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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Barbara Ankrum: NEW YEAR’S ANGST / RESOLUTIONS

NEW YEAR’S ANGST RESOLUTIONS
First, thanks, Lee, for inviting me to blog here today. It was so sweet of you to invite me! Here, at the very end of 2014, there seemed only one thing on my mind to blog about. Oh, yes. I’m going there.
New Year’s resolutions! I’ve always been fascinated by them.  And that is to say, from a distance, watching other people make them. For many, they work. They can be great motivators, I hear. You write your goals down at the beginning of the year and check them off as you accomplish them. In a way, written goals are a good reminder of your decision to accomplish something. But to me, there’s a self-implied ‘fail’ button attached to New Year’s resolutions because they’re sort of made out of a sense of desperation. End of the year, tick-tock, another year gone and all that. 


Don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals: big goals, smaller goals and in between goals. And I do set them all the time all throughout the year. But agreeing to terms of a rigid resolution? (I will join a gym. I will lose fifteen pounds…) If I’ve learned anything about myself, it’s that I’m stubborn. Independent. I have a knee-jerk resistance to rules. Hence…writer.

Are we talking semantics here? Possibly. Sometimes, I have to fool my own thought process that way.  Yes, I’m just that weird. Perhaps this is a product of getting older and having some hindsight into my own dismal failures when it comes to keeping resolutions. So with the intention of liberating myself from all that self-flagellation when I inevitably fail, I’ve learned to put a twist on the resolution thing by writing a grateful list, instead. This list isn’t really about all the things I think I should do or should have done but didn’t. Instead, it puts into perspective for me the things that have become really important to me over the past year.

Getting more exercise is one of those things that always makes the resolution lists. But as I take my daily two mile walk with my happy little dog, Maggie—who’s always grateful for everything—I make it a point to feel grateful that I can walk this briskly and this easily and this far. Because I know not everyone can. Feeling grateful instead of pressured inspires me to expand my routines, push myself farther. (i.e., Maybe I’ll add that next hill, just to prove that it won’t kill me!)

Spending more time with family always makes my list and it’s even more important to me now that we’re scattered to the four winds. So grateful that I have time now to do it and that I can make time in my schedule for visits with the grandbabies. I GET to.

Writing more books/writing faster is always on the list for writers. Again, after just ending a full time job where I had little time to write, I am so grateful to GET to write again. I remember that whenever I get stuck or slow down. I remember my gratitude to be able to do what I do. No pressure, just relief, really.

And because of those long hours in the chair, writing, Yoga is in my future. When I was working full time, there was a yoga studio across the street from my window at work. All day, I’d watch women come and go, wishing I was one of them. Now, (grateful) I GET to go to yoga! See what I mean? The exercise thing goes hand in hand with the writing thing. But they both come out of my gratitude list.
That’s just a sampling of what will be on my list this year. What about you? Do resolutions work for you? Or do you have to get creative with your goals? I’d love to hear and I’m grateful to have the chance to wish you a very happy and healthy 2015!  

And just for fun, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to get the year started out right! To enter, just tell me one thing you’re grateful for! 


Barbara Ankrum is the bestselling author of thirteen books, including her latest contemporary romance, A FAIR TO REMEMBER, from Tule Publishing. Her bestselling western historical series, ‘Wild Western Hearts’ is available on all e-book platforms. She’s been twice nominated for RWA’s prestigious RITA Award. She’s the mom of two wonderful, grown children and she lives in Southern California with her sweet husband, two cats and her scruffy Toto-impersonator walking companion, Maggie.

***Barbara's winner is Carol L.!  Please email totebag@authorsoundrelations.com with your mailing address.***

19 comments:

Peaces of Me said...

