Sunday, September 9, 2007


At the end of last year (2006), Richard began talking to his class about making New Year's Resolutions. As I am with many of his ideas, I was resistant. To me, the kinds of promises that people make to themselves are generally dumb. They're open ended, hard to monitor, and difficult to keep... Like "I want to lose weight." I mean, how do you make a promise like that to yourself? How much weight? In what amount of time? How do you measure this goal? And what if life's circumstances get in the way? Resolutions were built to be broken as I saw it.

But he kept talking to us, and come December 31st, I had decided that I would make some. After all, I usually work well off of lists. And so it came to be that I recorded the following commitments on the front page of my 2007 Dayplanner:

1. I will decide what my goal weight is and get to it.
2. I will host a minimum of four gatherings in my home this year.
3. I will propose my feature column idea to "X" Magazine this year.
4. I will take a minimum of four classes in any subject this year.
5. I will take a trip to someplace this year, no matter how small.
6. I will see the Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles this year.
7. I will sell at least 10 craft items this year.
8. I will get W-'s script to S- this year.

Some of these tasks were either fun or funny, others were very difficult to either do or achieve. All of them were good for me, though.

Probably, the two hardest to complete were the weight goal issue and the script. Both of them required quite a bit of thought and nerve. Although I often come across as confident, assertive, and at times even aggressive, I am actually very timid and shy by nature. My persona is something that amazes even me. I often think that it's the "equal and opposite reaction" that is supposed to be sparked by the action; or in my case, inaction.
I visited the page that I had recorded my resolutions on often. And over time, realized that several of them were taking care of themselves. The trip? My fiber conference last March. (Provided link to Conference 2009.) The magazine? I got the nerve to send off my query letter on the spur-of-the-moment one afternoon several months ago. It's a good idea, and whether they accept it or not, I'm glad that I sent it in.

The Gatherings? Just seemed to happen. So I started recording the dates that I either did parts or completed the entire project next to the line item, and as I completed them, I highlighted them in purple. And with a list in action, I correspondingly went into action.

The weight goal? I ultimately decided that I was already there; that it was just too hard to keep on losing and that I didn't want to put the sustained effort into both losing the amount in question, and then keeping it off.
The script? Definitely the hardest one for me as I was acting as an intermediary for two people that I really like and respect, and if things went terribly wrong, I could lose both of these friends. I can honestly say that had it not been written down and committed to, I may never have gotten the nerve to get it finished. But it happened and although it did not have a classicly happy ending, there's still light at the end of that tunnel and both of my friends are fine with me.

The craft items took care of themselves. I was selling my pouches at the begining of the year; and then my jewelry business started taking off, and the number was blown out of the water.

And the classes just seemed to happen too. As I started learning about more things, my curiosity and drive to expand my skills took over and I completed class number's 4 and 5 this week. And have more scheduled in the next few.

So that just left the Cathedral, and Eric was a wonderful sport and took me there this morning. I have proof that we visited, too. Both of my dogs now sport Saint Frances Medals for Dogs that were for sale in their gift shop. And I have a tin of "Fish Tarts," a candy similar to Sweet Tarts except that they are in the shape of a fish and every tin comes with a bible phrase inside.

So now that I've completed all the tasks I set out for myself this year, the question came to mind: Do I need to set some new ones to complete before 2008? And after due consideration, I've decided that I do not.
The wheel of production and progress was set in motion by Richard nine months ago, and although I had severe reservations about the process when I started it, I realize now that he was so right. Having that written list spurred me to complete everything that I had set out for myself because I could not conveniently "forget" it, only remembering at the end of the year with regret.

And I've already started making my Resolutions for Year 2008.

1. I will get a booth and show my product line in at least one trade show next year.
2. I will attend at least one event in the Disney Hall at the Music Center next year.
3. I will visit the Gift Shop at the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office next year.

To be continued...

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