1. I don't think I laugh enough. So I'm including as many books and authors in my reading list who make me laugh. Two such authors are Mark Schweizer (The Alto Wore Tweed, The Baritone Wore Chiffon, etc.) and Steven Hockensmith (Holmes on the Range mystery series).
2. I think I spend too much time answering emails. I have suspended memberships in online writing groups so that I might spend more of my time practicing the art of writing, rather than learning about it. I have so many things I have learned, now it is time to give it a try. This is the year I complete the novel and send it off for good or ill to hopefully be published.
3. My world is too small. I need to explore more. I haven't quite figured out how I will do this, but maybe I'll begin with small steps -- check out the new coffee house down the street or make sure I have at least one day a week (or a month) where I do something new or different or use a different perspective. To that end, I hope to use my camera more. A camera has a way of capturing truths we otherwise miss. And hopefully photos will remind me of special things and I can translate them into words.
4. I need to get connected. When we have an emergency, I have no strategy or back up or contact person. It is time to build my network and find my community where I am at, not just long for the community so far away.
5. I would like to live more in tune with the words of Max Ehrmann (1927) as he wrote in his Desiderata:
- Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence.
- As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
- Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others; even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
- Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.
- If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
- Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
- Keep interested in your own career however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
- Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism
- Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
- Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
- Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
- Do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
- Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
- You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
- Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
- With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
- Be cheerful.
- Strive to be happy.