It’s that time of year again, the beginning. This is the time we usually set goals for ourselves and make resolutions that will be broken long before Valentine’s Day.
I don’t really do resolutions anymore. I have goals that usually set the tone for the rest of the year. There are things I intend to accomplish this year, things I want to try, and things that I simply need to focus on.
First off, what do I want to accomplish…
- Finally finish my degree. Of course, I’ll turn right back around and start on my bachelor’s come this fall. In 2011, I came up short on my capstone project. This year, I plan to manage it better.
- Submit one crime novel and one science fiction novel to a real, honest-to-God publisher. Hey, I’m enjoying the ebook indie revolution as much as the next guy, but let’s be honest. The hype doesn’t live up to the reality. I suppose I could quit going to school and spend all my time shilling books. Unfortunately, more often than not, that means the writing suffers. So I’d be trying to sell shit because all my time would be spent on promotion. So while I plan to continue selling Nick Kepler (the first two are edited. I have a deal to barter for editing on the third) and Road Rules, the fact remains that New York is alive and well, just extremely befuddled. Could be worse. I could be a musician trying to deal with the recording industry. Over a decade after Napster with iTunes propping them up, the RIAA still can’t find its own ass even with a proctologist grabbing its hands, pushing them into place, and screaming “Right here, stupid!”
- Get a second, maybe a third draft of Holland Bay done. Yes, this will be the novel I worked years on. Shouldn’t every writer have one?
- Get one short story a month published. Which means I need to take one out of the can and revise it for January.
- Lose weight. Yes, everyone does this every year. But I have been losing weight. So this is simply carrying on what I started.
The stuff I want to try…
- Ballroom dancing. Nita and I have wanted to do this separately at various points. This is the first time both of us have wanted to do it.
- Running. I ran in high school. I think I’ve recovered nicely after a short 27-year break.
- As always, ride the Little Miami Trail all the way to Xenia. Some years I make it, others I don’t.
The stuff I need to focus on…
- Me. Or rather my health. My weight dropped nicely in 2011. It needs to go down more in 2012. I take Janumet, an expensive wonder drug that keeps me from shooting insulin. I would like to make my method of managing blood sugar simply not eating a lot of crap. That takes weight loss and exercise.
- On the same note, mental health. I had a weird bout of depression going into the holidays. I don’t know what caused it, though I suspect it was chemical in origin – That is, eating the usual crap we stuff ourselves with sometimes wreaks havoc with your mood and concentration.
- Marriage. Nita is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And our marriage is better than either of us could have expected. But we both realize it’s work. It’s work I’ve always been willing to do, but New Year’s Day is as good a day as any to renew my commitment to her. Followed by Valentine’s Day (the anniversary of our first date) and our wedding anniversary.
- AJ. My stepson turns 18 this year. He graduates high school. AJ has a pretty good head on his shoulders, better than I had at his age. He had a plan going into his senior year. When logistics and finances got in the way, he didn’t give up. He simply changed his timeline and looked for alternatives. When I was dating Nita, I decided that this 13-year-old kid would be closer and closer to adulthood every day that I knew him. So for the most part, I’ve treated him like an adult. Now I need to be there as he becomes finally becomes one. It’s work I’m happy to do. Every parent should be.
- Faith. If you’ve read this, you know I have an unconventional view of God. It has a refreshing lack of dogma, since humans, by definition, are too stupid for dogma. At the same time, I have questions I need answered and need to rethink my views. I don’t serve my beliefs. They serve me. That’s why you don’t see me picketing soldiers’ funerals or slamming airplanes into buildings. And you never will.
And of course, I resolve to gorge myself on schadenfreude pie on December 22, 2012, at the expense of all these pinheads who haven’t figured out that the Mayans simply couldn’t be bothered rebooting the calendar after December 21. There’s something sick about people obsessing about the end of the world. I keep wanting to tell them, “Well, you go first. We’ll all have to follow you eventually.” They usually act all offended, like the apocalypse that makes them all giddy doesn’t apply to them. It’s enough to make emo kids say, “Dude, chill out.”
And beyond that, I’ll make another list of stuff I won’t get to in 2013. It’s our way.
*Under the old Mayan calendar. Really. On December 22, a new Mayan calendar begins. It’s the Y2K of the 21st century.