Adios, 2018. I’ve got mixed feelings about you.
You delivered some good stuff, but you jabbed me in the gut a few times, too.
Last year I hit some big goals. I learned to surf. I improved my photography, I turned in a rough manuscript for a book. I kept adventuring. I celebrated 20 years at the Austin American-Statesman, and 20 years of marriage to my husband Chris.
Then I quit my job to go freelance.
I won’t lie – I’ve cried rivers of tears since my last day at the Austin American-Statesman in mid-September. But last year’s resolution (and one I’ve written every year for the last five years) to reduce stress led me here. Now I’m writing for multiple publications, at my own pace.
It’s 2019 now, and I like to look ahead, not back. That means I need to set some fresh New Year’s resolutions.
I try to cover all areas of my life when I set my yearly goals. I try to keep them attainable and at least some of them measurable. I like variety, too, so I usually include stuff that keeps me healthy and fit, personal goals and something wacky or unusual. (One year I vowed to learn to start a fire using the bow method. Nailed it!)
Have you set your New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear what they are.
Without further fanfare, I present this year’s list:
- ARCTIC EXPEDITION: I quit my job to write about really big adventure, and I’m planning a trip to the Arctic this summer to follow an Austin paddler aiming to become the first person to paddle the Northwest Passage.
- TEXAS WATER SAFARI: I had so much fun covering the Texas Water Safari last year (story coming soon) that I’ve decided to paddle it myself this year. Two veteran paddlers invited me to join their three-woman team, and training has begun.
- FREELANCE: I want to see my byline in major publications.
- FINISH THAT BOOK: I’ve turned in a draft, now I want to see my book about Texas land conservationist J. David Bamberger in print.
- PHOTOGRAPHY: I love taking photographs. I’m working hard to improve. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m making progress.
- CHARGE MORE: It’s time to ask for more money for my writing work. I’m worth it.
- CELEBRATE: I’m pulling out the party hats and horns every opportunity I get, because every moment counts.
- DINNER PARTIES: I used to think people judged the food or the cleanliness level of my home when they came to visit. They don’t – at least my friends don’t. They come to enjoy the company. I love dinner parties. I’m hosting more of them.
- LESS STRESS: This one makes the list every year, and I never accomplish it. Now maybe I can.
- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Find it, show it, share it.