To Making New Year’s Resolutions, Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving, and Spreading the Love on Valentine’s Day!

NYE champagne toastAs I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I firmly believe you can make positive life changes on any old day. If you want to eat healthier, then start with your next meal! If you want to drink less, order a seltzer and cranberry juice the next time you’re out with friends. As the adage goes (and no folks, Gandhi did not say this), be the change you wish to see in the world. Don’t wait until January 1st. It only takes a week or so for a new habit to become a routine. Personally, I prefer to start new routines on Mondays, but that’s just me.

While I don’t make formal resolutions, I do like to make crazy lists. The other day, I found myself writing down a bunch of things I’d like to focus on this new year. I guess you’d call it resolutions. Here’s what I scribbled down in my planner as unpacked from my Christmas vacation:

My "resolutions."
My “resolutions.”
Inside the Guggenheim.
Inside the Guggenheim.

The list has a lot of standard items like work out, clean, read, etc. However, two items really take precedence here as far as I’m concerned: going to the museum and getting off my phone. I live seven avenues from museum row and I’ve haven’t set foot inside the Met since 1990. (In my defense, it was closed the day I ventured over there). I’m so close to so many cultural gems and there’s no excuse to ignore them! Secondly, I need to beat my iPhone to smithereens with a sledgehammer  take some time to unplug from my phone. But, Instagram! Anyone that knows me knows my phone is always within arm’s reach and it’s getting to be a bit ridiculous. Even I’m annoyed. Baby steps!

Facebook status
Haters gonna hate.

I was having a conversation with a friend at work the other day about how many people in our Facebook feeds like to kindly remind us that we shouldn’t wait for New Year’s to make change, for Thanksgiving Day to give thanks, and for Valentine’s Day to express love. He pointed out, if that’s what you need to put a little positivity out there, then so be it! I couldn’t agree more. Just like some people need conversation starters to talk to people who intimidate them, others need the boost of the holidays to give thanks, share their love, and make resolutions.

So instead of hating on New Year’s resolutions, as I may or may not have done in years past, I fully support all of your goals for 2014! Who cares if you made them on January 1st (or in my case December 28th)? Let’s just make some positive changes in 2014 and spread the love!

I’ll see you at the museum.

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Please Excuse Me While I Go Work On My Novel

Don't worry, I'm not writing THIS novel by hand.

It’s that time of year again. Time for NaNoWrimo. For those of you that don’t know about NaNoWrimo (and didn’t read last year’s blog post about it), it is a “contest” where participants spend the month of November writing at 50,000 word novel. The focus of writing a novel in such a short period of time is on quantity over quality.

I’ve flirted with the idea of participating in NaNoWrimo ever since I learned about the competition back in my early college days. I’ve had many attempts, but zero completions (which would, incidentally, make me a terrible quarterback). Writing a novel has always been on my list of things to do ever since I started making lists of things to do. (So is getting a driver’s license, but I’ll save that story for a different post). I wrote one novel in the seventh grade, but that lone novel is getting pretty lonely. Plus, I lost it. It’s time to add another novel to my repertoire.

But, I say that every year. And just like every other year, my dance card is nearly full for the month of November. And am I really going to write on Thanksgiving? During a Green Bay Packers game? Maybe not, but something feels different about this year’s challenge.

So what’s so different about this year? For starters, I actually like my storyline. The words are just flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup. The story practically writes itself. I’d love to tell you all about the plot, but I do have a superstition about giving away a story before I write it. Because that alleviates the need to tell the story!

Another reason I’m going to finish this year is that I’m not getting any younger. I’ve always wanted to write a novel. So now is as good of a time as any other to write it. As my good friend always says to me, “Don’t talk about it, be about it!” So, I’m going to be about it and write this darn novel if it’s the last thing I do. I realize that finishing will take serious Dedication! Sacrifice! and Beer! But, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I WILL FINISH THIS NOVEL!

Finally, this time around, I’m chronicling my NaNoWriMo writing adventures in a series of articles in the book section of the Huffington Post. I volunteered to answer questions about the writing process and the progress of my novel. Each week, my answers will be posted along with the answers of six other writers. That will keep me in check and on track. After all, I don’t want to look like more of a buffoon on the interwebs.

That all being said, I have a lot of work to do. 6046 words down, 43,954 to go. Please excuse me while I go work on my novel.