Season of Change

I’m an overachiever. Yep, I’m admitting it. And if you don’t believe me just ask my husband—it drives him crazy. I tend to organize and make lists, heck even my extensive movie collection is alphabetized and categorized by genre. Not kidding. My books would be too if I could talk my husband into building me more bookshelves. Maybe when the basement is finished?

Every year for the holidays I wind up making a giant list of what needs to get done, then when I accomplish it… I celebrate for about thirty-seven seconds before making another list, and then another. So in truth I probably got the important stuff done way back with the first list but then I spend my holidays killing myself to achieve more and more, and only wind up making myself crazy.

But this year was a little different, I got sick right after Thanksgiving and I’m still recovering. I’ll just say that bronchitis sucks and I found out the hard way that you can actually tear muscles in your chest wall from coughing. Not fun! But being sick has taught me several valuable lessons and helped shape my New Year’s resolutions this year as well.

1. Priorities

What’s important and what’s not. Spending time with family and friends is important; having everything “perfect” is not. I mean really, is the house going to fall down if it doesn’t get vacuumed? Apparently not. And besides, there is no such thing as “perfect”, and even if there were, “perfect” would look different to everyone. Writing is also a priority I have been denying myself. Don’t get me wrong I write but it is usually in fits and surges where I write for like ten hours a day for a week and then not at all for a few days, then pull a couple of all-nighters. By the way, I don’t recommend this writing style to anyone. I have to stop scooting writing down on the old priority list and make time for it everyday. You know the drill, sit down and write a good story, the rest will take care of itself. To be successful you have to show up everyday and you have to work hard, but I know it’s worth it because nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. Come on, if it were easy to climb Mount Everest, everyone would do it.

2.  Friends And Family

Friends and family have always been important to me but since my dad’s sudden death last December this point has really been driven home. Once the people you love are gone there is no going back so it is important to love the people in your life well NOW. Not tomorrow. Not next week. It is important to forgive perceived wrongs, to send a card or pick up the phone to tell someone you are thinking of them, to look up that old friend you were thinking about, and above all treasure today.

3.  Unclutter

Not just getting rid of the clutter in the attic or the basement (Lord knows mine currently need attention) but also throwing out what is not working in life and incorporating more of what is. I think it is always important to reassess, figure out what is important to you and go after it. Like writing for example, I have to stop putting obstacles in my path, sabotaging my own success. I need to stop being afraid to go after what I want and just do it. No more excuses. I have to stop running the other way by switching which story I’m currently working on when I hit “the wall.” It’s time to pick one story and finish the damn manuscript come what may.

4. Live Healthier

Hi, I’m Dana and I’m a diet coke addict. I could also stand to cut back on the junk food and move more. I love writing, but it’s kind of a fat girl sport. When I’m writing, I’m sitting on my butt behind a computer and let’s be honest, that does not lend itself to exercise. I need to force myself to get back to a regular exercise routine and eat the salad not the cookie currently calling my name from the pantry, and take the walk instead of sitting down with a book when I’m not writing.

Now you’ve heard some of my New Year’s resolutions–my promises to myself. Me, yelling at me to get it in gear and make better choices. I would love to hear some of yours.

I wish you all a 2012 full of health, happiness and writing inspiration.