Tag Archives: resolutions

To Resolve or Not to Resolve by LV Gaudet

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Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

Here we are, on the cusp of a new year again.  The time of year where people turn to making their selves promises to better their selves out of guilt over the gluttony of Christmas, because it is their custom to make resolutions for the new year, or simply for a lark.

They count down to midnight, holding glasses to the sky and looking around for someone to play the age old cat and mouse game of “who do I want to lock lips with and who do I desperately want to avoid at the stroke of midnight, and oh no, is that person giving me a hungry I want to devour you look; eww, yuk, don’t touch me.”  Fortunately, those firmly entrenched in romantic-type relationships have a certain sense of immunity.

The new year is often thought as chance at a new start.  Out with the old and in with the new year.  And for some, their yearly resolution is to adamantly proclaim to not have any new year resolutions.

For a month after New Years’, places offering life affirming, soul searching, and body improvements are to be avoided at all costs lest you lose your sanity trying to negotiate the parking lot in endless circles in hopes a spot will open.

By the end of February, many resolutions are forgotten like that dirty underwear discarded and fallen behind the laundry hamper, nagging at the back of the minds of those who remember they landed there but don’t want to dig them out.  you can once again approach the gym without the expectation of spending half an hour or more circling in search of the nefariously impossible to find parking.

 

I am not much of a resolution maker.  I never have been.  I have never really seen the point myself.

Rather than making myself a yearly promise to better myself, telling everyone that I must dedicate myself to something I am loathe to do or give up, I opt for more of a daily simplicity.

It is easier to embrace healthy choices when you don’t make it a chore.  Vegetables are not the enemy, boring food is.  Exercise is an exploration.  Don’t think about how you have to plan it, how much work it will be, just make it simple.  Simple choices.  Chose the positives, not the negatives.

I try to make that a simple part of everyday life.  I enjoy food.  I embrace it.  A good meal does not have to be hard.  Simplify.  Healthy and delicious, rather than lazily bland and over fat inducing.  I enjoy feeling good, not sluggish.  Living, moving, not laying about while time ticks by without me.

 

If I am making any kind of resolution this year, I made it in November, during NaNoWriMo.  It is not a pledge to better myself.

My promise was more of a what do I want to accomplish over the next year.  Over the next years.  Nothing worthwhile comes without some form of compromise.  Nothing in life is ever that simple.

I made a choice to focus my effort on finishing works in progress.  Choosing a story at whatever state of progress it is in, from the first drafts sitting idle to the partially done.  It means sacrificing the nonstop ideas that come up, urgently wanting to be written.  I have too many unfinished stories, put aside when the next story begs to be written.

And, let’s face it, writing is much more fun than editing.  Creating something new, the story flowing through you with no idea where it will take you; vs. re-reading the same story a hundred times over while you work to develop it into the best thing you can make it be.

So, while the new stories clamber to be written, I will try to focus instead on the new discoveries waiting to happen with old friends as I re-explore the stories to be edited, revised, torn asunder and reconstructed, and to be finished.

 

And, just for fun, for the New Year’s Eve glorified resolutions and customs fanatics, for your enjoyment …

 

From smashing your dirty dishes on your neighbor’s door to burning effigies, to fist fights, to who steps first over a threshold, here is a list of 25 strange new year’s customs.  As with anything internet based, take it for what it is, unverified and maybe true maybe not.

 

https://list25.com/25-strangest-new-years-traditions-from-around-the-world/

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Out With the Old by L.V. Gaudet

where the bodies are

It’s the old New Year’s adage, “Out with the old, in with the new.”  It’s the old over-done cliché that seems ageless and inescapable; along with the requirement to have a new year’s resolution.

I resolve to not resolve.  There, is my resolution for the new year.  It’s the same one from last year, and, I found, quite successful.

There will be changes.  The first month after the new year will mean leaving early where possible and dropping the kids to run in to their activities at the YMCA alone, while I spend a good half hour waiting for a parking spot to open and racing the other pacing vehicles for it.  After that, the new year’s resolutioners will have mostly abandoned their new exercise resolve.

