The things that inspire me to write can be puzzling but the poke and prod for this blog was as straight forward as they come. I should mention here that I am a writer by profession, or so states my Amex card, if not the paltry royalty statements my agent handed me at Bochercon, a well-known mystery writers convention, with a whispered, “It’s not good news.” It hadn’t been good news for a few years now. More on that later.
My poke and prod that night came in a series of commercials, all dealing with the usual good soldiers of the season: Taxes, weight loss, and online dating. It was startling how they came in a wave, as if somewhere the starter pistol had gone off releasing the familiar themes. I actually texted my two adult children, both celebrating far away and on their own. Here’s my text:
As I watch the ubiquitous January weight loss and tax preparation commercials, New Year’s resolutions come to mind. Here’s mine: get healthy (read exercise, eat better, lose weight), sell a book (so I can pay taxes).
The writer in me tried to work in the online dating but the fact is I’ve been happily married for 30 years, so there you have it.
Finishing what was to be my last glass of alcohol for January--more on that as well--I felt buoyed by the text. I’d launched my intentions into the ether and, being the eternal optimist, I felt good. My response to the devil on my shoulder pointing out that I’d had the same resolutions every year and never quite made inroads was always the same: I fail until the year I make the change and then I succeed.
But this year, I wanted to make change a focus. I’d felt “stuck” for some time. I could blame it on hormones or my empty nest or a midlife crisis or all of the above but what I was going through somehow felt more organic. Was this something I was supposed to get through, this quicksand of personal inertia? Another life chrysalis to be shed? I’d been rushing forward for some many years from crisis to crisis: Book deadlines, aging parents, children with college applications. And then it all stopped. Or maybe I stopped. Yes. I think it was me. I felt suddenly too tired.
I've been feeling “too tired” for some years. And getting back to the idea that this, too, could be a stage in life, I again wonder about my personal inertia. I am 54 years old, adult children properly launched and with what was once a successful career on hold.
So back to this idea of change. I am a writer, so the next logical step seems to be to write about it. I’ve never been one to keep a journal, so maybe I need an audience to get started. But I should warn anyone reading along that I was a litigator before I worked as a writer so I will probably research the shit out of this. Things like, what is change? How can I quantify it? How will I know at year’s end that I’ve made lasting change? What do experts advise on the subject?
I’m not sure what size or shape these posts will take, but I am committing a year to the project. And then, I will assess.
This is my year of change. I hope you join me.
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