Friday, January 02, 2009

Here's to a Fine 2009

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Even as a young girl I remember thinking that New Year’s resolutions were silly, that if there was something you wanted or needed to do, why wait for the new year to make it happen.

So this year I will continue doing what I’ve been doing pretty much all of my life: Getting up in the morning and going to bed at night.

Boring, huh?

It’s the in between things that define the quality of a person’s life. He’s a glimpse at what I do in between the rising and setting of my days.

I wake early without an alarm clock—thanks to all of the years I had to get up at 6 to get my kids ready for the school bus by 7. My husby works nights and sleeps until about 10 am, my daughty is away at university and my son exercises his post-high-school-afternoon-college habit to sleep until noon. This gives me blissful silence every morning to court the muse.

Make coffee—I used to prep it to automatically brew so it was ready when I got up, but I found the new coffeemakers hold too much moisture in the system and it gives the coffee a musky flavor. Fresh brewed is best.

Yoga, or not—I do yoga to the rhythm of the coffee brewing. I usually have two dogs vying for my attention while I’m reaching and stretching.

Lie on the sofa with laptop and dogs—I’ve written both of my novels in jammies, laying on my sofa with dogs curled at my feet and laptop where it belongs: in my lap. Just like now.

Morning pages—My friend MJ Chapman gave me a copy of THE ARTIST’S WAY last year for Christmas and one of the practices is called “Morning Pages.” I left behind hardbound journals a long time ago, so my morning writing is in a Word doc, formatted into a table with date and comment fields. I don’t journal my feelings/emotions and such, but list things I have to accomplish that day. This helps me clear the clutter from my mind so that I can move on to my next morning activity.

Personal writing—This is my favorite time of day. Personal writing is whatever I’m working on that doesn’t yet have a paycheck or deadline attached. If I’m writing an article for the newspaper or a magazine, that’s not personal writing and I do it during my working hours. My blog and fiction fall into this writing cycle.

Socialize—I absolutely love working from home, but it can be very lonely for a chatterbox like me. Facebook and my online writer’s groups are like watering holes that offer camaraderie and comedy. After I’ve finished my personal writing, I open Facebook and email and the work day begins.

Get dressed—Sometime after I’ve yakked at my virtual watering holes and am on my third cup of coffee, I meander back to the bedroom where BassMan has finally awaken. He’s often grumbly in the morning, so I slink around him without my usual prattle. My career attire begins with jeans and a sweater in the winter and a skort and t-shirt in the spring, summer and fall.

Commute to the desktop—I love my work. My commute is from my bedroom to my office. I have one main client that keeps me busy with interesting projects, professional education opportunities, events to coordinate, correspondence with uber-professional people, and opportunities to visit beautiful places. I keep my virtual watering holes open most of the day when I’m working, unless I’m utterly slammed with a deadline.

Travel—Last year I stayed in 29 hotels for a total of 64 nights, 11 of those hotels were in Mexico. My favorite? Hacienda Puerta Campeche, a blissfully beautiful boutique hotel in the colonial city of Campeche on the Gulf of Mexico. If I’m not traveling or writing about travel, I am planning my next trip. Next Monday I’m off to Palm Springs to review the recently reopened and restored legend, The Riviera Hotel and Spa.

Eat, pray, love and read—All things in moderation. Favorite food continues to be pizza in various mutations of the traditional stuff. I pray for peace, for safety to my friends and loved ones, for understanding, and I am not afraid to pray for patience. My husby, kids and dogs are the center of my love life, yet I love my virtual friends as much as my in-the-skin friends. Read? I love books as much as I love food. My favorite book this year wasn’t Ann Patchett’s RUN (as much as I had hoped), but a quiet book SALVATION by Lucia Nevai, published by Tin House Books, a terrific indie press.

After all the other stuff-I take my dogs Tank and Buck to the off-leash park where they frisk and frolic with their buddies when they’re not chasing balls or Frisbees. Then I cook dinner, read, maybe watch some TV, and I'm in bed by 10.

Reading all of this makes me tired. Maybe I’ll add a nap to the routine.

So anyway. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you keep them? What are the highlights of your days?