Happy New Year, Barbara and Lee! I have many things I am grateful for. Through my work and various events in life, I try to be grateful every day for who and what I have. But the first thing that popped into my mind when I read your question is that even though my Dad died way too young at 62, I am so grateful for the time that we had him with us. I am grateful for him, the lessons he taught me, and that even 20 years later the memory of him has not faded. Tied in with that is that I am grateful for my Mum who had the strength care for him, then to carry on alone, and that I still have her...they have both taught me great things. And I am grateful for you for asking this question and making me think of him, even though part of me will always be sad he's gone, I am so grateful I even had him. :)

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Earlier this year, my hubby was diagnosed with prostate cancer... I'm grateful for his diligent doctors and their staff. He had surgery earlier this month and the cancer is gone. I'm so grateful!

Laurie G said...

I'm grateful that my 4 children are wonderful, well adjusted individuals that have all found happiness and love with their supportive significant others.

Lil said...

I am grateful that I have a family that I like, as well as, love. If I could choose people to be members of my family, I would sooooo choose them. They make me happy.

Michelle Thomas said...

I'm grateful for my family even when they make me want to choke them, lol. Thanks for the giveaway and great post.

Agatha Townsend said...

I am grateful for another year with my granddaughter Jordan, my husband, her Papa passed away in 2011.

Janine said...

I am grateful to have my husband. Even though he drives me crazy a lot of times, he is still the best man I have ever met. He went out of his way to make sure my mom had a good Christmas this year. after loosing my step-father, she didn't want to do anything for Christmas. With his help, we were able to convince her to do it. I even made dinner (something I never do).

dstoutholcomb said...

grateful for my husband and kids!
Denise

Cindy Hamilton said...

I am grateful for all the blessings God has bestowed on us!

Karen H said...

What a wonderful post today. Of course the lose weight and exercise more will end up on my list of resolutions. I'm calling them life goals this year! Join Silver Sneakers program at Curves, eat more sensibly and watch portions. By doing just those two things, it will lead to weight loss! I'm grateful for my health. Even though I'm overweight, my heart is good, my cholesterol is in a reasonably good number range, I don't have diabetes and my blood pressure is under control.

erin said...

I'm grateful for the health and happiness of my family! This last year, we lost a very, very close friend to cancer and he was so very young, only 33. So, we have been more grateful this year for good health, since we learned such a bitter lesson not to take it for granted.

traveler said...

Your post is inspiring and realistic. I enjoyed it greatly. I hope to stay well and healthy after two years of serious medical issues which were a new experience for me. Health is precious since it determines our enjoyment and quality of life.

petite said...

What a wonderful post and so special. I am grateful to be able to walk in the sunshine, play in the park with my grandchildren and enjoy each and everyday since life is fleeting.

Mary Preston said...

I am grateful for my ever growing reading list. I will never run out of reading material - ever.

Carol L. said...

I love this post. Years and years ago I used to make resolutions that didn't work out so I stopped making them. :) Why set myself up for rejection. I also like to dwell on all I have to be grateful for.My 7 kids who are all healthy aand happy. The fact that my youngest daughter fought and won her battle against Bone Cancer and is still healthy. Have a Happy New Year everyone.
Carol L
Lucky4750(at) aol (dot) com

Jen said...

Thank you for the inspiring post! I am grateful for books, whether in print or on my Kindle. They keep me sane when life gets crazy! xo

Michele L. said...

Hi Jen!
I enjoyed reading your post! I usually don't make resolutions but this year I am going to make one. I am making the no. 1 most popular resolution, I am going on a diet. I have gained to much weight and my clothes don't fit well anymore. I am my mom's caregiver and most of my time is spent taking care of her. But no more excuses. I am going on a diet 2015, Jan. 1st! I am going to diet and exercise. Now, all I need is an exercise partner to keep me motivated. I used to be so disciplined when I worked full-time and walked on my lunch hour. I was so nice thin but I have gained 50 pounds since then. Wish me luck!

Happy New Year! Many blessings for a happy and healthy year!
Michele

Michele L. said...

I forgot to mention that today is my birthday. I am a New Year's eve baby. My mom had me at 11:17pm. on New Year's eve. I am enjoying my birthday!

Alina P said...

I'm grateful for my family and good books :)
Happy new year!