Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thursday Thirteen - New Year's Resolution edition

Thirteen Things about Jessica's resolutions

1. I know it's totally overdone, but I can't resist writing about my resolutions for 2006. Not because they're so special or anything and only partly because I'm hoping that making them more public will motivate me to keep them. I'm writing them down mainly as a historical record of what I'm thinking right now. It will give me an opportunity to beat myself up publicly next year for not achieving my goals this year.

2. My first resolution is to get organized. I've been making this resolution for years and I recently blogged about making this resolution before January 1st to get a kind of head start on it. The results have been mixed. My office is fairly clean but not necessarily organized the way it should be. My desk at home - not even close.

3. I think I have trouble getting more organized at home because when I'm at home, I want to relax, hang with the hubby, play with the kids, blog etc. Organizing is work and I don't like to work outside of the office if I can help it. (Hell, if I'm being honest I'd say I don't really like to work even when I'm in the office!) But I'm trying to change that problematic attitude. I want to set a good example for the kids - I do not want them to follow in my disorganized footsteps, that's for sure.

4. Resolution number 2 is to write more. I realize that's not very specific and, if I really want to achieve anything, it should be more specific. Hubby and I had a chat the other day about this issue. When it comes to my creative endeavors, I tend to have very amorphous goals - if I even have goals at all. It's hard for him to help me achieve something that's so vague and ill-defined. He asked what I want to write and I couldn't really say. I know I want to keep blogging but that's not really what I mean when I say I want to write more. I guess I want to write more fiction or maybe I want to write a screenplay. A magazine article would be nice. I could write a novel or perhaps a short story is better. See what I mean?

5. Which leads me to Resolution number 3: Spend time thinking about my dreams and set goals that will help me actually live my dreams. I like this resolution. I wish I could keep it. It's the scariest one for me. I'm so not good at setting goals. Well, I can set goals. I just have a hard time not procrastinating them away.

6. Moving right along to Resolution number 4: Continue with Tae Kwon Do and kickboxing. That I can do and really want to do. I'm not off to a great start, though because I skipped kickboxing Tuesday night. My excuse is that I still have a cold and my nose won't stop running and I wasn't sure I was ready to go back yet. Fairly lame. I have Tae Kwon Do tonight and I'm gonna go no matter how I'm feeling. I swear! If I'm not in the hospital, I'm going to class.

7. Resolution number 5: Quit making resolutions I'm not going to keep.

8. I think that's all the resolutions I made. I'm more hopeful about my chances for success this year than I have been in years past. I don't know why that is or whether it's reasonable to be more hopeful. Lately, I've been living a bit more intentionally than I used to. Life is full of trade-offs. If I spend time doing one thing, I can't spend that same time doing another thing. Although I am really, really good at multi-tasking, even I can't write a novel, help the kids with homework, clean my desk, knit a sweater and have sex with my husband at the same time. Not that I've tried that particular combination of things all at one time . . .

9. One resolution I will never make again is to lose weight. That one has never, ever worked for me. I hope that Resolution number 4 will help in that area but weight loss for the simple sake of weight loss is not something I'm willing to sacrifice for. Whenever I even think about dieting, I eat more. Counter-intuitive and super immature, I know. But at this point in my life I need to work with myself and not against myself. I'm not obese so losing weight isn't really a health imperative for me. I like to think of myself as zaftig (the second definition - no one would ever accuse me of being "full-bosomed").

10. Wow - I thought I would easily have thirteen things about my resolutions. I was wrong. I guess this is a good opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year!

11. Since I have nothing else to say about resolutions, I'll spend the last three items talking about writing and reading. I haven't been doing any writing - except blogging. I want to do the Artist's Way program but I haven't done morning pages since Sunday. Mostly because I haven't been able to get out of bed in the morning. It's kinda hard to write in the morning when I'm running out the door for work. Excuses, excuses.

