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Yield to Stern Resolve
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As I do every year, I'm taking time for some introspection and course-corrections in the form of New Year's Resolutions/goals. A look at last year's resolutions:

  • Be nicer to my body. [Intermittently successful. Eating much better overall, but a bout of bad news and stress-eating made me the fattest I've ever been. I scaled back from that one-eighth-of-a-short-ton weight to my usual normal overweightness. Ah well. Being too poor for my gym membership hurt too. Will try to be better this year... and treat individual failures as interruptions, not endings.]

  • Write better stories. [I had an awesome writing year. Lots of new stories, including some of my best work ever.]

  • Write joyfully. [Had to write with more urgency than joy this year, to make money, but I'm mostly still having fun.]

  • Sell another novel. [Sorta -- I'm doing a work-for-hire novel. But not one of my original books with my name on it. Wish me better luck next year. This is a dumb resolution, anyway; better resolve to write books/synopses/packages and get them submitted, as that's all I can control.]

  • Be a good husband. [You'd have to ask Heather, but I really tried.]

  • Get the house a bit more organized. [Again, more incremental progress, but things are improving, especially in the baby's room.]

  • Be a good father. [I yell a bit too much when frustrated -- which is pointless, since my kid thinks yelling is fun -- and must get the casual profanity under control as he repeats things now, but: I spend a lot of time with my kid, and we love one another's company, and his face lights up when he sees me, and I intend to enjoy that as long as I can.]

  • Pay off the remainder of my credit card debt. [Ha. Considering that my wife was only employed for about half the year, I count it as a rousing success that our debt didn't increase. This one changes to "Pay down as much debt as possible."]

With some modifications, those all carry on to next year; many of them aren't meant to be resolutions I can finish and call done, but reminders of what's important in my life. I used to always say Love and Art were all that mattered to me; now it's Love, Art, and Family. (One could argue that Family is a subset of Love, but I pretty much meant Romantic Love with Associated Sexytimes, so the distinction is useful to me.)

Last year I said "2008 was the hardest year of my life." Wow, I had no idea what I was in for -- 2009 was so much worse. I really hope things improve in 2010. Sure, the distinction between years is arbitrary, but humans are great at infusing the arbitrary with significance. I'd say it's one of our core strengths.

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