Reflections and resolutions

I've just gotten back from a lovely visit with my family in New Hampshire for Christmas. Nearly everyone was there, travel snags were overcome, and it was peaceful and relaxing.

It's strange to think that this is not only the end of a year, but also the end of a decade. The 1999 to 2000 transition was so hyped (Y2K, anyone?), yet the 2009 to 2010 seems to have barely registered. But as the transition happens, I've been thinking of past and future.

2009 was a good year for me. My biggest achievement was successfully defending my dissertation and earning my doctorate. But I also sold my first story, and it was to a professional market. I finished a novel, and sent out the first round of query letters to agents. I painted and polished three rooms of my house, and learned to knit. Friends came here to visit, including Megan, who braved the coldest stretch of January Minneapolis has had in 16 years, and I was able to travel and visit old friends and meet new ones. I have worked hard, and been happy.

I am excited for 2010. I have goals for the upcoming year. (I prefer "goals" to "resolutions" unless I'm attempting alliteration. It seems a friendlier word.) I want to be a better friend - to be more active in letting people know that I am thinking about them, caring about them, and interested in what is going on in their lives. I have a tendency to get distracted, and to forget that I need to pick up the phone, write a letter, send an email. I need to fix this.

I will take better care of myself. This encompasses everything from exercising more (shoulder injury has put fencing on hold, but that needs to stop being an excuse for sloth), to cooking for myself more and relying on takeaway less, to giving myself permission to take a guilt-free day off if I am sick or having the sort of day that can only be fixed with chocolate, Love Actually, and a Nora Roberts novel.

I will read more, and read more widely.

I will pay more attention to what helps me to write and what distracts me from doing so, in order to maximize the former and minimize the latter. I will have two novels in polished draft form by the end of the year.

Whenever I can, I will help and support other writers and artists, and I will show gratitude to those who have made a difference to me.

I will take chances, dare to fail bigger, and do something amazing.