Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Seeds of Magic

By Rachel Smith (Guest Blogger)

Hello, and thanks to Lisabet for hosting me today. I’m Rachel Smith, guest blogging about something that’s recently been on my mind—that’s right, New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps because I’m keenly aware of my personal “growth opportunities” (shortcomings, in other words), the New Year has always been magical to me.

Even as a child I was thrilled by the notion of a clean slate, a chance to start over and try again, or begin something new, for that matter. I created my own little ritual around making resolutions. They were always handwritten, using a unique or unusual pen and pretty paper. They were always fairly comprehensive, and always posted in a prominent position in my room, so that I could refer to them often. Did I always keep them? No. But I still loved having them around.

New Year’s resolutions have fallen into disfavor nowadays, which saddens me. As an adult, I’ve used the New Year more than once to jump start new directions in my life, with fair success. Granted, my adult resolutions are less sweeping than my childhood ones. I try to follow the expert advice touted all over the Internet: limit resolutions to specific, manageable, concrete actions. It works pretty well for me, and leaves me shaking my head at folks who won’t make resolutions because “No one keeps them anyway.” Where’s the magic in that?

We all need a new beginning sometimes. We just need to construct it with common sense and compassion for ourselves. New Year’s gives us the perfect platform, and the structure we erect on it is entirely up to us. I’ve heard folks say, “If you need a special day to begin something, you’re really not motivated.” Oh, how not true! Some changes are scary. Anchoring them to a pinpointed day lets us work up courage while developing a plan for success, and provides a strong, reinforcing sense of a fresh start, going forward.

New Year’s Day is a fallow garden. Resolutions are seeds. Plant them, water them, cultivate them…and just like the first flowers of spring, you’ll be amazed by what blossoms. Among other things, in 2011 I resolve to promote my published books and boost my writing productivity. Prosaic resolutions, both are presented here in their less specific forms, but both bear the potential for more sales and new novels. Both results would be magically wonderful, to me.

Although the New Year’s hoopla is over, I challenge you, before packing away your party hat and moving on, briefly examine where you are. What magic do you need in your life? Where would you like to see revitalization or renewal? Or what are you mostly satisfied with, but would like to slightly improve? What is hum-drum, ho-hum, or just plain routine? What have you always wanted but never had? And which small step or steps can you take this year, starting down the road to get there?


Rachel Smith is a wanna-be farmer, part-time gardener, mostly-retired mother, doting grandmother and persistently procrastinating novelist. Aside from writing and family, she is absorbed by reinventing a neglected West Texas cattle ranch as an olive orchard. Rachel’s books This Train and Texas Hearts have been recognized as 2011 EPIC ebook Award Finalists. Her newest release, “Hidden Hearts”, is available through Awe-Struck Publishing.


Buy links:

This Train (Whisky Creek Press)

Hidden Hearts (Awe-Struck Publishing)


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Rachel,

Welcome to Beyond Romance! I'm afraid I'm one of those who have given up on formal resolutions. Too much pressure! However, I do take advantage of this time of year to introspect and consider how I might make next year even better.

I dropped by your website, by the way. Love your bio! And you have a gorgeous smile!

Oh, and I want to know about the olive grove! I love olives.

Nina Pierce said...

Rachel, for the first time in many, many years I actually made resolutions and they all revolve around my writing productivity. And like you, I'm actually printing them out and posting them where I can look at them every day. Great post!

Bianca Sommerland said...

Happy New Year Rachel!

I enjoyed this post, it really got me thinking. I haven't done a New Years revolution since High School, but I want to now. The way you put it, rather than feel like it's a silly, childish thing to do, I'm liking the idea of a fresh start.

And completely off topic, yor book cover is beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully ENCOURAGING post, Rachel! Now, if I could only make myself follow through with my own resoluttions! LOL!

hugs, Kari Thomas,

Rachel Smith said...

Thanks for the kind comments, everyone. Lisabet, the olive orchard may be just a pipe dream, but I really am trying to develop it. I'm third generation custodian of a property which historically has been a cattle ranch. I've got nothing against beef, but cattle are an economic recession in themselves, and the property has been mostly neglected since my grandparent's time. Olives are experimental in our neck of the woods, but our climate has been touted as similar to parts of the Mediterranean. So I'm starting slow and trying to build a new product base for the property. We'll see how it goes!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Rachel,
Great blog. I really like your attitude, starting the new year with a clean slate. I have to confess I don't make many resolutions now.



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