Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bracing for the New Year

2014 was not my greatest year ever. I only released two new books as my alter ego and none as myself, the least I’ve done since I first got published. My mom had a major health scare and nearly died. School for my son got off to a rocky start. 

I pretty much feel like I’ve been treading water all year. I’ve managed to keep my head up, but I’m haven’t really gotten anywhere. So like so many others, I’m making some resolutions to get things rolling again. 

This is something of a big deal for me. I’ve always resolutely resisted resolutions. (Try saying that out loud five times fast. Great. With all those sibilants, you now have plenty of water to mop your holiday-mucky floor. You’re welcome.) 

Yes, resolving to not hold myself to any standards at the beginning of the year has always been my game. Why set myself up for failure? In the middle of February when everyone else has stopped going to the gym, when they have begun to carb themselves silly once more, when only one hour of Facebook is back up to eight, I’ve been smug in my refusal to attempt accomplishment at all. While all the rest look guilty, I have already gained acceptance of my lack of progress. There is peace in consistent mediocrity. 

However, I do feel a drive to do better this coming year. I will probably regret this small burst of ambition. Indeed, I have tried to ignore its call. Yet it is as insistent as my son wanting a cookie. It will not stop badgering me. So for 2015, here are my New Year’s resolutions: 

1. I resolve to see my floors at least four times this year. 

My house is in a state of perpetual wreck-titude. It wasn’t always this way. I used to keep a nice, clean home. Then a cute but sloppy man-child entered my life. We got married and had a son, who is also very messy. At some point, I threw in the towel, and my home went into permanent ‘looks like a tornado hit’ mode. 

Not that removing the obstacle course of toys, musical instruments, wires, and old popcorn will make matters much better. The layer of dropped amusements, food, and Angry Birds underwear hides battered and stained linoleum that was new in 1972. I think that floor is a major part of why the vacuum cleaner and mop are gathering dust. It’s nice to forget that only a contractor can make my house look like decent people who give a darn live in it. 

2. I resolve to get out among other humans more often. 

I work at home. My son despises school activities, so we never attend anything beyond his regular school day. Almost all of my friends live out of town ... most live out of state. I am not one to go out on my own, so my social life pretty much consists of Hubs and Kiddo. I sit in my house working, raising the boy, and generally being a hermit. 

Most of the time, I’m perfectly content with the way things are. After all, writing is real work that is mentally exhausting. Plus Kiddo takes a lot of time and energy. I’m usually a limp noodle by the end of the day. Yet there is the gnawing feeling that something is missing. Like fun. Yeah, I remember something about getting out and laughing and expanding my horizons in some fashion. It’s there like some vague hazy dream someone else once had. 

So this year, I’m going to poke my head outside my door from time to time. I’m going to see what all those other people I supposedly share the planet with are up to. Maybe I’ll take a class. Maybe I’ll just go for walks in populated areas. Maybe someone will talk to me. Maybe I’ll talk back and have an actual conversation that doesn’t consist of, “Hey! Stop throwing popcorn on our ugly floor. Pick up your underwear! Tell your son to stop goofing off and do his homework!” 

3. I resolve to drink lots of coffee. 

Okay, so I already do that on a championship level. But there has to be one thing there that I know I can succeed at when I join the rest of you in the mid-February Guilt Hunch. 

Happy New Year, all. I hope you have a wonderful 2015.

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