Resolutions, Reflection, Reorientation


Happy New Year!

I was kind of pathetic last night. After work, I went to the gym for a swim. It was only 500 meters, but it’s more than I’ve done in a while. It actually felt pretty awesome. From there I went and joined the family at my mom’s for our weekly dinner, followed by a stop at the grocery store on the way home.

Alissa started a fire in the fireplace. Then we let the kids stay up for the Times Square ball drop, put them to bed and settled in for a couple of hours of replays of the awkward banter between Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin.

It was at this point that I attempted to do a thoughtful year-end post…until my laptop crashed. (Don’t get me started on Windows 8.) I opted for the shortened post on the iPad virtual keyboard and then grabbed a blanket and continued watching the festivities while Alissa kept up on the fiscal cliff developments. (Again, don’t get me started.)

It was at this point that the combination of an evening swim, dinner, a fire, a soft couch and a warm blanket kicked in and… well, let’s just say that this year Alissa and I reversed rolls and she woke me up when the KING 5 coverage of New Years at the Needle started at 11:35.

Spuds McKenzie better watch out because The King of the Party Animals is in the house!

That’s right. I just made a Spuds McKenzie reference. In 2013.

Well, before we look forward, it’s necessary to look back at the year that was.

I made several resolutions in 2012.

First, I said I’d post weekly. I didn’t do that, but I did do 63 posts. On average that’s more than one a week. So I’ll call that a pass for volume and a fail for consistency.

Second, I said I’d write a novel. I did hone my craft at writing fiction, just not for public consumption. I did start National Novel Writing Month, but I got derailed by a cold and Election Coverage. In thinking about how I wanted to get back on track, I realized that I had nothing to go on for the second act of my story, and my whole concept was more suited to an episodic dramedy than a novella.

Back to the drawing board.

Third, I said I’d work to connect with other writers and put my work before professional eyes. This came through Write on the Sound. In particular, I participated in a critique workshop in which a sample of my writing was critiqued by peers and a creative writing professor. The feedback was generally positive with some good critiques. Considering that every other participant seemed to have completed one or more novels, I’ll take that as a win.

Write on the Sound also helped me complete my resolution to enter at least one contest. I submitted a poem and a short story. Neither won, but that’s okay.

My last resolution was to submit something for publication. I did submit some poetry. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m still within the time window for the poems to be accepted, so it’s still a possibility.

Of course, a year cannot be defined by a single measure, especially when it is something like one’s effort at writing. 2012 marked the end of my short but happy career as a tax professional. There were milestones with the kids all over the place; spelling bees and training wheel removal, ballet recitals and Christmas pageants, and a thousand other moments, big and small.  We tried camping twice, successfully.  And of course that’s to say nothing of world events.

What has really stood out for me this year started in August.  I’m not sure what even triggered it, but I decided to start swimming for exercise, just to do something.  Well, I got started, but I found out that the pool that I was using was not as convenient as I thought it was. When it was closed for a week, I decided to check out a gym.  Before I knew it, I’d joined and signed up for weekly personal training.

I decided to make a concerted effort to work out and eat better, and of course I started off with great enthusiasm.  I was at the gym three to four days a week and I ate like a saint.  Of course, it was a pace that was not to last.  With cold season, and frigid pre-dawn darkness, the motivation waned.  Busy schedules move the food choices from nutritious to convenient,

At the same time, the effort to get up early and make it to the gym cut into my writing time in favor of sleep.

This is not however a tale of woe.  It’s a reflection on a lesson in long-term perseverance. You see, I’m still going to the gym.  I”m still trying to eat right.  I’m still trying to write.

You see, we all have plans.  We all set a course for the future we want for ourselves.  The problem is that life has a way of knocking us off course.  It happens all the time.  The key is to reorient on that goal and keep moving toward it.  It’s easy to encounter a setback and treat it as failure.  The key is to not do that.  The key is to reorient and keep going.

What does that mean for 2013?  Well, more of the same.  I’m going to plan on posting at least once a week on a fixed day to be determined.  I’m setting up a writing group with some friends to get a bit more accountability and feedback on my fiction.  That’s the main stuff.  The more ambitious writing goals will have to wait, but I’m okay with that.

There’s plenty to look forward to in 2013.  Right now, it’s reading The Hobbit to Harry.

Happy New Year everyone!


About Andrew

I'm a Christian, American, liberal, geeky, thoughtful, Northwest-transplanted Angeleno husband, father, and pundit who writes about anything he can think of.
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