Happy New Year!

I’ve been reading other people’s pending resolutions, and a few 2010 retrospectives, for a couple of weeks now. I’ve mainly enjoyed the short and sweet plans for the new year — like “I will exercise more, I will read more, and I will write more.” (I like that one; maybe I’ll steal it!)

As a seasoned “wait and see” adopter, I’m chiming in just now, on the second day of this new year, with some observations and a few glimpses forward.

The Year That Was

2010 was an interesting year. It was a difficult one for many people. Personally, I don’t know that many people who lost jobs in 2010, but I do know several who lost their homes, a few who had other financial setbacks, some who went through the grief of loved ones passing, and others who had a variety of tough challenges.

My own life has been fairly stable, filled with small speed bumps but mostly a straight and comfortable road, and I am overwhelmingly grateful for that. I’m not one to handle bona fide adversity well, and I’m glad I didn’t have any major issues that would then become a hurtful burden on anyone I know and love.

My biggest challenge is rooted in my lifelong battle with time management.  I’ve been quite busy with work from all angles, which is an extremely fortunate state of affairs, but one that does not afford me the time to do enough of my own writing or to eat right and exercise properly. Yeah, I know — boo hoo.  I feel like a whiner even mentioning any of it. But it’s my challenge, and I own it.  I will continue endeavoring to tackle my scheduling challenge and to lead a more balanced life in which I can take care of myself so that I can take care of business!

As I look back, I mostly feel an immense amount of gratitude. These are a few of things that stand out from 2010:

1. I’m infinitely grateful for my life, my family, my friends, and the fact that world has not yet imploded.  I expect it to do so at any moment whenever I watch the news or listen to “visionaries” talking about the state of the universe.  So I do not do much of that. I often feel like the proverbial ostrich, but I’m convinced that a bit of ignorance (or at least distance) is bliss.

2. Reading was a big part of my life, as it always has been, but I stepped it up a bit, becoming ensconced in the Goodreads community, enjoying the company and discussions of my book club, and discovering many new books and authors.

3. My mom and I spent three weeks in Europe, a trip many years in the making. It was wonderful to reconnect with family in the Czech Republic and with longtime friends. I also managed to take some marvelous photos that will be a lasting reminder of our walks through old Prague and other places.

4. I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time … and WON!  Winning means achieving the 50,000 word goal (or any goal above that which you set for yourself).  It motivated me to take a short story I’d written and turn it into a book.  It’s mostly drafted now, and as soon as there is a break in the client-project action, I plan to finish it and get out there.  My goal?  Get it done at least before the next NaNoWriMo in November 2011 — because I want to do it again!

5. This year, I felt a personal sense of accomplishment as a kind of settling-in to my skills set, built over a lifetime. It’s allowed me to feel truly comfortable in the major facets of my work — producing the materials clients need, offering advice about things I truly know something about, writing and editing for a living, and sharing some of the knowledge that can only be gained through long-term experience and a passion for one’s work. With my terrific little team, I produced a boatload for the education publishing company I work for, and I managed to become a sought-after conference speaker. I sold a few copies of my movie book, and volume two seems to be in demand.  I’ve had more client projects than I can shake a stick at.  It’s all good … really good!

What’s Up Next

I’m starting out 2011 with a new eating and exercise plan, a new haircut, and a lovely day spent with friends yesterday.  I’m already grateful and looking forward to a tremendous year.

The only thing that has gone (terribly, devastatingly) wrong so far in 2011 is that the Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t win the Winter Classic.  BOO!

I don’t make resolutions. Instead, I just want to be able to accomplish a few things, and it really doesn’t matter when that accomplishing begins.  But it’s a time of inspiration for new beginnings, so here’s the list:

1. I will lose weight and get in better shape.  I’m doing it!

2. I’ll keep working on fitting everything I need and want to do into 24/7/365.  I may not get to exactly where I want to be (again), but I’ll keep working it.

3. I will read joyfully, watch movies with abandon, and spend quality fun time with friends and family!  Trips are already planned for my brother’s birthday bash in Vegas in February and a fun trip in June with mom to the beautifully rebuilt Opryland Resort.

4. I’ll work on my own writing at least once a month. One novel and volume two of the movie book will bear 2011 copyrights.

Really, that’s about it.  The goals are simple.  But they are important to me.  And they will take some doing to accomplish.  They are not earth-shattering, but they are mine, and I’ll be proud and contented to accomplish them all.

I wish you all a year filled with good cheer, balance, health, love, and your own accomplishments!