This has been a great year for me.
I work for myself now. We bought a house. I have figured out some things about parenting. I’m starting a nonprofit that will let me do all the things I love. I found an MFA program that is commutable, sort of, even though Penelope says I shouldn’t bother.
Child and I took two awesome trips, one to New Haven, where the people-in-yarn represented to the left live. And to New York, where old/new friends were so warm and welcoming and generous.
I made new friends with people and with exercise. I cooked some great food, and I got better at things, and I read novels, short stories, and wrote. A lot.
I do not feel like I’ve arrived, but I feel like I can look into 2012 with great hope and feeling more at home with myself and my mind than I have since I was pregnant.
My 30s are liberating, I have a marvelous partner, and I am happy.
2011 showed me that denying my ambitions for alternative solutions that are easier or that give better health insurance is no way to live.
Now I will help you with your New Year’s Resolutions.
1. Stop doing a job you hate.
The world is scary right now. It’s no time to be jobless, for sure. But there ARE jobs, and ones you’d like better. So look for one. The hunt is its own reward. Activating for positive change is the first step toward happiness.
2. Make friends with exercise.
I am rewarded by my Zumba endeavors. I feel better, my body looks a little better, I’m sleeping more and getting more done. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Get sweaty at least 4 times a week.
3. Read Penelope Trunk’s Blog.
Penelope is a hypocrite and she is annoying, she is also brilliant and busy. Her blog will change your life. You’ll laugh, and cry. You’ll think and learn things. She will send you to Wikipedia more often than you’d like, and she will tell you things that make you think she’s insane, but everyone should aspire to strength, honesty, and ambition like hers.
4. Tell someone you appreciate them at least once a week.
There is nothing in this great big world better than getting a note from someone that says, “I think you’re awesome, and I want to be more like you.”
5. Make a list of goals.
It seems obvious, but sitting down with yourself and a piece of paper (or computer or tablet) is an exercise that can bring you peace and direction. It’s easy to forget to introspect when you’re a person with a job and a domicile and perhaps a partner and kid or two. Knowing what you want in life, but not being able to get it is probably a result of not owning your goals. Put your goals in order of importance, and start big. Take small steps, but don’t stop walking if a small step doesn’t pay off. The best lesson I took from selling stuff for half a decade is that success is a series of small, consistently taken, and aggressive steps. You are your own ship’s captain. Go forth and set your course, build your crew, and launch. You will fuck up. You will take wrong terms. You might make the wrong guy walk the plank. But you will also have all the power. Take it. It’s yours.