We, as in me, also decided to go on a non-junk binge.  An anti-binge, if you will.  This isn’t a New Year thing, but more of a reluctantly waiting a few months after the great Halloween Binge of 2016 until everyone has finished scarfing down their Christmas goodies.  A healthy eating reset is long overdue.

The closest to an actual resolution was perhaps the choice of early December.  After utterly failing at all my writing goals, including miserably failing at NaNoWriMo, I made a decision.

Happy birthday to me, I made the decision on my birthday and it weighed heavily on me.

 

Between the need to earn a living, kids’ activities, keeping house and home in one piece, dog time, and family time, writing is unfortunately pushed to the edges of what everyone else needs from me.

And, once you are published (and even before that), you need to promote.  No one will ever read your work if they don’t know it exists.  You must promote yourself and your writing.  Writing is also a community.  So there is time spent promoting and helping your fellow author friends too.  That leaves gaps of minutes to stop and breathe, or write or edit.

It is a decision I struggled with over the past few years, tried to ignore in the hope it would go away, and found myself repeatedly visiting unhappily.

I’ve hit a roadblock where, once again, I feel I have no choice but to let writing hit the sideline for the next few years or so.  Writing, you have been indefinitely benched.

 

How do you let go?  That’s the next big question I faced.

When I can’t write, I feel more stressed.

Am I the only writer who drifts into something resembling depression when denied the ability to write?  Am I the only writer who is miserable when I feel like by taking time to write, I am taking time from commitments more important to everyone else?

 

Writing is the one passion I have ever allowed myself.  When you take away your only passion, that leaves you empty and hollow.

It is more than an outlet for stress relief.  It is a way of expressing myself.  It is a way of being – me.  It is the one and only thing that is me and me alone, not mother to-, wife to-, sister/daughter to-.  It is uniquely me and the one thing I do only for me.  No one else owns that.  Every other part of me belongs to everyone else.

It is a decision that, like so many others’ New Year resolutions, has failed.   I’m weak.

I cannot not write.

 

So, while the new year will bring little real changes for my life, except maybe trying to force my family to eat a little healthier until summer, I will continue stealing those few loose minutes to write … a word, a sentence, whatever time allows.

And, who knows, maybe I’ll manage to edit one of my finished or nearly finished books into something publishable.  I have a virtual stack of them sitting on a hard drive.

 

 

Resolutions, life choices, self-betterment, decisions, whatever tag you want to put on it.  What are your big or little decisions?  Decisions you felt coerced into (like sidelining writing), yearned for, or life simply put in your path?  How did it go and what are you looking forward to in the new year?

 

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L.V. Gaudet is the author of Where the Bodies Are and The McAllister Farm

What kind of dark secret pushes a man to commit the unimaginable, even as he is sickened by his own actions?

 

The McAllister Farm:  book 2 in the McAllister series.  The secret behind the bodies is revealed.

 

Links to purchase this and other upcoming L.V. Gaudet’s books

Link to reviews of Where the Bodies Are on Angie’s Diary

https://angiesdiary.com/bookoftheweek-web/081-botwoct262014.html

 

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GOALS

4 January 2014 

Goals.  January is the time to start fresh, make new goals and promises to do better, to get more accomplished and to follow through.

Goals are what keep us going, keep us motivated.  We all have goals, dreams and plans.  We dream about them, make lists so we can tick items off and measure pour progress as we make plans to have those dreams become reality.  We think about our goal’s potential, do what we need to and wait for them to manifest.

Creating your goal is the first step in making it happen but that is only the first step of many. When we give our goals a purchase on reality by voicing that goal, or putting it in writing we set something in motion.  Then as we strive for the changes needed to accomplish our goals, unfortunately, we awaken all the little demons that like to trip us up in our struggle to reach our goals and make positive changes in our lives.  All those blocks, fears and even the shame that has stopped our progress in the past can be counted on, one more time rear their ugly heads and do all they can to retard any forward momentum we have gotten going. 

