My life has changed dramatically over the past year, and so it’s taken me some time to put together some resolutions for 2013. You know, the list of all the things you’re doing wrong and how you plan to fix everything, a practice stolen from the ancient Babylonians, who marked the beginning of a new year by paying off debts and returning borrowed goods. I like the idea of some dude returning a shovel he borrowed from his neighbor hundreds of years ago and that simple act becoming a tradition that is now commemorated with pyrotechnics and a boost in gym memberships.
So, in the name of borrowed shovels everywhere, here are a few of my resolutions:
Allow myself more hours in the day: I am a notorious bad riser in the morning, but lately I’ve been seeing articles EVERYWHERE about people who get up at ungodly hours and apparently conquer the world. This guy in particularly goes on at length about how much better off you by working it while everyone else is asleep.
Write more, write often: A former colleague, Monica Guzman, recently wrote a great post on her website about the need to write more. I thought it was a great subject, because at the top of the list of writer eccentricities out there, I find the pressure to produce more is constant, whether it’s coming from your job or from within.
Be positive: I started the year looking for a new job and I wrote a little here about how discouraging the process can seem at times. For anyone in a similar situation, whether a job search is the source of your anxiety or not, I highly recommend the book, Your Erroneous Zones, by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It was written in the 1970s but details principles that apply today, or in any day for that matter, about how to eradicate negative, unhelpful thinking. No matter the stressful situation, I keep going back to this.
Be brave: Sometimes the hardest thing is putting yourself out there, creating or writing and then putting it out their for everyone to judge. I have been working on building a thicker skin for 8 years, every since I made a huge error in a story for my college newspaper about dorm safety. I had interviewed this kid and when I asked him if there were fire escape plans posted in his hallway, he shrugged and said “I’ve never seen any.” Well, according to the angry letter his resident adviser wrote into our paper the next day, there are fire plans posted EVERYWHERE. I was too young to wade through the embarrassment and find the lesson there, but I do remember what one of my instructors told me after he saw me moping around the Journalism building: thick skin, Bonner, thick skin.