A Toast to the Dying Year

I’ll finish my Montreal recap soon, but since this is one holiday that doesn’t give me hives, I wanted to participate with some kind of blog-like substance.

Time, for me, ebbs and flows, and sometimes even does somersaults. I have no true concept of time and often have to stop and do the math just to remember how old I am. Thus, a 2009 recap may be an impossible undertaking, but what the heck, let’s give it a whirl on the dance floor. I might spill a drink on 2008 while I’m at it. It’s all good. We’ve parted ways amicably.

I’m not going to bore you with the same stuff you can get on so many television programs at this time of the year. Yes, we were all stunned by Michael Jackson’s death. He was my first crush, setting me on this long road of loving and living in music. How I went from Michael Jackson to Brian Molko, I couldn’t quite say, but I do remember a several year, one-sided love affair with Brett Michaels somewhere in between.

As you should know by now, 2009 was the year I broke my long-standing resolution not to make resolutions. Instead of making a year-long goal however, I set myself up for month-long goals, looking for those little steps that felt just a little more achievable. Some went well and some stumbled into the gutter like my mind so easily does nowadays.

I had two major goals, each with smaller monthly steps throughout the year. Occasionally, I added a challenge outside these two to an individual month, but for the most part, I focused on my writing and my health. Neither is exactly where I want it to be, but both have had experiments with both success and failures that have led me forward more than back.

The boring one first. I won’t diet. I hate the word. If you want to lose weight, have more energy, feel better, whatever, you can’t just DIET. You need to change your lifestyle to fit your desired goals. Diet nowadays implies a temporary status until you’ve reached your goal, and let’s face it folks, you can lose five pounds and then return to your old habits and gain it back in ten percent of the time it took to drop.

So what have I changed?

I’ve cut back on video games significantly. There are some new dungeons on WoW that I’ve been playing in more often in the past month, but over the year, I’ve cut back drastically, to the point that the Hubby noticed he was playing alone quite often. Turnabout is fair play, he quit before me, when I was still using the game as downtime for studying. Less sitting in the computer chair and less staring at the soul-sucking, energy-eating computer monitor does wonders for my mind space.

The gym is no longer that looming shadow off to the right as I speed home after work. I don’t go as often as I’d like, but this time last year I couldn’t run for thirty seconds and now I can run a mile, if not more, and I’ve been slowly shaving seconds off my time. I’d still like to tighten up some muscles. I miss my sexy shoulders during tank top weather, but I’m getting there. I hope to ramp up the exercise over the next twelve monthly segments.

My food intake (aka, diet, but not DIET) has changed. While I still splurge at home with potato chips or chocolate, I have cut soda out of my life virtually completely and I never buy food from the vending machines. If I do have a soda, it is once a month, if that. Between the sugar and the caffeine, yes, I’ve noticed a huge difference. Ideally, I’ll next work in more veggies and remove even more of the processed crap. Planning meals each week is my downfall in this area, and that will be the first thing on the monthly list for 2010.

The second big resolution goal, writing and more writing, has progressed both too slow and better than I expected. I’d have preferred to have more stuff out in the submission circle by now, but I do have several rejections under my belt for 2009, plus two stories nearly ready to be thrown into the ring.

I’ve made many friends this year networking in writing circles online. That has been great for both the introvert and the writer in me. Shy by nature (no, really) this alone was a great feat (that technically started in ’08, but it took me quite a while to figure out how to use Twitter properly).

Word counts for the year are higher than I ever would’ve expected. Also, variety has soared. I don’t write just vampires anymore and, with the obsession over sparkly, weak Fangs, I’ve moved willingly away from them. It’s been good for me, and my Muse, who now likes angels, demons, fae, weres, warlocks, and *gasp* humans.

Outside of the resolutions, other stepping stones and hurdles presented themselves this year. I passed the Certified Financial Planner exam with flying colors. A very good friend and I both exploded and then made up in a much needed shift of passions and desires, both growing stronger for it. I’ve started, and maintained, a fun to write (and read, I hope) web serial and have plenty of tidbits to carry it through the next year. I sunk the health saving account into Invisalign to finally fix the crooked teeth my dentist has wanted to straighten since middle school.

As we head into the tail end of this decade, I don’t know entirely what to expect. I’m looking forward to subbing more stories, meeting up with some online friends in Vegas, exploring the opportunities my certification may provide, and watching my nieces grow like weeds. I’m happy with my Hubby, my family, my friends, and I look forward to more of the same.

Raise a glass with me, dear readers. Let us cheer to a night of drunken debauchery followed by a greasy hangover breakfast, to embrace the lush stereotype the writer loves to have.

Liquor, but I hardly know her.

Ciao,
Pia

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