Don’t give up.  Don’t let the negativity, the blocks, fears or shame stop you.  We do not need to have those negative impediments derail us in our pursuit of the goals we have set.  In order to achieve our goals, at the very least, we have to make some changes in our lives. By making these changes we are making room for our goals to manifest, to come into being in tangible and measureable ways. One way to think about these changes can be as simple as cleaning out the excess junk in your attic, or close or even your garage so you can make room for the things you want, the goals you have set.

We need to clean out the junk of the past, the rubbish that clutters our path, trips us as we try to pass, or garbage we hold onto to shame ourselves into failing because we may not feel worthy.  These are spiritual blocks and will take some work to clear, but it can be done, and must be worked on so that our goals have somewhere to take hold, put down roots and flourish.

I know I have a great deal of work to do in order to reach my goals.  I know they can be achieved with hard work, a willingness to let go of the past both in the spiritual wounds as well as the physical stuff I have kept that is no longer necessary.  Every day, I will do something, large or small to reach my goal.  At the beginning of the journey, it may seem like it is so much, but as the days pass, little by little I will erode the blocks in my path, for I am determined to reach my goals!  You can do the same and together the journey will not seem so lonely or arduous.  Happy New Year, and may all your goals be achieved.

S. M. Senden: author of Clara’s Wish and Lethal Boundaries.

 

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Hello, 2012 by J J Dare

The beginning of 2012 slipped in quietly for me. I was thankful for the invitations I received to celebrate the start of a new year, but I decided to simply let the year pass peacefully.

Don’t get me wrong. I was glad to see 2011 in the rear view mirror. There was too much sadness, regret and tragedy in that year. I didn’t feel like celebrating its demise so much as I wanted it to slink away like the bad year it had been.

2012 should be better. Everyone seems to be looking forward to good changes and happier times. I hope wishes come true for everyone.

I made a list of one hundred resolutions for 2012. Of course, I won’t be able to keep them all, but statistically I should be able to keep a few (or enough bits and pieces to equal one full resolution). I’m aiming high this year.

On my Facebook page I explained my rationale: “I’m making a list of 100
resolutions for the New Year. If I keep only 10% of the 100, that’s better than my previous track record of 0% and if I only keep 50% of the 10% for 25% of the time, the ratio should equal or exceed 1 full resolution kept at 100%. I can make the Math work.”

As I was looking over my list, I noticed eight resolutions focused on writing. Finish books, write short story anthology, submit finished books, and a few others made it into the first twenty on my list. I must have writing on my mind.

I couldn’t write very much in 2011. Too much was going on around me and inside my head. I couldn’t concentrate long enough to write anything that made sense.

2012 is already starting out better. I was able to write my resolutions list and that was an accomplishment in itself.

Besides the usual lose weight and exercise more resolutions, making the one hundred list made me think about what was important to me. Here are a few of the ones that stand out:

  • “Keep in touch.” I’m woefully bad about being the first to call or write. This year, I’ll try to do better.
  • “Listen.” I am an avid listener but I’m going to focus on really hearing what another is saying.
  • “Hang on to less” followed by “Let go of more.” While these sentiments may seem the same, they are different to me. I want to hang on to fewer material possessions this year and I want to let go of emotions holding me back.
  • “Dream the truth.” No longer will I dream of what might have been. I want my dreams to be full of present moments. I want to get back my dreams of hope.
  • “Honor my children.” Although I do honor my children, to me they are still children. I want to learn to honor them as the adults they are becoming.
  • “Touch the stars.” Even if it’s just in my mind, I want to reach out and touch the heavens every chance I get.
  • “Keep resolutions.” The hardest one of all. Resolutions are little atonements we mete out to balance trangressions against ourselves. Keeping them throughout the year takes willpower.

Expect more from me this year. I expect more from everyone because I believe we are all ready for the change. 2012 will be our year to shine.

