Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year's Eve - Crack the Champagne?

I have a bottle, and I'm making a list of reasons to raise a glass.

It is quite amazing to me the things I learn about life from writing, in the act of finding language to create meaning and sensation. Here is one I'm pondering today: in editing, I often spend too much time trying to correct symptoms of underlying issues. For example, I'll say that a section of dialogue is stilted, when the real problem is that the character is underdeveloped. That sort of thing. Guess what...I do that in life, too. I react to symptoms and try to fix them, instead of taking that single breath and step backward to be sure I'm correcting the right thing. I've been working on this pretty hard in 2007, and I've made a lot of progress but dammmmmmit...I keep slipping up.

I forgive myself...but I really wish I would stop it. No: I will stop it.

Here is how I slip up most: not measuring opportunities FIRST against how they match with my priorities, and THEN by what else they might offer me. I'm very lucky in many ways - opportunities come to me. People who love me say that's because I work hard. Ehhh...I think it's some sort of balancing act for the crappy stuff that's been thrown in my direction. Either way - when opportunities arrive, it is hard not to be persuaded by the priorities that OTHERS have for me. More salary, more "prestige" - these aren't on my priority list. More time, more focus, the time and energy to write and to care for my body - these are on my list.

Oh, wait. Maybe how I slip up most is in overbooking myself, overcommitting my time. No. I'm getting better about that. Progress.

So, I'm withdrawing from consideration for a job that has a great title and pays better (and does get me to the side of the country I'd prefer living in) - but that advances none of my priorities. Whew. I'm getting better at this.

It occurs to me that if my priorities are attained...I'll likely find myself a healthy, fit, poor-but-happy writer. That's okay - I'll still have my shoes. It will be better than okay. It will be perfect. :)

That 12 week thing started today. So this morning, after a healthy breakfast, only ONE cup of coffee and a couple of glasses of water, I bundled up and went out to walk my 4 miles (including the breath-stealing hill!) in the chill air. It felt great. And now I'm here...and soon I'll go give myself a pedicure and get semi-snazzily dressed to ring in the new year. I'm wearing the shoes, I think...even if they are a super impractical choice for the quieter celebration we're planning.

And today, tonight, tomorrow - I'll be making my list of things to be grateful for, 2007 milestones and great moments, people to thank and connect with. And I will also be working on my plans for next year.

Be safe and joyous!

~ patti

1 comment:

mikebikes said...

you and the freaking lists....just rolllll with it, babeeee. Yeah. My lists are alphabetized, crossreferenced and color coded. What is your point? Happy New Year!