Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Not Quite Annual: Revisit, Renew and Resolve 2015 into 2016 Version

It's been a mostly good year.
This guy is my constant. 

Though I'm a creature of habit, I'm also a fan of "blank slates."

I'm particularly a fan of resolutions made upon a blank slate: A New Year filled with hope and possibility. I try to shed judgment. I try not to be a cynic and believe. . .

I like to believe I keep most my resolutions. Going back to past posts can be a fun *coughs* way to check in and see. So, that's what I've done here, and except for the wholly misguided "do Burpees daily," most years I like to think I've done a good job.

So, let's find out. I think I'll revisit a few posts past and rate myself on a scale of 1- 10:


In 2010 into 2011 I renewed three long-standing resolutions I have made well in the past:

(i) take the stairs whenever possible (unless it's more than five flights or I am carrying heavy things):
10! No seriously, you guys!! I get a 10 on this one.

late November in the open water. And I was in yesterday,
December 5th. Not bad. 
(ii) swim whenever possible:

hmmm. Define "possible."

Okay, fine, I'm giving myself a 9 on this one. A 9. That's not too bad.

(iii) be a good confidante/friend. Don't gossip or tell secrets others share.

Crap. In all honesty, I have to go down a point. I can make excuses . . . whatever. . . but this is the reason I renew this every year. I give myself a solid 8. I've done better. Going back to being a 10 on this next year.

In 2012 into 2013, I renewed a few things too. Let's (not) see how I did.

(i) Less facebook. Shut up. *weeps* Does not rate self. Moves forward (see new fucking resolution below).

Yes, see. that is me yoga'ing in my "piano room."
No, there is no photo of me facebooking. 
(ii) More yoga, less almost going to yoga:

Well, I've been doing yoga from home (I've had two consecutive studios close since that post and decided for now to just take charge on my own. Have a few yoga videos I love on Gaia TV. I'm giving myself a solid 8 on this one too.

(iii) Less talk, more action, and

(iv) More reading, less TV.

If I'm being kind to myself, I'll give myself a 7 - 9 on these. I plan to renew and do better on both in the new year.

* a quick word on this: it's hard to take action, it really is. Some people are better at it than you are (I am). Reach out to those who are and "use" them. Let them guide you. There are organizations that will tell you exactly how. If you are as disturbed about the gun violence in our world as I am, three organizations that will walk (and text!) you through it are Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America (you do NOT have to be a Mom to join and they have Dad chapters too!), Everytown for Gun Safety, and Women Against Gun Violence. They are all doing the good, hard work for all of us! But they need your support, monetarily and otherwise. Make phone calls, show up at walks, share information. *

2014 into 2015, skirting about more of the same:

(i) Burpees: SHUT UP! But more yoga: not bad;

(ii) Write more in different genres (a/k/a stretch my writing chops?):

Well, first of all, THE MEMORY OF THINGS which (finally) sold midyear and is due out Fall 2016 from the awesome St. Martin's Press (I am crazy excited about this!!!) is told from two perspectives, and one of those is in free verse. Why yes, I have no business writing half a book in free verse, but I have anyway, and after 4,000 revisions, and with the help of my incredible editor, I think it's really good. Like, really, really good.

I've also been trying to write some (so far crappy) short stories (hey, they are hard!!) and even sketched out half a crappy (shut up) picture book the other day about an infamous dive. Not a seedy bar, yo. Off a diving board into the water.

And, yeah, I even revisited my tween/teen/20-something roots and wrote an angsty poem which I bravely (stupidly?) shared here. And the new manuscript I'm working on is definitely pushing me outside my comfort zone in various ways, so, yeah, I'm giving myself a solid 73/4.

(iii) Try something brave and brand new: Well, crap. I meant to. I wanted to. I have three more weeks. *adds it to this year's list*

Okay, so, here we go:


1. Yep, swimming and yoga. Here's the thing: I never ever regret doing either after I have finished. There is your test right there.

2. As always, be a better friend and a confidante.

3. Take the stairs.


4. Don't be lazy about the little things. a/k/a bend down and pick it up. (This is actually a renew that, for whatever reason I never mentioned before... I'll tell you story behind it in a little "*" below . . .

5. Do something Brave and New. Stay tuned, motherfuckers. *smiles sweetly* (I have no clue what it is. . . )

6. Here we go (and this New York Times article is really my impetus to do better): Less facebooking/social media and, yes, this includes taking out my phone. I'll still be there on all those places (!) just with more purpose and control. There are tools to help, if you don't know them, like Freedom or Anti-social. I'm committed to keep trying and to keep renewing along the path as I fall off the wagon.

So that's what I've got solidified for now. I need to think on some of the emotional stuff -- the relinquishing and letting go.

There's big work to be done there: 2016 is an exciting and tumultuous year for me. A new book coming out. . . and, an empty nest. Can't even think about that second one... I've got some time to shore myself up on these things, and, when all else fails, I can swim.

Got any resolutions to renew or share? Love to hear them.

Hope your 2015 has been productive and good. Here's to a new year coming soon!

- gae

**Oh, crap. Edited because I forgot to tell you the don't be lazy story. Basically, there's a woman about my age at my gym where i swim in the winter months. She has MS and is relegated to a walker and very slow movement. In the time it takes me to get out of my street clothes, into my bathing suit, showered and into the pool, she has made it across the locker room and gotten herself situated to get undressed for the same routine. It takes her three times the effort it takes me to get ready; three times the effort to swim. Her name is Debra. She's an inspiration to me... always remind myself that it's so easy for me to do the little things: to pick up a piece of paper from the floor, to go back and turn off a dripping faucet more tightly. One day it might not be. At any rate, she -- that woman -- inspires me. <3 p="">