Looking at 2013

As a writer, I should use this space to set some goals for the year ahead. I should talk about how many stories I'm going to write, the novel I'd like to I will finish, or the number of submissions I hope to hit. But I'm pretty good about that stuff, really. I write most days -- which is the best I can hope for given my tiny kids and their ever-present unexpected and totally unpredictable lives. And while I can't boast that I've published SCADS of stuff, I can say this: 2012 was my first year out calling myself a writer for real. It was the first year that I gave myself permission to practice the craft that calls me and always has. And in that year, I wrote a novel, had two short stories accepted for publication (out of about 20 submissions), and published a collection of short stories. I attended two writers' conferences and made many great writing connections online and in the real world. I believe that I've made very significant progress as a writer, both in terms of my actual work and in my understanding of the business and craft. So, that's what I did this year. Next year, I expect my writing to grow both in quantity and quality. I expect to have published something else myself, and to have had several more stories accepted for publication in journals. I am taking an advanced fiction class through UCLA Extension's Writers' Program (UCLA is my alma mater) with David Borofka in January, and hope that that will be a great launch for the year. (BTW - UCLA Extension's courses are fantastic. I have taken many of them... you do not have to be a Bruin to take these courses.)

So I feel like my writing is in line.

It's the rest of my life I worry about.

I've realized that I default to pissed off. I wake up, feel great. Get out of bed and do my morning ablutions, feel great. My kids see me and begin demanding things, and I am pissed off. They're five and three...their natural state is need. So it's a bit unfair for me to get riled so easily... and I don't want to be the pissed off mommy. Or the pissed off wife. I think I've managed to be grumpy enough to make my kids and husband actually fear talking to me at times. And you know what? Life is way too short. I am lucky. I have a fantastic family. My husband actually loves me and tells me so often. (plus, I kinda like him and he's pretty nice to look at, too...) We have a good life together, few worries and a very bright future. So what's my problem? I need to enjoy this life on a daily basis. And that is my only goal for 2013. To remind myself, constantly if need be, to enjoy. Because there could be a bus with my name on it lurking just around the next corner.

Are you mindfully enjoying your life? How do you remember to do so? Advice and tips appreciated! :)

Happy New Year, all!