!!

  9. steal away, my lovely! happy new year to all! :)

  10. "The Pull of Gravity"? That title is itself about aging...and explains why (at the recently achieved age of 56) I am now a 38-Long...! Loved your blog, and salute you on your New Year's resolutions. As for mine, I have a new approach this year. Rather than suffer the inevitable disappointment of failed resolutions, I resolve only to do things I know I can achieve. So, this year, I resolve to be at least ten minutes late for work every day. I resolve to gain at least ten pounds this winter. I resolve to get myself to the weight room at least once during 2011 -- and I resolve to swim every chance I get. And every single day, I resolve to be grateful -- for all of it...Happy New Year, Gae! See you on that 5-mile swim!

  11. Carol, was just going through old blog posts as this year concludes and came across this (which I will revisit at year's end) and your comment which I'm guessing I never saw, because I would have responded!! So, we didn't get our five-mile swim in -- it's still on my list and I think I'm signed up for one with Annmarie? but I still want to, so let's keep it on our list. On the other hand, you made 100 swims this season, EASY!, and we just swam again on November 13. So at least we keep pushing ourselves to new places and I think that's the important thing. Here's to a swift winter in the chlorine and an early start in the salt in late April!?!? (Okay, fine, early May!). You and the Pod are my heart.


  12. Hello Gae, the reason i write this is because i am fascinated by your "swimmingpool pictures". I like them very much because they are really good. I think it shows a woman with selfconfidence. Besides I think swimming fully clothed is liberating. I like it very much myselve. I live in the Netherlands so i haven't read your book but i am trying to find it! Best regards Bye
    Marc e-mail;

  13. Thanks for finding me here. I don't often swim in my clothes... this followed my author photo shoot and I really thought it would be fun -- since I like the water so much (and swim daily) to take it in the water, but my publisher and agent wanted a more professional photo in my clothes. So I compromised and plunged in after the shoot. :)

  14. Hi Gae,
    Thanks for your reaction. Very funny story. But I really think the pictures are cool.I also swim almost each day. But also not often in my clothes. I find out it gives a liberating feeling to swim fully clothed when I forgot my swimming trousers once. The woman who had to observe the bathing guest for their safety said it wouldn't be a problem when i jumped in with my clothes on. I did and I must say it was very funny. Since that day sometimes when there is an opportunity I 'll take the plunge!.Do you know if your book is available here in Europe? I read a lot and i am always curious for new writers i don't know. Greetings Marc e-mail:

  15. I know my nephew who lives in Helsinki bought it... ordered it through amazon, maybe? I'll ask him.

    I'm with a new agent and they should be shopping my foreign rights again, so cross fingers.

  16. That would be nice! Thank you very much, Marc

  17. Hello Gae,
    I was suprised today. It seems that I can order the book "the pull of grafity" here in the Netherlands in a large oline book shop. I immediateley ordered it. It should be in my postmailbox. in about 5 or 6 days. I m looking forwarth for it and i'll let you know if i like it. I read a lot for my work, also teenagerbooks. I work with young people ( 12-17 years old) every day. Best regards, Marc

  18. Oh, Marc, that's awesome! Hope you like it and they do. In what capacity do you work with teens?

    Warning: there's no water or swimming in The Pull of Gravity (shocking, I know) although there is in nearly all my other manuscripts. ;)


  19. Hi Gae,

    I work with teens because i am a teacher and i''ll give lessons in drawning and painting and other kinds of arts. 20 hours a week. The other hours i am a cabby-driver. But i''ts not bad that there is no water or swimming in the books. I wanted this book especially for school. Did you already publish the other manuscripts. I really am interested, not only because of the swimming and waterscenes!
    But as a matter a fact it is always nice to read about swim and wateradventures. Today i am a day off and i just returened from a swim of half an hour and guess... I swam with my clothes on! In some way I felt like swimming fully clothed today and I must say: it was fun!. I write you when I got the book and read it!
    Bye, Marc

    1. ah, sounds like fun! (The swim and working with kids). Hope you all like the book. :)


  20. Thanks, Ill let you know for sure! Marc

  21. Hi Gae,

    The dellivery of the book was delayed. Next week I'll get it here at my adress. As soon as I read it i'll let you know what i think about it. How is the weather in New York? Keep on writing and swimming!! The weather here is great so a swam a lot last few days! kind regards Marc

  22. It's been hot and sunny and our regular open water season is in full force. Can never believe how amazing it is to swim off under a summer sky. Glad to hear you've been swimming too!

  23. Dear Gae,
    Today the book finally arrived! So tommorow i am gonna start to read it. I am curious! Its a little bit difficult for me because english is not my own language but I read a few pages and i think it will be no problem! I let you know what i think about it! Open water season here is also in full force. Today really nice weather and that's good because tonight i am invited to a poolparty with friends! I don,t think the evening will end without a swim. I think it will be fun! Marc