I’ve decided to do this prior to the new year. I want to hit the ground running and I’ve been taking the entire month of December to contemplate where I’ve been, where I am now, and where I want to be in the future. So it seemed appropriate to do this now.
The beginning of this exercise requires that I go back and read last year’s post. Last year’s words were Balance, Schedule, and Breathe.
Breathe became the most important one of the three and the one at which I was most successful. So important, that it became part of the title of my book, Deep Breaths & Chocolate. At the beginning of 2013 I was still having terrible panic attacks. At some point during the year, a date that came and went without me noticing the big event, I stopped having panic attacks. I used relaxation exercises, reconditioning, and lots of deep breaths. I still feel a little bit of anxiety every great once in a while; but for the most part, I seem to have recovered from this. I don’t know if that’s how I should refer to it. In some ways it feels like I kicked a bad habit; and in others it feels like I survived a terrible illness and am now healthy again. Maybe the truth is a bit of both. Honestly, I don’t think it matters. I’m just thrilled to not feel that terrible adrenaline rush right before it feels like the bottom is falling out from under me and my heart imitates the beating of a hummingbird’s wings.
Balance is something with which I think I will always struggle. My ability to hyper focus is something that actually serves me well. But I can still flit from idea to idea faster than a cheetah can run down a baby gazelle when I have many unrelated projects going at the same time. The difference now is I’m trying to work with my natural ability to hyper focus while not risk the wrath of my ADD by doing one group of related things. These things form the basis of my first word for 2014…Storyteller. I have to give credit where credit is due and fess up that I got this word from Veronica Giguere. I’ll get back to this in a minute.
My third word from 2013 was Schedule. I had mixed results with this one last year. I got a bit better at staying on top of the kids’ schedules and pushing myself to go to most school events.
I still have issues with social anxiety especially in regards to my kids’ school. I love my kids fiercely and care about everything that impacts them. Unfortunately, caring about them does not carry over to most of the other people who’s kids happen to go to the same school. It’s a private school where many (most) of the families there are, if not wealthy, definitely many rungs above me on the socio-economic ladder. The fact that our kids go to the same school is not enough of a common bond to have a conversation past a few superficial sentences. I know this is my hangup. It’s improved quite a bit over the years. But not enough to make me seek out any of the other parents. I’m sure that’s my loss. And, maybe I’ll continue to get better at this as I continue to work on understanding and improving my mental health.
When it came to balancing my various interests, I did better, but not good enough to suit me. I dyed yarn twice (the Peacock colorway and then the Balticon series). I still love doing this; but I still have the issues of space and water quality where I’m at now. I plan on continuing to do the Balticon series again next year and I’d also like to do a couple of very small batches throughout the year. In the past, I’ve done batches of 6 skeins and I think going forward maybe just a couple of skeins might make it easier to do.
I stopped carrying my knitting around with me…this was not an improvement. I spend most of my free time writing/editing/publishing/promoting so to not carry my knitting around and sneak in stitches here or there means no knitting time at all.
Getting back to scheduling…while I think I did a little better in terms of the kids, I wasn’t scheduling my free time to make sure I was setting goals and doing the projects I wanted to do. That’s started to change. So now I’m using the Magic Spreadsheet to help me focus on my words. In a sense, I’ve scheduled myself to write at least 250 words a day by virtue of this tool. I haven’t gone so far as to schedule a specific time of day. But knowing that I just need to write 250. While a stretch for a poet who has a penchant for writing micro poems it’s still just 250. So, easy. Right?
This year, I will be scheduling many of the various projects I want to do and things I wish to accomplish so that they don’t get forgotten amid the hustle and bustle of everyday living.
So, back to the words for 2014. The first, as mentioned above, is Storyteller. I’m pushing myself to write longer poems that hopefully tell bigger, more universal stories. I am also pushing myself to write more prose…learn how to tell stories with actual paragraphs and characters and stuff. And, I will be telling more stories as a narrator as I have signed my first official contract for voice work. (Feels kinda like graduating to the grown-up table at Thanksgiving). I will be narrating the Monster Whisperer series by Nobilis Reed and am really excited to see where he takes this character. It’s sci fi erotica so NSFW or kids.
The second word is going to be Habits. I still have many bad habits I need to break myself of, and good habits that I’m learning and teaching myself (like writing every day). Each day is a new opportunity to learn more about myself and work on improving myself. I understand that I will have setbacks and habits are hard to break and hard to establish. I’m okay with not being perfect because I know each day is a new day.
My third word is Collaboration. I mentioned my book above. This was arguably my biggest achievement of 2013. I have had issues around self-confidence and self-worth. I won’t say I’ve overcome them; but I’ve come a long way. A very, very long way. Pushing myself to make this book a reality is a huge part of that. But the key to this book becoming real lies in the friends who helped me realize this dream. I would never have been able to do this without the assistance of friends who are so much more talented than me. They taught me the value and importance of collaboration. I plan to do a lot more of this next year.
So for 2014 I plan on being a Storyteller who is breaking bad Habits and creating good ones while Collaborating with some amazing artists. Hmmm…sounds like a plan.
So here’s to a very good year that is almost over. And, here’s to a wonderful year ahead.
If you also pick up the habit of choosing 3 words for the upcoming year, drop a comment here and share your post.