Monday, January 8, 2018

No #Resolutions Required by Andrea Downing

So, another New Year.  When we say New Year, the first thing that usually comes to mind are our resolutions, along with what we wish for in the New Year, as if the date of January 1st absolutely had to be a turning point in one’s life. We don’t save these resolutions for, say, President’s Weekend, or Hallowe’en; there they are, at the start of the calendar year.  Some might say their birthdays come with a year’s resolutions, but they’d be few and far between.  Nope, it’s January 1st.
And what are these resolutions we’re rushing off to make?  First of all, they’re values that make us better people, or the world better, or just make us healthier, prettier, kinder human beings. We resolve to use that gym membership, not snack between meals, spend more time with someone, be more patient with someone, or work toward world peace. No one sits down and puts, ‘I resolve to pick up my feet when I walk’ at the top of their list, or ‘I’m going to chew more slowly.’ We have high hopes for ourselves on January 1st. To paraphrase Mathew Arnold’s poem Dover Beach, the year “seems to lie before us like a land of dreams, so various, so beautiful, so new . . .”
And then what happens?
Well, for most of us, those resolutions are soon forgotten. They pretty much fly out with the spring cleaning, if one does spring cleaning, or get shoved to the back of our minds along with the stuff shoved to the back of the closet. But on an FB page from one of my writers’ groups, one author asked for a single word you felt should sum up 2018—no resolutions required, no world peace for now, just a single word to keep in mind for the New Year.  My word was progression.
Why progression?  I see it as growth, movement, and change. It can be something as banal as finally moving house, which I’ve been trying to do since August, but I actually had growth as an author more in mind, progress toward goals, change for the better.
So, no resolutions required here. What would be your word, and why?

 And while you’re mulling this over, you may want to listen to my western historical romance novella, Lawless Love, which just came out in Audible.  The narration by Jeffrey Fallin is excellent, and it is available through all Audible outlets, including, of course, https://www.amazon.com/Lawless-Love-Lawmen-and-Outlaws/dp/B078KH5WPS/

33 comments:

Leah St. James said...

I love your word, Andi, and wish I could borrow it! You described perfectly what my hopes are for myself this year in the writing realm. So for a second choice for me, I'll go with determination, because you can't make progress without putting in the work.

Great summation about resolutions!

Diane Burton said...

Since Leah and you, Andi, took my words (LOL) I think persistence is a good word for me. Sticking with my goals. I see Jan. 1 as a chance to start over. I get to leave the past behind, along with what I didn't accomplish, and begin again.

Andrea Downing said...

Thanks Leah. The idea actually came from fellow Women Writing the West member Amy Hale Auker but I loved it so much thought I’d share with y’all. And determination is good. We certainly need that to get onwards and upwards

Andrea Downing said...

Ok. I think persistence may be a synonym for determination so I won’t repeat myself here!

Margo Hoornstra said...

My one word is Joy but I think I'll add another in your honor, Andi, for my writing self. Since Leah and Diane got here first, and there for got first dibs, how about I chose -- consistency? Onwards and upwards it is!

Andrea Downing said...

I love Joy, Margo. We should definitely all have a joyous year —. Not sure about consistency I wonder what you’re aiming for there?

Brenda Whiteside said...

Great word, Andi. I'll choose patience...which I've never been. And it does apply to my writing. Don't rush the book. Get it right the first time. And when personal issues halt my progress (your word and I'll use it too), I'll call on patience to get me through.

Brenda Whiteside said...

And congrats on the audio book. So exciting.

RE Mullins said...

My head is too stuffed up and I'm in dire need of coffee before
I can begin to think of a focus word. Unless I use the word focus...

Jannine Gallant said...

I'm going with breakthrough for my word. I want to have a breakthrough moment in my writing career. I hope to break through those periods of time when I lack motivation. We all need to find a way to break through the stagnant realm of promo and find something that actually works. I'm hoping for a breakthrough year!

Betsy Ashton said...

A focus word, huh? Fortitude? Nah. Stubbornness? Maybe. Determination? Close. Do-it? Yes, as in do it! Like it. Even made a newish word. It's mine, but I share.

Andrea Downing said...

I seem to be having computer problems--this is my 3rd attempt at responding to Brenda. I said thanks for bringing up patience--it's something I don't have, being a very impatient person, so good to face the New Year with intentions of learning it! And thanks for your good wishes Brenda.

Andrea Downing said...

RE--focus is good! Another quality I rarely possess.

Andrea Downing said...

Jannine, I think we all dream of a breakthrough year--in so many ways. Good for you to mention it here.

Andrea Downing said...

