This New Year's Eve, my children and husband are happy to hear that my resolution is to calm down: to live in the moment, to enjoy life, to laugh every day, and to relax.
I am a compulsive goal-setter. Just this week, I decided to attack the GRE word list, and with the same over-do-it-ness that I apply to everything in my life, I learned 100 words in a week - not 10 or 20 - but 100. Instead of making my exercise goal a simple 20 minutes of exercise a day, I am compelled to do it large: a virtual bike trip to Seattle. Instead of losing ten pounds and going from there, my weight loss goal is a seemingly impossible 30 pounds.
I also set a book-reading goal for myself that may be impossible for me to accomplish - but setting the goal set me back on a path to reading books I love. I have finally made it to the scene in The Hobbit where they found the secret door - I can't wait to finish it.
In my heart, I think these goals are good. Without goals, I feel like I'm not myself. I think I need them, so I will keep up my voyage to Seattle and hope to finish it this year, but will definitely add my kids' miles to the mix. I will work on the thirty pounds but will be happy when I lose even five. I will keep reading and hopefully will make it to the point where I set aside time everyday for reading like I do for writing - because I love it.
I feel a little lost this week because I haven't written (except here) in two weeks. I am terrified the children's book I am working on may well be the last good idea I will ever have. I know a lot of writers feel that way and freeze in their tracks.
One thing that keeps me going is this blog, and I appreciate everyone that has read my entries. Writing daily here is one thing I don't have to set as a goal for myself, although working on my other writing projects probably should be. Being too tough on myself with my writing goals is the surest way to stifle my creativity and make the writer in me pop into my shell like a turtle attacked by three year old boys. I set a too-rigid goal for myself for getting my story done and have frozen. I need to back off of it, take a rest, take my tired body to the bookstore and hope that my creativity will be revived if I give it a chance to breathe.