Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year - 2014 is finally here

We've always had a superstition in my family that goes like this: Whatever you do on New Year's Day, that's what you'll mostly be doing all year.

So...I'm sitting here working on writing projects and watching Doctor Who. I think I've got it covered. Well, sort of. I still need to find what's looking to be a non-existent job. But, still, I hope to find a job that uses my writing talents, so I'm still in the ballpark on that.

The other thing about New Year's Day: resolutions. Not making any. I rarely do, mostly because I believe that if something is worth doing, it doesn't need to wait until an arbitrary day to start it. No time like the present and all that. Now, I have signed up for the reading challenge again over at Ravelry, and set my goal at reading 45 books this year. As I wrote about yesterday, my goal last year was to read 40 books, and I exceeded that by one book. But, it's the first year in several that I've met my goal for reading, so we'll just have to see how the year plays out and if I can reach the new goal.

I guess setting a reading goal is sort of like a resolution. Still, I will not beat myself up over it if I don't reach that goal. I'm taking as more like an inspiration to do just a little bit more than I did last year.

I've also sort of promised myself that I'll have the book I'm writing ready for submission or self-publishing by the end of the year. But, being able to reach that goal is not completely under my control. While it's nice to have lots of writing time while I'm without job, I'd rather have a job that's bringing in money now rather than hoping that my book will make me some money eventually. And, I'll make writing time even if I do find a job, the writing just might go more slowly. So again, not a resolution just determination on my part.

I would like to say that I'm going to try to bitch and moan about stuff here - politics and culture war stuff - a little bit less this year, but I know that's not going to happen. For one thing, this year is mid-term elections and once the politicians get into full campaign mode, I'm sure there will be plenty of things to complain about. Also, I'm getting ready to do a little cultural criticism now, today, and so I'd be breaking the determination not to do that so much less than 24 hours into the new year.

Specifically, I want to have a little talk with all those people who think it's a grand idea to go out at midnight and welcome the new year in by shooting their firearms into the air, ignoring that little bit of physics which says that what goes up must, inevitably, come down. So, last night a friend of mine was going potty, as she puts it, last night, when a bullet came through the roof of her house and hit her in the back. Now, having to plow through the roof and the ceiling slowed the bullet down enough that all it did was leave a red mark on her back, and she wasn't hurt.

But she could have been. And that would have really pissed me off.

I don't understand the shooting off guns thing, anyway. There are plenty of ways to make noise to bring the new year in. Yell. Scream. Shout. Blow horns. Beat a bass drum. But don't shoot into the air. It's silly, it's stupid, and it can be lethal. And, you know, you always think that if something happens, it will happen so someone else. That's what I've always thought. But, last night, it happened to my friend.

Otherwise...Happy New Year. Make it a good one. Be excellent to yourselves and each other. No matter how busy you are, take some time to relax and enjoy. Read a book. Listen to some good music, whatever you think good music is. See a movie. Try something new once in awhile. Go outside and stand in the sun for a few minutes, maybe go for a walk - it really does take some of the edge off of a stressful day. Tell those closest to you that you appreciate them and give them a hug. Hugs are good for you, you know.

But also, don't let the bastards get you down. Learn how to say no when it is necessary. Do your best at whatever you do. You don't have to be the best at everything you do. Chances are, you can't be the best at everything you do because, really, nobody can. But - you're letting yourself down if you aren't the best you can be.

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