Let’s be honest: resolutions suck. Not because making plans to be a little better at life is inherently bad, but because of that inevitable moment when you look BACK at your resolutions and see how many you haven’t met. Even if you managed to meet all but one or two of your resolutions, the unfinished ones make you feel like a loser. “Sure, I lost 15 pounds, organized my closet, and traveled more, but I never finished that screenplay! I’M A FAILURE!”
And over time, you begin to believe that you’ll basically fail at any resolution you make, so why even bother?
At least, that’s where *I* was this year.
And yet, my fellow Debs demand a blog post about resolutions, and because I love them, I decided to tackle my ennui and fear of failure and make a list… with a twist. Instead of making resolutions for THIS year, I figure I’ll just make a retroactive list of resolutions for LAST year. That way, I’m guaranteed to meet them all!
Molly’s 2011 Resolutions:
— Finish revising The Princesses of Iowa. Never, ever revise it again: Check (I hope!)
— Grow out my weird/unfortunate bangs: Check! Bangs are now normal length, and indistinguishable from rest of weird/unfortunate hair.
— Survive first year of marriage: Check! Still married!
— Eat healthier — fewer preservatives & more vegetables: Check! Switched from Lean Cuisines to pre-made Trader Joe’s salads for lunches. More expensive than making my own salads, but hey, I’m not Superwoman.
— Watch all six plus seasons of Bones: Check! Mmmm, David Boreanaz.
— Rent beach cottage with besties. Spend time walking on beach, watching waves, reading in bed, playing with dogs, and stargazing: Check! It was cold but absolutely gorgeous, and the company couldn’t be beat.
— Start an advanced workshop class for children’s and young adult writers: Check! We meet monthly and the writing is a joy to workshop.
— Smooch the greyhound a bunch: Check. It’s hard work, but someone has to do it.
— Propose a panel at national writing conference: Check! Come see my panel “Queer Voices in YA Literature” at the AWP Conference in March!
— Avoid murdering anyone: Check! Not always as easy as it looks.
— Travel more! Visit friends in Texas and New York, explore Austin, camp in Michigan and upstate New York, see Niagara Falls: Check! Canoeing on Town Lake in Austin was a particular highlight. Plus: bats!
— Co-teach classes with BFF: Check! We co-taught a class ten years ago and haven’t taught together since. It was so great to pick up where we left off.
— Write at least one random blog entry that goes viral: Check! It’s still wandering its way around the internets.
— Spend lots of time in the hammock, reading, napping, and watching the clouds: Check, though this one was one of the hardest. I had to force myself to leave my phone inside the house, and sometimes had to say, “Molly. Look at the sky. It is blue. It will not always be this warm. Pay attention to this moment. Enjoy it.”
— Pay off at least one credit card: Check, and we have a plan to knock the rest out by the end of this year. Woo!
— Go on a writer’s retreat: Check and check — rented a cozy cabin with my fav dissertation-writing ladies in February, and taught at the StoryStudio Ragdale Retreat over the summer.
— Party with a million Badger fans in Chicago before watching the game at Soldier Field: Check! Go Bucky! (And better luck at the Rosebowl next year, Badgers…. SIGH.)
— Go to New Mexico to see my last class of 8th graders graduate from high school: Check! They were so grownup!! Awwwwww!!
— Explore s’mores options; experiment with different kinds of chocolate & graham crackers. Throw at least one s’mores bonfire party: Check! I recommend Symphony bars. Backes S’mores Secret: make them with peanut butter. You’ll never go back.
— Get involved with a group blog and meet a bunch of new writer friends: DONE AND DONE, DEBUTANTES!
Look at that — I accomplished every single resolution I retroactively set out to achieve. I AM AWESOME! Now I can’t wait to see what my resolutions are for 2012 — right after I reach them!
Happy New Year, everyone!
M. Molly Backes
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