Saturday, January 4, 2014


My birthday is New Year's Day, which means I get a double whammy of the impulse to change my life for the better that comes with turning over the calendar and having to write a new, bigger number on forms that ask for my age. So I have a habit of setting really ambitious resolutions for myself. Every year I declare that this year will be different! I will be so organized. I will waste no time. My house will be so neat. I will eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every single day. My bills and paperwork will be filed, not just shoved into boxes, and each month I will clear out everything that's past its retention period.

Yeah, right. This year I'm at least attempting to be more realistic. But because it is a new year and I am a year older, I couldn't resist setting a few goals.

  1. I've been on Weight Watchers for a little over a year. At the start, I was 70 lbs over the top of the healthy range for my height. I've lost 40 of those pounds and by BMI am now considered overweight rather than obese. This year I want to lose the remaining 30 lbs and maintain the loss. (I'm not trying to lose any more than that because I really am big-boned. I have broad shoulders. My feet and even my head are big. As for my chest, let's just say I laughed uproariously at a book where a hero reflected on the heroine's "generous figure" by thinking she had to wear "C cups, at least." When I'm feeling poetic, I think of myself as the shield maiden type, though "sturdy peasant" is probably more accurate.)
  2. I will finish the manuscript I'm under contract for on time.
  3. I will submit proposals for two additional manuscripts--one sequel to the contracted book, and one completely unrelated work, possibly even in a whole new genre for me.
  4. I will read at least 120 books. (For 2013 I read 115, so this should be doable.)
  5. I will have a rough budget and itinerary mapped out for the European "trip of a lifetime" I'm planning for Summer 2015 to coincide with the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo. 
  6. I will work with my doctor, my physical therapist, and any other specialists needed to get my bad shoulder and bad foot healthy enough to not spend the Summer 2015 trip limping and whimpering my way across Belgium, France, and Spain. (Currently I have good days and bad days with both problem areas.)
  7. I will work on improving my social life. I'm still figuring out what that means, but so far I think I'll invite friends to dinner more than once or twice per year, and I'll do some of the classes and activities at my new church instead of just slipping into a pew two minutes before the 10:00 AM service starts and ducking out as soon as it's over.
That's a lot, and if I pull it off I think I can legitimately feel accomplished. But it's not so far beyond what I'm already doing that I feel like I'm asking the impossible of myself.

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