Happy New Year

Well, here we are in 2011. Maybe just by the tips of our toes we have tested the waters of the massive pool of 2011 possibilities, but we are definitely here. As I started typing out my newest storyline, I remembered I started a website not too long ago and it might be a smart thing to update it occasionally. What better time than with the fresh beginnings of the New Year.

I ended 2010 with a whole bunch of crazy. Isn’t that a profoundly eloquent statement? Well, after many years of either working for myself or part-time for other people, I took on a full time job right when the holiday insanity rolled into my lap. As any working mom already realizes, the end of the year activities are a little stressful. Add the new job and travel to boot, and I managed to get sick right about the time I should have been having fun. Four weeks later, I am finally well and feeling confident 2011 is a year of bright prospects.

This is the year of many changes. I will get into that later throughout the year when I feel the need to share (or vent), depending on the circumstances. However, for now let me say it will be challenging and rewarding. The journey is just as important as the finish line so, I am expecting the bumps along the way and embracing them instead of meeting them with trepidation.

So, what does coming into 2011 mean to you? I don’t do resolutions, but do you? If so, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you have resolved to do differently this year. I have a friend that says she is reinventing this year. I like that concept. All of us take time at one point or another to evaluate where we are in life, wondering if we have met our personal goals and expectations. I think of the movie, Titanic, and how Rose did so many exciting things with her life after experiencing such tragedy. I do not think she regretted much, if anything at all. I do think life is about taking one step at a time, but make sure you take the steps. Do not let fear paralyze you into inaction. Of course, you can keep your eye on a big goal, but do not miss the small wonderful experiences along the way. As Marian Wright Edelman so persuasively states, “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” This is so true in life.

If people had told me 18 months ago that I would be where I am today, making writing a major part of my life, I would say they were crazy. Well, now I am writing all the time, and I do this amusing little blog. So, go figure. A dear friend gave me the nudge back into writing that I needed and I am forever thankful for his friendship and encouragement. Without his support, the support of fabulous friends within the KPN network, and a very supportive husband and family, who knows if I’d be on this exciting adventure, grabbing opportunities to challenge myself as they come my way.

I catch myself from time to time contemplating if I have taken all the risks and opportunities that have come across my path in life. I do not want to realize at 80 years of age that I passed up opportunities that would never come again. I have a few that I missed out on, like taking private pilot lessons in Japan ten years ago to get my license, or learning to deep-sea dive. Both I declined in the end and wish I had at least given them an attempt. Of course, with flying if I had attempted it, I probably would not be writing this today. Diving I still find fascinating, but since my husband cannot join me in the underwater venture, I let it pass. Maybe one day I will decide to pursue diving after all, as that is another world within our own worth exploring. So what opportunities does this New Year hold that we should not let pass us by without giving our best efforts?

For me it will be writing. The year is starting out with a writing contest that I could not pass up again. I missed out on all the excitement at KPN last January, and I had no intention of letting the opportunity of challenging myself to write a novel in 30 days go by again. This is a total package writing contest, from concept to completion in 30 days, what an exciting, dynamic challenge. Therefore, you can expect an update next month on how that turns out. Stay tuned! In addition, I have a few other writing projects in the works that I must finish for my own sense of accomplishment. You may see them on bookshelves or on your eReaders one day, but they are not going to miraculously appear if I don’t finish them first, and then query them to publishers. Those are my goals for the New Year.

Is that reinventing, or looking to grab each opportunity? I feel I reinvented myself last year, finding my writing voice again after years and years of ignoring the gift. This is the year to challenge the boundaries of that craft and see where it can take me. All of us have something that we dream of doing. If you are already lucky enough to incorporate your dream in your life, are you following that dream to its full potential? Take a risk; go beyond your comfort zone. Do not be afraid to fail once or twice. Enjoy the journey, as well as the outcome.
I wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year. I leave you with one of my favorite quotes for the beginning of the year, by Edith Lovejoy Pierce, “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

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