12. I've been doing lots of reading, though. Over the holiday, I finished Black Maps, a thriller by Peter Spiegelman who used to work on Wall Street before he quit to become a writer. I also read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd which is a wonderful book about a white girl in the 1960's South who runs away from her abusive father and ends up living in the bright pink house of a black female beekeeper. I started reading Artist's Way, of course, and Predator which is Patricia Cornwell's latest Kay Scarpetta book. I've read all of the Kay Scarpetta books - I can't get enough! Big D is always amazed at how many books I'm reading at one time. I'm not sure how I keep all the plots straight but when I pick up a book (as long as I haven't left it for too long), it just isn't a problem.

13. I'm also reading the first Harry Potter book which is surprisingly good. The movie was absolutely true to the book and I'm amazed at how good the casting was. When I read the book, I can picture the kids from the movie and there's nothing inconsistent or jarring. I like the way Rowling uses just enough description to help you see things but leaves just enough to the imagination (although having seen the movie, it's hard for me to really use my own imagination). A friend loaned us the book so I could read it to the girls but neither of them is interested! M Girl isn't into chapter books and A Girl is loving The Chronicles of Narnia which I'm reading to her and Wicked which her Dad is reading to her. Maybe she has my ability to keep multiple plots straight!

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Chickadee said...

Hola! Happy Thursday 13! In regards to writing, there are several books out there that can guide your writing steps...they give you creative writing excercises to do. I have 2 such books. Would you have time to take a creative writing class? Most community colleges offer such a class (I took one and I LOVED it) Heck, even writing in a daily journal is a start and may guide you to other ideas.

My 13 are up.

Jessica said...

Thanks - actually I took an online writing class through Gotham which was great. I'm planning on taking another one but I want to do some writing on my own first. Then I can use the next class to hone my skills.

Megan said...

About your writing: Try to make a goal to either write a certain amount of words a day or to write for a certain amount of time. I strive to write for at least a half an hour five days a week.

Don't worry about what you write, just write something. Start the screenplay, create a magazine article. Just write if that's what you want to do. You'll find what you're best at. Good luck!

Running2Ks said...

Rowling is an amazing writer. One thing about writing is write often--the experience will help you get columns and stamina. A great book is Stephen King's "On Writing".

My 13 are up :)

Jessica said...

Hey, there - thank you for the kind comment on MIM's blog!

Your resolutions are great - good luck with them. I have to tell you, I LOVED Devil in the White City!!!

Jeej said...

Resolutions over done? I don't think so, yours is the first I've come across so far. I think. I'm not sure. We were up so late last night I may have seen one then, but who knows? Do you ever feel like all your thoughts are in your mind somewhere but now is just not the time of day to pull them out and line them up? Yeah. That's where I'm at. It doesn't seem like you are though. The list was fun to read and your resolutions were inspiring.
Happy Thursday!

Dana said...

Hey, I'm trying the writing thing, too. In fact, that came up on my last Thursday 13. Except I write enough...I just need the focus to finish what I start. But as a project nears completion my mind veers to others. Goal for this year is to get something published! OK, so I did that last year, but kind of stumbled into it. This year I want to do something'd be nice to be paid for it too : )

AfricaBleu said...

"The Secret Life of Bees" is a GREAT book - I'm jealous that you get to discover it for the first time.

Caryn said...

Good luck with your resolutions--especially the ones about writing. One thing I've noticed with writing is that the more I write the more I want to write.

MIM said...

I read "Wicked" several years ago, and I don't remember it being a book for kids. But maybe your girls are more mature than me. In fact, I'm sure that's the case!

Kimmy said...

Thank you for the book idea...The Secret Lives of Bees...I'm going to pick it up.
I tried to read Wicked a few times, but just couldn't get into it. Must stem from fears of the witch when I was little :D
Glad to know you read to your kids. I started when I was pregnant and now love to see the joy on Jacob's face when he reads to me (almost 3 grade levels above his current grade).
My 13 are up!