Hello, 2015

I have, in years past, jumped at the chance for a fresh start, a clean slate. I relished the opportunity to become a new and improved me. New Year’s resolutions seemed like “Get Out of Jail Free” cards, forgiving my failures and allowing me to shed my guilt.

But as I get older, I’m starting to feel less guilt. And I’m trying to appreciate my failures.

2014 was incredible. It was the year that I matched with a great agent and married the most wonderful man. It was a year of partnership and milestones.

Of course there were frustrations and difficulties too, but even so, I don’t want to wash 2014 away. I want to build on 2014.

A year is a useful unit of measurement, but it’s not something that can truly be taken in isolation. Each year is a brick, a step. Put together, one after another, they form the path of our lives.

I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, but I feel good about the direction I’m heading. I hope to continue on this challenging, rewarding route through 2015, and beyond.

But just because I’m no longer seeking any “Get Out of Jail Free” cards doesn’t mean that I’m not striving for self-improvement. I want to write more. I want to write better. I want to read more. I want to listen better. I want to have more patience with people. I want to be more informed. I want to take better care of my body. I want to volunteer again.

These things aren’t quick or easy to accomplish, so my 2015 resolution is simply this: To put in the work.

That’s the first, hardest, and most important step. Everything else will follow.

If anyone is looking for a fun and easy way to reflect on their past year, I suggest chibird’s adorable checklist.

“15 Things to Stop Doing in 2015” is an excellent guide toward a happier, healthier mindset.

And just for kicks, here’s my class picture from 20 years ago. Can you spot me?

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.53.48 PM

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20 Comments

  1. I think that’s you right up front right? Happy 2015 :)

  2. Alex

    You are just the cutest!

  3. Oh, I love this post so much — and you’re right, our resolutions are certainly reminiscent of each other. Here’s hoping 2015 is a year where all the hard work brings about beautiful pathways on the journey. :)

    Also – that is such a cute picture! You look so happy!

  4. I’m not making any resolutions this year. 2015 will be different from the last two years pretty much no matter what I do — because of things which are not under my control. Which is fine.

    The story I’m writing now is going well. At some point I’ll resume the story that I put on pause last summer. And I’m starting to see how I can get back to my third novel and make it work, at some point.

    Not bad.

    • Anthony-
      Hm, that sounds ominous… I hope all is well with you!

      Yay, at least, for seeing a way back into your third novel. Those kinds of breakthroughs (whether slow or sudden) always make me feel good.

  5. yogadog

    Lovely post. Lovely advice. Thank you, gorgeous child.

  6. put in the work – YES! also, you were and continue to be adorable.

    • tria-
      Haha thanks, Tria! (PS: Your blog is an inspiration to me when it comes to putting in the work. You seem so good about that.)

  7. I didn’t mean to sound ominous. Generally things are fine. Just, you know, different.

    Here’s some background: http://u-town.com/collins/?p=4947

    • Anthony-
      I know this is coming late, but I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine losing a mother — I don’t want to imagine it. I’m only glad that your mother seems to have had so many great years, as well as an enviable end. <3

  8. yogadog

    Anthony,

    My condolences for your loss. My mother died last April and although we were prepared for it, we were nowhere near ready. I am surprised by how long it is taking me to reorient to a world without my mother in it. Some people talk about the death of a loved one as leaving a hole. For me, it was more that everything was thinner. Time was stretched out. Colours were less vibrant. The physical world was a little less solid. Ideas were watery. Decisions felt vague. Very slowly, life is filling out again.

    Give yourself time and be gentle with yourself and those around you.

  9. yogadog,

    Thank you for your condolences, and I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I know what you mean, but in my case it was leaving a hole, since for the last couple of years (during her last hospitalization and her fifteen months in a nursing home) I hardly had a day without appointments, emails, phone calls, and faxes, involving lawyers, realtors, banks, insurance, etc. There are still some estate things to do, but now sometimes I have a whole week or two without a long To Do list (other than, you know, going to work every day :-) ). I’m adjusting (and I’m definitely not complaining), but I do often have the feeling that I’m slacking, or that I’ve forgotten something I should be doing.

    Kristan,

    Thank you for your condolences. I did have to decide whether to talk about it on my blog. On one hand, my mother was horrified (well, mildly horrified) by people sharing so much personal information on the web. She really appreciated the internet, especially in recent years as her ability to go out became more and more limited. But, as a researcher and former librarian, she thought the web was a resource for information, not for pictures of what people were eating for dinner every night. She liked my blog (she was my most faithful reader) because I write about writing and books and movies and so on. But on the other hand she thought it was peculiar how reluctant many people are to talk about death — as if not talking about it will somehow keep it away. It’s there, it’s going to happen, why be afraid of talking about it?

    • Well, the information-sharing thing is definitely generational. (Ditto food photos, hahaha.) I completely agree with her, re: talking about death, though. I mean, I know lack of existence isn’t exactly a fun topic, but it’s an important and inevitable one, and I think the reluctance to talk about it perpetuates negativity and fear.

  10. It’s interesting that so many people are moving away from stereotypical New Year’s resolutions this year. I’m among them. I want to be stronger this year — whatever that may mean. (Of course, I have ideas of what it means, but my thoughts are just a starting block.)

    Happy New Year!
    Love the pic. :)

    • “Stronger” is a great resolution! In many ways, I think that encompasses my resolution too. ;D

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