Well, Betsy, thanks for sharing it. And I believe 'do it' sums up a lot of the others here.

Vonnie Davis said...

I'll take kindness. Not just being kinder, but doing acts of kindness. I was in line behind a harried, near tears Mother with a screaming toddler, pulling at his ear. I paid for her groceries and suggested she take the child to the doctor because he acted as if he had an ear ache. I got a hug out of a touch of kindness. My problem is I'm always so IN my head, working on a story, that I'm not aware of people around me. Sometimes I have to take a moment to ask myself if I'm not becoming too self-centered.

Andrea Downing said...

Vonnie, what a beautiful deed and great thought for the new year. I have TimMcGraw's song, 'Humble and Kind' as my ringtone (!) to daily remind me to try to be a kinder person. Thanks for the additional reminder.

Anna Blake Godbout said...

I resolve to have intentions. For me, things like this are always ongoing year after year. Some do not have timelines; they are open ended. The word "goal" or "resolution" to me is someone else's idea of how things or it should be. I have done enough of that. (That is not the dame as expectations.) It is also a stress that I don't need or want. What I find is this: Many people I know and likely don't know already have kindness and love in their hearts and daily living. It is natural and ongoing. The reality is sometimes we are not kind due to certain circumstances. And that is okay. We should not dwell on that inside of ourselves. Why? Because we know that 98% of the time we are not like that and it shows as a natural part of who we are.

Alison Henderson said...

Progression is an excellent word, Andi. I've been mulling the idea of a focus word and can't say I've settled on the right one yet. But as you said, there's nothing magical about January first. I've been sick since the end of December, but today my head is finally starting to clear.

Andrea Downing said...

Anna, wow, that's a really fascinating 'take' on the problem with resolutions. And you're so right. As I said, resolutions go out the window by the end of the month, but good intentions are always with us. thanks!

Andrea Downing said...

Alison, here's hoping you'll soon be able to focus in all senses of the word. I certainly can't think straight when I'm ill (and probably many other times too). Hope you're 100% soon. Focus is something I strive for but rarely achieve.

Tena Stetler said...

Progression is a great word. After thinking a little about one word, I think it would be Focus. Focus on my writing and word count, Focus on my health and exercising and Focus on being happy and kinder. I usually make only a few resolutions or goals and do pretty well at reaching them. You way is intriguing and Focus is my word. LOL Happy New Year to you!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Enjoyment, fun, relish moments...all those words and more. I feel lucky I’ve gotten this far! 2018 here we come!

Andrea Downing said...

Tena, ah--another person with Focus. And I could certainly use that, as you saw from my sending the wrong link initially!!! LOL And I love how you've broadened the sense of the word, too. thanks!

Andrea Downing said...

So, Rolynn, maybe your word is luck? Or just relish? Whatever you would choose, you are certainly going forward with a positive attitude. Great!

Jennifer Wilck said...

I love words instead of resolutions. My word for the year is kindness--both showing it and looking for it. Kindness to others, kindness to myself. Pretty sure we could all use more of it.

Andrea Downing said...

So Jennifer, you're up there with Vonnie so I won't repeat my response. Needless to say, I think that word's a good one, though! Thanks.

Christine DePetrillo said...

My word is "Forward," as in keeping moving forward on all those paths I tread upon in my different roles. Great post!

Andrea Downing said...

Thank you, Christine. I see 'forward' as a synonym for progression so I guess we're on the same page. :-)

Claire said...

I love this post and everyone's words! I'll choose Manifestation. This year I'll manifest my dreams of breaking through to the next level in my writing career through focus, positive intention, gratitude, and writing. I'm grateful to be a Rose!! Claire Marti

Andrea Downing said...

Claire, what an original word. I'd never have thought of 'manifestation'--it sounds almost paranormal! thanks for that addition.

Mary Gillgannon said...

You are all so ambitious! My word is peace. I want to find some. Last year was incredibly stressful for me and even though I was reasonably productive at writing, I missed the deep immersion calming aspect of writing I used to get. I want to get back to that and find a tranquil centered place I can go to when the rest of my life gets too crazy.

Alicia Dean said...

I'm truly sorry I'm late reading your post. It's fantastic. I love thinking about one word to be a theme for 2018. For me, it would probably be results and/or peace (can I have two? :)). I have so very many projects going on, and I feel like a hummingbird flitting from one to another without accomplishing enough. So, getting results would be a good thing to work on. Also, I'm under a tremendous amount of stress in my home life, and it sucks my creativity. SO, obtaining peace would be a huge benefit. SO awesome about your audio book! I almost only 'read' via audio, as busy as my life is. I love them. Congrats!!