Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

We had a good Christmas. The week before was a frenzy--shopping, wrapping, baking, laundry, packing--but everything got finished. Everything, that is, except the afghan I am knitting for my brother. It is red. Maybe it will be ready for Valentine's Day? (Sorry, Eric!)

Anyway, Casey and Nathan opened their gifts from Santa on Christmas Eve, then Nathan and I got up early on Christmas morning and drove to Mt. Carmel, Illinois to spend a couple of days with Mom and Dad and Eric and SeDonna. Casey came up separately and arrived much later. But by midnight, we were all together, eating cookies and candy and drinking coffee and eggnog and opening presents. We missed Greg, but enjoyed each other.

This is what Christmas looked like in Mt. Carmel.

A small--and not totally representative--sample of all the goodies we consumed.

Happy, the cat, pretending to be just another holiday decoration.


The snow arrived as Nathan and I headed towards home on Sunday afternoon. It was wet and fluffy and fun. We drove out of it about the time we left Kentucky. Traffic started getting heavy in Nashville, and we heard rumors that it was even worse up ahead. I was already tired, so we stopped and spent the night at the Super 8 in Franklin, Tennessee. That was a good call; I was asleep by 10 and didn't wake up until 8 the next morning. We arrived back mid-afternoon Monday. I wasn't worth much by the time we got here, but it felt good to be home.

I have spent the past couple of days alternately playing Bejeweled on my iPhone and Cafe World on Facebook and catching up on some television and watching movies - and sorting and organizing and cleaning and pondering New Year's Resolutions. I know some people don't believe in them, and I recognize things don't always turn out according to our plans, the year 2009 being a case in point for me - but even though I don't always live up to my own expectations, I do a lot better when I set goals for myself. It keeps me focused on what I really want to accomplish, and leaves me less time for regret and self-pity.

I don't think I made any resolutions last year. Everything was up in the air with my fiance and his children over the holidays, and by the time they arrived in January, I was so consumed with meeting their needs that I failed to take care of myself. During the first seven months of 2009, I gained ten pounds, stopped exercising, and ran up several thousand dollars of credit card debt (after nearly paying those cards off in 2008). Things have improved a lot since school started in August; the depression has lifted, the energy in my home is much better, and I am proud that I am really, truly WRITING. But I want more - and Bejeweled and Cafe World aren't going to get me there.

I thought about all this I was writing my morning pages today - the one good habit I have made and maintained faithfully for several years - and this is what I came up with.

Consume 1200 healthy calories.
Do 3o minutes of exercise.
Write 1200 words.
Do 30 minutes of reading.
Do something creative (even if it's just a row of knitting, or stringing three beads on a wire, or choosing photos for one scrapbook page).

List 10 books for sale on eBay.
List 2-3 articles of jewelry for sale on etsy.
Post 2-3 times to my blog.

Stop buying stuff. (I don't need anything. I have enough books, music, yarn, and beading and scrapbooking supplies to keep me busy for the next ten years; and after I lose a few pounds, I will be able to fit back into some of the cute clothes that are already hanging in my closet.)
Get $1000 in the bank.
Pay off credit cards as quickly as possible -hopefully by the end of the year.
Finish Novel #1 and have it ready to pitch in time for the M&M Conference in October.

Ambitious? Maybe. But I am betting that I will be able to do all this and STILL have time for Bejeweled and Cafe World. Just not as MUCH time.

And now I'm off to do a thing or two to get ready for tomorrow. Nathan and I are going get memberships at the local Fitness 19, I've got to figure out how to set up an etsy account, and I need to stock the refrigerator with fruits, veggies, beans and grains. Eric and Donna are coming over to help us bring in the New Year, and I'm actually going to vacuum and dust before they get here.

And I'm going to make myself a sticker chart, and give myself a shiny gold star or a neon happy face every time I meet one of my daily or weekly goals. It's the little things, you know?


The Writers Canvas said...

Sounds like a great list, Pam :)

And I like your idea of having the book finished to pitch it at M&M. M&M is always a great (yet small enough) conference to be able to meet and pitch to agents and editors.

Hope you and your family have a great new year!


Pam said...

Thanks, Elaine! I felt so supported at the conference in October--and I had barely written ANYTHING at that point! Hope you and your family have a great new year, too! And hope our paths cross SOON!

Carley said...

I just wish I had enough energy to tackle all the goals you have set forth for the year. I'm sure you'll accomplish everything as you've got what it takes. Take care of yourself & here's wishing you a fantastic year ahead with many of God's blessings coming your way. I love you!

Donna said...

Love it :-)