SNSA in the wilds of Vermont!
It’s 2014 — another year slipping into the past, another wrap-up post forming my New Year’s Eve ritual, one that usually leaves me feeling like at the very least, my year was not a complete waste of time. Numbers are interesting, and there’s always a fascination of the number thirteen, so a year ago I was making plans for 2013 and I set 13 goals.
First, my permanent writing goal:
1. I’d like to remain thoughtful, objective, gracious, and rational about anything that happens with this book.
“This book” has changed — with the release of Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always — but the goal is still completely relevant and, I have to say, once again quite difficult. There is this terrifying window for me, in both releases now, where I am compelled beyond all reason and rhyme, to read everything that is said about my upcoming and newly-released book. This, as you might imagine, can be both exhilarating and damaging, and you never really know until you’re in the thick of it which one it will be. Luckily, that urgency to know all has receded, and I find myself much happier focusing on my current writing project and letting my fledgling book take a few steps without my hovering attention. I like this part best, sinking back into my story and my writing, worrying less about the things people will inevitably dislike or disagree with.
Writing Goal #2: 2. Do everything I can do to have a successful launch of Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always.
This was pretty cool, thanks to flux books sending me, Kelsey Sutton, and Dawn Klehr on a little Mini-sota book tour right around the book’s release. I had a great time and was much more relaxed for this book’s release than the big launch party for Kiss the Morning Star.
Writing goal #3: Six Impossible. I love this book, and have secret hopes for the Universe for it. My goal is to do my best by this book and make it something special.
I’m happy with where this goal sits. This book is close to my heart.
Writing goal #4 Write something brand new this year. Maybe it’s poetry, maybe it’s another YA contemporary novel. There are all kinds of possibilities, but I know myself, and I know that means I will write something this year. I hope that it’s exciting and scary and makes me proud, but it’s okay if it’s a hot mess, too, as long as I’m writing.
I like this one a lot. I spent a wonderful month this summer working on an adult literary novel, and the time I spent at the writing conference in Bemidji was exciting and inspiring as well, even if all I wrote while I was there is poetry…poetry coming out my ears now! I also wrote 50k so far this year on my newest YA project. I think all these projects are simultaneously exciting and scary and messy, but I’m proud of it all.
Life and Happiness Goal #5: 5. Be as healthy as I can be. I’d like to drink water, take my vitamins, exercise even in the winter months, and get to sleep most nights at a reasonable hour. I’d like to eat more fruits and vegetables like I have for most of 2012 and continue to take small steps toward actually cooking for myself and my family. This is a squishy goal, I know, but keeping it that way is the only way I’ll keep working at it.
Squishy goal, squishy answer, which is that I did great on all of this until school started in late August, and by September it was really hard to keep up on anything. I did keep a pretty cool incentive system, though, where I got to earn savings money by meeting my goals each day, so I have a pretty good record of the parts that were working and the parts that were not.
Life and Happiness Goal #6: Get outside every day that I am able, even if it’s just a walk around the block. I always feel better when I do. Get into the woods or near the water even more.
Again, did well until school started, lost it.
Life and Happiness Goal #7: Take another road trip, including camping, with the kids. Think about taking one without them, too.
Did this! Went to Chicago and had a terrific time! Took a trip without the kids OR the husband, so…that’s the second part.
Life and Happiness Goal #8: Have at least one actual conversation every single day with each of my children and with my husband. Not a lecture about behavior or homework or cleaning up, not going over the details of our complicated lives. Just talking and listening.
I liked this goal. I want to keep it.
Parenting Goal #9. Be consistent with the pebble jars and the chores, even when the effort it requires seems more than the effort of just doing the chores myself. Remember to award pebbles for cooperation and kindness as much as for completing jobs. Give at least four for every one I take away.
Again, really nice until school started, but then we got back to it this month. It’s a good reminder to get these kids to help out more and feel like they are successful people.
Parenting Goal #10. Keep reading together as a whole family every night before bed. This is my favorite part of the day, every day.
Did this, with a handful of exceptions, usually involving either voice loss (El read for us a few times, and D reads his favorite picture books when we don’t have time for a novel), but we read some great books this year, including The Hobbit and The Golden Compass.
House Goal #11. The bathroom. I want it to be functional and…you know. Not have holes in the floor and a vise-grip for a faucet.
nope, had to pay for dental work instead of any house remodeling!
House Goal #12. Make plans for getting the kitchen tolerable as well. New floor covering, finish cabinets/countertops, and put up shelving around the window.
Didn’t do any of this but did set up trello account for the house so we can list our projects, and we have a to-do card started for the kitchen
House Goal #13: Scrape/paint the final side of the exterior of the house and finish the porches and repainting the decks. I know I feel like I should work on the yard/put in some flower gardens, but the reality is that I am far too busy in the spring when school is wrapping up, and I just never get around to all the prep work in the yard for this.
Okay, so let me talk about these house goals. I didn’t exactly do any of this, mostly because of the huge dentist surprise that hit us in the spring. BUT we did make a major house change by separating the boys into their own rooms, removing our office/writing room from the upstairs and handing it over for a micro-bedroom for our oldest, making the youngest’s bedroom function as a playroom for both boys still…finding a home for all the STUFF that was in that office/writing room/storage cube.
Also, for the first time ever, we had a container garden on the back deck and raised some successful cherry tomatoes (our regular tomatoes got blossom end rot) and a few red bell peppers (though the short, cold season didn’t favor them…if we had two more weeks of heat, they’d have been happy!)
Well? Not too bad, actually, and that’s a wrap on 2013 . Tomorrow I’ll show up here again with my goals for 2014.