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and thirty-plus works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

Facebook addiction

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Changes: Welcome, 2010! (You WILL Be a Better Year)

The last resolution I made was around ten years ago when I resolved to stop making New Year’s resolutions – I never keep them. Strangely, this is the first year I’ve been more than cautiously optimistic. 2010 has a nice ring to it as it rolls off my tongue. Yes, 2010 will be a good year.

As an old year goes out and a new one begins, I spend the time reflecting on how I’ve changed over the previous year.

Over the past three hundred and sixty-five days, I’ve grown . . . by about fifteen pounds. My scale squeals in surprise the rare times I step on it. I think I’ll blame my problem on my sedentary writing life rather than on my beloved pizza, calzone, Lindt white chocolate truffles, and other assorted high calorie, high fat foods.

I’ve also come to the conclusion I’m not as smart as I think I am, but this realization is tempered with the conclusion that most people around are not as smart as they want me to think they are. What a relief to discover pretentiousness has lots of company.

On top of this, it became apparent over the last year my kids are becoming smarter than me. They still have their moments, but they’re getting quicker to point out mine first. My cats also have me figured out; I thought I was training them when all the while, they’ve been training me for years. They’re good – they meow and I jump (and feed or pet or try to figure out why the heck the three of them are growling at a corner of my living room ceiling).

Another close cousin of the inflated brain is the snob. I’ve caught myself waxing on and on about things I think I know a lot about until I realize what I sound like: a snobby braggart. I’ve bored, lost, or antagonized peeps by talking down to them; thankfully, this doesn’t happen often and someone usually brings my pompous asset back down to Planet Earth with a resounding rump thump.

My writing has changed, too. It’s harder in some ways, but easier in others. I’ve branched into different genres – and found I suck in certain ones. Really suck. However, I’ve discovered I excel in other untapped areas. This makes me more confident that, if I tank in one area, there’s hope in another.

How have you changed over the past year?

J J Dare, author of Joe Daniel’s “False Positive” and “False World,” and numerous short stories

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Resolutions!

As I sit here, mere days, or maybe even hours, from giving birth to my first child, I can’t help but think about my New Year’s Resolutions. The last month has been excruciating. As a type-A, goal-oriented person, the waiting has taken its toll. I don’t do well with just resting (which is what every says I should be doing), but at the same time, I can’t concentrate on anything…at all. I haven’t read a book in months, despite the fact I have hours upon hours of free time. I haven’t written since October – I didn’t want to get involved in a long-term project only to have it interrupted by my baby’s birth. Everything I’ve done (besides watching TV) has been quick and easy (like marketing, blog posts, etc..) or baby-related. I’ve spent many hours walking around the mall, and I’ve even made my trips to the grocery store more frequent in an effort to feel productive.

But really, I’m going insane! I know that I can’t know how life will be AB (after Bella), but at least it will be real life…a life that is permanent and therefore a life I can plan for, make lists for, and certainly make resolutions for.

So what are my resolutions this year? Priority number one: get my body back! I can’t tell you how many times over the last nine months that I’ve just wanted to break into a run on the treadmill or join the Urban Rebounding class at my gym or even (I can’t believe I’m saying this) take a spin class and just go crazy on that bike! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve kept up my workouts, but there are naturally limitations when you’re pregnant and those limitations get more and more limited as you progress. Ugh!

Resolution #2: Have a meal of all the forbidden pregnancy foods. Champagne (or Guinness – we’ll see what I’m feeling at the time), a big hunk of brie and some lunch meat…I’ve missed them all!

Resolution #3: Write! And edit! And get more stuff published! My debut novel just released in November, and I’ve got two short stories coming out in the January and March issues of True Love Magazine. My plan is to see book #2 release in the spring and to sell a short story to True Love every month next year. And, of course, hunker down with books #3 and #4 and get them turned in to my editor.

Resolution #4: Raise a healthy, beautiful baby, of course! And maintain the amazing relationship I already have with my hubby 🙂

So enough about me…what about you? Have you thought about your resolutions, yet? I’d love to hear what they are!

Jerrica Knight-Catania is the author of A Gentleman Never Tells, available now from Second Wind Publishing!

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