I didn’t plan to make a resolution list for 2016. I planned to just continue concentrating on my ongoing life goal list, but I have a confession. I love lists. I’ve written about this before. I love the way that lists present a fragmented, free-form, less intimidating way to write down thoughts.
Some people write in a linear fashion; some people, like me, write the way children finger-paint: stand back, throw a big beautiful mess at the canvass, let it sit, and then scrutinize it for the main focal point to draw out. I love the way that lists tell stories in bite-sized nuggets, fragments of narrative that we can then stich together with imagination.
I stole today’s list idea, Top 10 Tuesday, from the Broke and the Bookish via Gin & Lemonade. The blogosphere is an open market of thievery. So, here are my top 10 goals for 2016.
1. Write more for pleasure
I think I’ve forgotten how to do this since I began marketing myself as a writer; not that I don’t enjoy professional writing, but sometimes exercising my writing muscles for pure pleasure has its own rewards. It might be a blog post, or an entry in my private journal, or a fragment in which I wax rhapsodic about how looking at Colin Firth’s eyes is like looking into a river swirling with all the secrets of the world in its depths.
2. Stop feeling guilty about having fun
I work hard. I deserve to play equally hard. Never mind that my definition of playing hard consists of crashing on the couch and binge-watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. (Don’t judge).
3. Guard my “me” time ruthlessly
I don’t dislike people (or rather, I don’t dislike a select group of people). In general, the human race baffles me. People who know me tend to classify me as an extrovert. I prefer to think of myself as an outgoing introvert. Yes, we do exist. Sometimes I thrive on human interaction, but sometimes, I need to erect my personal space boundaries, and when I’ve had enough, don’t take it personally if I go Captain Picard on you. The line must be drawn here, if ya know what I mean.
4. Keep better track of the books I read
In 2015, I fell into a rather Emma Woodhouse-like habit of making ambitious lists of all the books I’d read. Unlike Emma, I finished them, but I typically forgot to tick them off when I did finish them. Remembering to do so would have created a more efficient indexing system and also eliminated the problem of purchasing books I already own. And I have to own them; I can’t just borrow them. Unowned books are orphans waiting for a home. I’m doing a good deed.
5. Correct people when they mispronounce my name
My upstairs neighbor likes to call me Frances. I like to pretend I have gone magically deaf when he does. I have a problem with confrontation. (5.1: confront awkward situations head-on instead of scurrying into the corner like a frightened mouse or feigning deafness).
6. Read at least 5 books on Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf list
Yes, Hermione Granger has started a feminist book club, and all the cool kids on the internet are joining, apparently. Emma Watson is the kind of feminist in her 20s that I want to be when I grow up. This might be a good place to start.
7. Stop envying people who visit England
So many of my friends and colleagues have visited England during the last few years. I love hearing their stories about trips to the British Museum and the Tower of London, but I also invariably feel a twinge of longing, like homesickness for a home I never knew. Fortunately my friends try to dull the ache by returning with gifts of Cadbury and souvenirs from the Jane Austen Museum.
8. Regularly clean out my refrigerator
Do you know what zucchini looks like after you’ve abandoned it in the vegetable crisper for three weeks? Unfortunately I do. I thought the Hulk was scary, but rotten vegetables take big green monster who a whole new level. I’d rather not relive that.
9. Drink more tea
A friend gifted me with a sampler of loose-leaf tea for Christmas. Because I’m apparently not as hardcore of an anglophile as I thought, I didn’t own a tea-strainer. I’ve since remedied that, so I might as well make it worth the investment. I also committed myself to listing ten goals, and I’m losing steam.
10. Clean out my inbox
If emails had the same perishable properties as vegetables, I’d have a Hulk zucchini situation on my hands, and the Board of Health would probably have confiscated my inbox five years ago. Most of the time, I avoid confrontational emails (see number 5). Maybe there’s a pattern developing here.
What are your goals for this year?