I wasn’t going to do resolutions this year. It’s always seemed silly to me that the only day of the year you can reinvent yourself is January 1.  And anyway, my resolutions always seem to be the nebulous type. Things that are easier to say  than to put into practice.  Be patient.  Be kind.

Sometimes, though, the universe has a way of nudging you to where you need to be.

The first thing that happened was my friend Christine posted this gorgeous picture of her hand-lettered resolution for the year.  I wanted one.

Then another friend started a blog to chronicle her journey to health and wellness over the next year.  And I thought (and still think) that takes guts, to put yourself and your goals out there for anyone to see.

These are both ladies I truly admire, people who’ve worked hard to get to where they are, who have gone on pretty incredible transformations of the self.  But I still hesitated about making any kind of resolution.  Because, you know, I’m not that kind of girl.

So the universe gave me a swift kick in the seat of my pants, in the form of my husband saying one night, as we were washing up after dinner, you really should try to make time to write.  Because when you write, you’re more patient and nicer and less crazy.

He’s right.  It made me realize that maybe the trick to being a better person is to just be the kind of person I’m happy to be.  And while that seems like an incredibly obvious sort of truth (Tao of Pooh 101), I’ve spent the last five years working in an industry where we hide away our best selves to better fit the corporate mold.

I’m tired of being the person I’m supposed to be.  It doesn’t make me very happy, and it doesn’t make my husband very happy either.  It’s time I tried being the person I want to be.

Resolution the First

Apply Ass to Chair

I’m a writer.  If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know this, as you know that I struggle with finding time to write.  I’d managed to get myself into a good place for a while back in 2012, finishing Persephone, drafting the zero draft of Railroad, and getting some Agent interest.  After I got pregnant, though, I was tired all the time, bone tired, I-go-to-bed-at-eight-and-can’t-drag-myself-out-of-bed-until-nine tired.  And with the baby… well.  There’s always something to do, laundry to fold, dishes to wash, a toddly to keep out of trouble.

But if I don’t write, I am not happy.  If I don’t write, I am not the person I want to be.  Enough said.

(The phrase “apply ass to chair” comes from advice given at the 2012 Clarion workshop.)

Resolution the Second

Get Moving

Writers are generally not known for their physical fitness.  We’re much more likely to be in a chair all day, hunched over our laptop or our notebook, frantically scribbling.

I’ve been lucky.  My body has, for the most part, been good to me.  It held a child and then returned (mostly) to the same shape it used to be with minimal complaints.  But it bothers me that I’m not as fit or as active as I used to be, and I don’t want to turn into one of those people who are old and creaky at 40.

And the person I want to be?  The one who makes me happy?  She likes to ride her bike and go hiking, and wants to share those things with her daughter.

Wanting and doing, though, can be very separate things.  Going to the gym isn’t an option for me, not if I wasn’t to have time to write and see my kid.  So I’m viewing this as a way to help me make choices.  Do I take the stairs or the elevator?  Do I make myself go to weekend yoga instead of sleeping in?  Do I actually use the pull-up bar at home?  When someone invites me to a work-out class, do I make excuses or do I say yes?

Conflicting Resolutions

I’m not thinking about these resolutions as keep or fail.  If I don’t write one day, if I laze out and don’t take the stairs, it’s ok.  Because every day, I get the chance to decide who I want to be.  Every morning, I can wake up and try again.