Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

During my adolescence I thought it quite profound to discuss the question, "If you found out that you were going to die, who would you call? What would you say? And why are you waiting?" At the time, my answers (not surprisingly) always involved confronting the object of my latest heartbreak and/or secret crush. He would, of course, be moved to tears by my eminent demise and tragic love scenes would ensue.

Then I moved out on my own, and I was a bit too busy paying for electricity to worry myself with such matters. But now I have a husband, a house, and (gasp) steady access to health care. This is all wonderful. But I've discovered that with great security comes great complacency.

Don't get me wrong. I love my life. I love my husband. And I'm no longer gaining perverse satisfaction from imagining dire deathbed scenes. But it recently occurred to me that we've put off having kids specifically so that we can experience certain things and accomplish certain goals before we put our energy into parenthood. Sounds smart, right? And maybe it would be, if we didn't spend so much of our time (a) engrossed in the banality of everyday tasks or (b) whining about our lack of energy and lazing about the house.

So this year, I'm not making a virtuous new year's resolution. I'm not going to try to exercise more, or lose weight, or (heaven forfend) quit whining about things that annoy me. Instead, my resolution is to quit waiting. Quit waiting for the perfect circumstances. Quit plodding away at the daily to-do list and instead pay attention to a list I actually care about. Here are the top five things I'll quit waiting to do:

(1) Travel more. The Husband and I want to take interesting vacations, but he keeps saying that we don't have the time or the money. To break us out of that mindset, I'm determined to orchestrate four mini-breaks to local destinations (one mini-break per season). In winter 2009, we will take the train to Portland, OR for two nights at the Benson Hotel. I've already made reservations!

(2) Spend more time with family. My grandmothers are getting older and my nephews and nieces are growing fast! Why guilt-trip over our lack of contact when I could reinvest that time in actual visits?

(3) Take classes. As a Christmas gift, The Husband signed me up for an online writing class with Patricia Kay. I'm so excited! I'd also love to learn some non-writing things. I'm hoping to convince some of my friends to join me in something aerobic and naughty (like pole-dancing lessons). And at some point (I don't know if it will be 2009), I would like to start studying Latin again.

(4) Finish Revising Mr. Right and submit it to at least four agents. This one's self-explanatory!

(5) Read five non-romance novels. (Aside from Water for Elephants, which many people have recommended to me, these are all books that I've started before and long to finish.)
Whew! This turned out to be quite a long post (to say nothing for a long list). I'll wrap up with that most interesting of questions: what is your new year's resolution? Best wishes to you in 2009!


Theresa said...

I'm so torn between all sorts of good resolutions and just living. We shall see . . .

Welcome! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivi Andrews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivi Andrews said...

Dude! I totally want to learn to pole-dance aerobically! Can I come? Puh-leeeze?

Anneliese Kelly said...

I'm in the just living phase right now. In the next calendar year I've got 2 more semesters of course work, my first semester teaching college composition, my first professional (academic) conference I hope, a trip to Rome (again, I hope) and...who knows what else might pop up :)

For writing goals--just to write.
For life goals -- to keep up my exercise routine, cook fun new dishes, love my husband, and maybe get back into therapy for my anxiety. But those all have less to do with the New Year and more with my standard self-improvement regime.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Wow! Pole-dancing?? You go, girl!
I love the idea of mini-vacations. Maybe I will steal the idea... :) Too bad Oregon is no mini-vacation from here--I'm still yearning to go.

Rowena said...

Oh wow, those are great resolutions and I want to take pole dancing classes too but my friends are all a bunch of chickens. It might be something that I'll have to do on my own. Dangit.

Good luck with all of your resolutions!