Friday, December 31, 2010

New Yearsie stuff

I'm not one for resolutions. Not that I'm superstitious... but isn't that just asking for trouble? Dooming yourself to failure? Back in the day I used to make some pretty hefty resolutions, most having to do with losing weight. (I was absolutely positive that if I could just lose twenty pounds everything I ever wanted in life would dance right into my lap.) Wow, that got serious fast.

Anyways, the point is: I always failed. Sure, I'd do alright for a while, but eventually, somewhere around the end of January, life would sink into the crapper, leaving me in a thicker stew of self-hatred than the one in which I started. It's cyclical and evil and pretty damaging.

Not that I'm against goals. Without goals I never would have (almost) finished my novel or produced any of the amazing choreography that has made the last few years so rewarding.

I know everyone sees these things differently, but for me there is a clear distinction between a resolution and a goal. A goal says that I am going to write a novel. A resolution says that I am going to work on it every single day. This might be healthy and perfectly achievable for someone else, but the reality is that I can't always accomplish that. There are too many other things in my life that are deserving of my time. My jobs, my husband, my family, my friends, and my own mental stability. I don't want to feel guilty for the time that I take on these things. But, that is how my mind works. I will feel guilty. If one day I need to take a nap instead of spending time on the novel, my brain will berate me late into the night. This is what it does. It likes to obsess over rules and structure, yelling at me every time I fail.

Then, once I've failed, why not fail some more? I'm already deep in the sea of self-loathing, what difference does it make if I sink a bit further?

You can see why my diet plans inevitably failed.

Guess what? I did finally do it. I've been sitting at my goal weight for about six years now.

How? By refusing to set restrictive, crazy resolutions for myself. By learning to love food again, instead of viewing it as the enemy. By not allowing the kitchen table to be a battlefield. By accepting my body, regardless of its size. By loving what it can do. By forgiving myself.

It is so easy to hate yourself. The human mind will jump on any opportunity.

I don't want my writing desk to become a war zone. That path leads to obsession and away from love. Both can write darn good books, but, for the books I want to write, I know which path is mine.

Black Sunday Afternoon - Anna Ternheim


  1. Hey, good point, about not wanting your writing desk to become a war zone. No negative vibes or expectations wanted there! I too have goals, to finish my work-in-progress (my 16th novel), to play the piano sitting in my living room (oh, is THAT what that piece of furniture is?), and exercise more. These are pretty realistic, I think.

    Anyway, it's fun and great to meet you, and I enjoyed reading your previous post, too! Thanks for stopping by my blog--Happy New Year 2011.

  2. "Goals," "resolutions"... all semantics. It's all with the intent of getting from wherever you are to wherever you want to be. For yourself and for everybody else: you do whatever works for you, and to hell with all else.

  3. "It is so easy to hate yourself. The human mind will jump on any opportunity."

    TOO TRUE. Not to mention, it's so easy to hate your own writing. It's harder to love than to hate, for whatever reason...

  4. Thank you everyone for your comments. All the best for a fantastic 2011. :)

  5. I don't want my writing to become a war-zone either. It's something I love and am passionate about. The day I become a self-slave driver about writing, it will break my heart.