Happy New Year—2019

This represents what I’ll be doing in 2019—crocheting, writing, and sending Henry to terrorize villagers (not necessarily in that order)

Oh who am I kidding? With a face like Henry’s, who would be terrified?

Villagers serenade Henry with songs usually reserved for places like Whoville.

Praying—something else I plan to do a lot in 2019—could not be photographed, so pretend this emoji 🙏 is in the photo.

As I write this post, my email inbox is full of videos, newsletters, and blog posts all about the best or worst of 2018. Some of the above involve people making resolutions to do useful activities (losing weight, reading more, traveling more, writing more, socializing more).

I admire the work these individuals put into reviewing the previous year or writing goals for 2019. But a careful assessment of 2018 is not something you’ll find here. Under my given name (L. Marie is my pen name), I’ve got projects due this week and in the next two weeks. So, I’ll take the easy way out and show a photo that pretty much sums up 2018 for me, only with fewer snacks. (Wish I could’ve included a sound effect like a scream.)

If you’re wondering about the quote on the paper weight next to Kitty, it is this:

In many ways, I feel like I’m in a cocoon/chrysalis. No idea what sort of moth or butterfly may emerge in 2019. But the other day, I was inspired by a quote on the lid of my McDonald’s sweet tea:

The days ahead beckon us to look for moments we can sip for joy—moments where we look toward the possibilities and not just the problems; moments where we sip the sweetness of a sunrise or a child’s laughter.

Like the Skittles wrapper below says, try to look on the . . .

(If you can. I understand that life can be rather difficult sometimes.)

Happy New Year!

Aim Higher

During and after Christmas, my family and I ate lots of good food and watched (and laughed at) movies from the 80s like Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. ‘Tis the season.

breakin2

What’s the deal with Breakin’ 2? Glad you asked. The plot involves a group of teens who need to raise $200,000 to save a community center from a developer who wants to tear down the building to make way for a mall. But the plucky teens, all of whom were played by entertainers who looked to be in their late 20s and early 30s, just wanna breakdance, man. Sigh. Don’t we all?

Breakin Image

This sooooo reminds me of eighth grade. . . .

Thinking about the goal of those plucky “teens,” I’m reminded of a question my sister-in-law asked me the day before we watched the movie. Her question is one commonly asked at year-end: “What are your goals for the new year?” I’m sorry to say that I drew a blank. Sadly, I hadn’t set any goals. Perhaps like me, you’re now thinking of a familiar quote:

If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.
Zig Ziglar

Speaking of goals, the week before I’d read in a newsletter about a goal a guy set to write 57 novellas. Fifty-seven! The thought of writing that many novellas in a year sent my mind reeling. Why? Because I had grown so comfortable with aiming at nothing. After all, why set goals you think you’ll fail to meet? Or so I thought. . . .

As I considered the need to make writing goals, I thought about a challenge I face in my curriculum-writing job. I’m not allowed to use the same activity twice. I have to write new activities every week for two grade levels. When the mandate was handed down to avoid repetition even when teaching the same skills over and over, I balked, certain that I would fail.

Know what? I haven’t so far. I’m forced to think outside of the box (and also to pray really hard) in order to reach the goal every time.

think-outside-the-box

So I can certainly aim higher in my goal setting for 2015. In the past, I set goals I was confident I could reach (i.e., “I’ll finish a novel”), instead of goals outside of my comfort zone (i.e., “I’ll write a complete draft of three novels”). I can’t help thinking of the impossible goal the plucky teens in Breakin’ 2 set for themselves. They embraced the challenge of meeting it, all without mussing their carefully moussed hair or wrinkling their mesh belly-baring shirts.

Goal setting

I can certainly do the same even without donning a mesh belly-baring shirt. But some elbow grease is required. So, I’ve decided that writing three complete novel drafts and writing more poetry are my goals for 2015. Gulp. Let the writing begin!

goals_ski1

What about you? What are your goals for 2015? What has your goal-setting for 2014 taught you? What will you do differently in 2015?

Thinking outside the box image from kwawriters.org. Breakin’ 2 movie poster from prequelsandsequels.blogspot.com. Goal image from cognitionglobal.com.