Friday, December 31, 2010

Simplify and Purify

Here we are. The last day of 2010. Let me be the first to say, "WOO-HOO!"

For me, 2010 will go down in history as the year of disappointment and loss. I got slammed personally and professionally. The personal blow, losing my brother, was the worst. I wonder if my heart will every fully heal. But the professional knocks also hurt, battering my pride and confidence. All I can say is, I'm still standing. Not only standing, but fighting.

I spent the last few months living life to the fullest because I truly know now that life is too short. I've also written four full proposals for four new stories. Some of them have already been rejected, some are still under consideration, one I still have to polish before sending out. The good news is that, even though these particular 'stories' may not have been right for the publishers, I've heard nothing but great things about my writing, my style and voice. Honestly, it doesn't get much better than that. It just means I have to hit the right editor with the right story. I've got oodles of stories inside of me. It's only a matter of time before I'll be celebrating a new contract.  At least that's what I keep telling myself. Oh, the power of positive thinking!

Back to the New Year. I've decided not to make any resolutions, but I do have goals. SIMPLIFY and PURIFY.

By simplifying, I mean I'm going to de-clutter my house. I'm more calm when my house is in order, when rooms are sparse and neat. My husband and I are pack rats. Have you ever seen sparse and neat pack rats? Me, neither. But I am determined to box up and donate the mountains of clothes we never wear, the books we never read, the cds and tapes we never listen to. I'm going to recycle the multitudes of age-old magazines and shred oodles of outdated paperwork.

I CAN DO THIS. 

Simplifying also means, honing down my responsibilities. Prioritizing. How is my time best used when it comes to promoting my work? It's a major time sucker. Time away from writing. Time away from my family. If I've learned nothing this year, it's that you can't get back the time you didn't share with friends and family.

I WILL AMEND THAT.

Which brings me to: PURIFYING. I hate to exercise. In the summer, I enjoyed a few power walks but then lost my mojo. When I made my living as a performer, I burned a lot of calories because I was always moving--dancing, acting, roller skating, twirling rifles... The list goes on. Now I'm a writer and a library assistant. I suppose I could dance down the aisle while shelving books, but I don't. The only thing that gets a major work out these days are my fingers and brain. They're in fine shape whereas my butt, hips and thighs . . . and let's not talk about my upper arms. I'd feel better and my clothes would look better if I lost 15-20 pounds, but I refuse to go on a diet. I never stick with them. They make me grumpy, as does the thought of going to a gym. Still, I need to focus more on my health and beauty . . . on me. Again, life is short and only shorter if you don't take proper care of yourself. Another lesson learned this past year.

I WANT TO ALTER MY LIFESTYLE.                      

One of the perks of working in the library is that I get to skim all the new books that come in. We get an awful lot of non-fiction books on health and beauty. Books focusing on all sorts of special diets and workouts. It's amazing really. I've skimmed many of them and always end up rolling my eyes. Like I'd stick to one of those diets or regimens. Who has the time? The willpower? Yesterday, I tripped upon a new 'health' book that actually caught my attention and kept it. Here's the chapter title that hooked me: CONQUERING YOUR EXERCISE AVERSION. Followed by this chapter: TRANSFORMING YOUR BODY IMAGE. And lastly this one: BEING HAPPY.

The Life You Want: Get Motivated, Lose Weight, and Be HappyIt helps that the authors writing style really calls to me. And it helps that he delves deeper, helping you to figure out what makes you tick, why you overeat or why you don't exercise. Why you don't devote more time to yourself. Even though I'm not obese, I am carrying some extra weight and I am out of shape. I also have an aversion to doctors. I don't take care of myself like I should. Why is that? I'm on a quest to find out via THE LIFE YOU WANT --Get Motivated, Lose Weight, Be Happy, by: Bob Greene

On a creative note, my urge to simplify and purify, to alter my lifestyle for the better, also prompted an idea for a non-fiction book. I've never attempted a non-fiction book, but inexperience has never stopped me before. I'm also working on a YA novel--another new-to-me genre.

Look out 2011. I'm coming in swinging!  

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UPDATE!
I just launched a new Lifestyle blog -- THE YEAR OF ME
Please hop over and help me ring in the New Year!

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