So...wow...it's that time of year again - the very last day! I can hardly believe how quickly time has passed, and much like my protagonist, Jillian, I often wish I could press the pause button to have a moment to step back and appreciate it all. But...since I can't...one thing I like to do, come the end of the year, is take a deep breath and reflect on both the milestones and the slip-ups from the previous 364 days, so I can better arm myself for the next 365.
As far as resolutions? Well, I'm sure that I have some - have more patience with my husband, eat one dessert fewer every night (I tend to sample one of everything in the house, sigh) - but they're not yet concrete. What really helps me is to assess the path of the prior year and see what changes I might like to implement, because without doing so, they're just sort of blind promises that are bound to fail.
So, that said, my past year has been pretty spectacular. It's felt like the sort of year that comes along only so often every lifetime, and part of me is a little nervous that I'll never top it. But then I think of the conversation my husband and I had before our daughter was born, the one in which he worried if he'd love our second child as much as our first - because we really, really loved our first - and now, we both look back on that and crack up because, of course we love her madly, and of course, just because you have one great thing happen to you (or one banner year), doesn't mean that it can't repeat itself!
I guess the key for me is to figure out how to replicate those results...and it really all boils down to writing a book that is as appealing as Time of My Life. And I'm doing my best. I'm 40 pages in, and I'm working like hell to make it all that TOML was, but ultimately, and this may simply be my resolution, I also have to let go the comparison-game. (Not unlike that first vs. second child thing.) It's hard. It's very, very hard. I reread passages and think, "Is this as snappy as TOML? Is this BETTER than TOML?," and then I get out of my head and out of my writing groove. So, yes, I think this may very well be my resolution because, as I've said here before, all I can do with this book is make it the best possible 300 pages that I have in me. I didn't write TOML with the intention of a future movie or of hitting the NY Times list. That these amazing things happened were just the cherry on top. Before they did happen, however, I was thrilled with and proud of the book...and that would have been enough for me.
So the lesson, in thinking through my year, and where I am at present, is that the big stuff is probably out of my control. What has to matter is what is enough for me, and that would be to set aside expectations that are now attached to me, and simply to write. Maybe this is the same goal as last year - I'll have to go back and find that post - but it seems like a worthy goal, nevertheless.
So you heard it here: if I ever blog about how I'm stuck because I feel paralyzed with the expectations of TOML on me - remind me: Just write the dang book already! As an author, that's what I should be doing all along.
I'd love to hear what your resolutions (work and non-work) are this year! Spill! And have a happy - and SAFE - new year!