It's only a few days until 2012 arrives, but I've been so busy with work I've hardly had the chance to think about the question. I have today "off", though, and so I'm trying to catch up - no, I'm trying to catch my breath, actually, to slow down a bit and consider what lies ahead.
Usually I don't make New Year's resolutions. I feel that I'd like to this year, though, because I'm not 100% pleased with the way I handled 2011. 'Way too much stress. Too much guilt, too, about the things I thought I should be doing. I've made my poor husband miserable complaining about how much promotion I have to do, but when he very rationally suggests that maybe I should cut back, I start to make excuses about how I can't...
I'm starting 2012 with the premise that if I'm not enjoying some aspect of my life, there's something wrong. That's an area I should look at, and change if I can. When my writing and the associated marketing become a chore, that's a danger signal.
So here are my promises to myself for the coming year.
- I resolve to worry less. I know that worrying is not the same as planning. It depletes my energy and makes it even harder for me to get things accomplished. Very few things are the life and death issues they might seem to me. I want to meet my commitments, but honestly, the world won't stop if I fail to blog or don't send out my newsletter on time.
- I resolve to complain less. Sharing my problems and asking for help is one thing - that's a practical step toward improving a situation. But just whinging about how busy or stressed or miserable I am accomplishes nothing. It just shows a lack of consideration for the person I'm forcing to listen.
- I resolve to be grateful for my gifts. It's so easy to compare myself with someone else and feel inadequate. I need to remember that the ability to imagine stories, write them down and get them published is a tremendous blessing. It doesn't matter how many books I've written. Every one is an accomplishment.
- I resolve to take more time off for fun. Too often during 2011, I put off recreation or relaxation until I'd polished off my to-do list. Frequently that meant I'd never get to have fun at all. In 2012 I'm going to ignore the inner voice calling me lazy. We all need a balance between work and play.
Notice that all of my resolutions are relative. I'm sure that in 2012 I'll still complain, still feel inadequate, still work too hard. If I can do less of these things than I did during the past year, though, I'll be satisfied.
After all, we're all works in progress.