Monday, January 23, 2012

2012: Looking forward

Back again!  As I was drafting this post, my computer died a horrible death.  But the kindly doctors at our local Mac shop were able to revive it (finally.)  It's been a challenging couple of weeks, but I'm back with you, and hope to keep up some regular posts from now on.  Here's that post from a few weeks ago... and I'll be back tomorrow with more reminders that we ALL should be taking good care of ourselves.

Since I did a post about looking back on 2011, I want to spend some time looking forward, too. 

What are your goals for the year?
I'd like to keep on with the goals I made last year.  I aim to exercise regularly (at least an hour a day, and I'm aiming for 6 days each week.)  I'll strive to eat mindfully, setting up a food plan each week and adhering to it.  I've returned to my food journal, and that really helps.  I want to keep expanding my freelance writing career.  I plan to blog regularly.  Tom and I have a schedule in place for our screenwriting projects; before the end of the year, I would like to send out queries to agencies.

What are you looking forward to in 2012?
Over the holiday, I was invited to kidnap babysit my nephew B, my niece J, and my godson (also nephew) C this summer, for as long as I am able.  We haven't worked out specifics yet, but I'd like to host them here in Los Angeles for a good long chunk of it.  My nephew Z and niece T also expressed an interest in visiting over their spring break.  We've already gone mad with ideas for various entertaining outings with all of them.  It's going to be a challenge, I'm sure - we don't have kids of our own yet - but one that I'm really excited to undertake.

 Are there any big changes on the horizon?
Not that I can see.  Last year was full of change, and I am hoping this year will be a year of building on those changes.  Of course, so many big changes come by surprise.

Do you have any vacations in the works this year?
We were hoping to make it out to NYC in February, to spend time with family and catch a couple of shows that are on our radar.  It's looking less likely, as Tom's on hiatus between shows, and we splurge less during hiatus times.  I'm sure we'll swing at least a weekend getaway before he's back and active.  And I'm hoping we can take a trip later in the year - we've been talking about Hawaii, Florida or London over the past few years. Of course, considering our house guests this year, we always love playing tourist in our own town.  And LA's an excellent place to do that.

Any film/tv/music/book you're looking forward to?
I can't wait for the return of Mad Men.  It's been too long!

At the end of the year, what would you like to have accomplished?
Ideally I'd love to be signed with a screenwriting agent.  And I'd love to lose another 70 pounds (continuing my progress in a moderate, healthy way.)  Also, before I left for Christmas, I saw a very slight woman take her photo opportunity with Richard by holding him up in her arms.  When I saw that, I thought, "hey, that's a great goal. By the end of next year, I want to be able to lift Richard Simmons up in my arms."  How weird am I?

What small changes can you include in your life right now, to move you in that direction?
My food journal and daily exercise will help me with the weight and strength goals.  My daily writing schedule is helping me toward the agency goal.

Imagine it's the end of 2012.  Presuming the Mayans were incorrect about the apocalypse (because they were), how would you describe the year in four words or less?
Good rewards for good work.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011: Looking back

Hi, everybody.  I still exist -- and I'm committed to blogging regularly in the new year.

For starters, here is an end-of-year survey that I try to do every year.  It helps me take stock of what I've done, and how far I've come.  In 2011, it was pretty far.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
I lost my job.  I became a freelance writer.  I worked with my own clients.  I finished a spec script.  I started a blog.  I reached out for help with my food addiction.  I lost 70 pounds.  I no longer needed blood pressure medication.  I started Supper Club 600.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any specific resolutions, exactly.  But I made a lot of strides on two specific paths: the journey to better health, and the journey to a fulfilling creative career.  This year, I'd like to keep making goals on those two paths, and following through on them.

3.Did anyone close to you give birth?
My niece was born in March!  Also, three friends (Ashley, Aimee & Cindy) and one cousin (Jenny) all had kiddos in 2011. 

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, but a few people close to me lost loved ones.

5. What countries did you visit?
We stayed close to home this year.  It was a year of reflection, of looking inward in all ways.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
I'd love for all of the work I've been doing to come to fruition.  I'm down by 70 pounds, but I'm still not fully healthy, not fully strong, not fully capable of the kind of movement I'd like to be doing, so I want to put in the same hard work on my health this year, and see/feel stronger and more agile by the end of 2012.  Likewise, I've done a significant amount of screenwriting, and my goal for 2012 is to make that into a full career.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Perhaps March 11 - our first Supper Club?  Perhaps January 3, when I lost my job (which made possible the amazing year that followed.)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
 I think that my biggest achievement of the year was that it was the most achievement I've ever had in a year.  Losing weight and getting stronger; working as a freelancer; writing scripts and starting a blog; cooking healthy food for myself and for my supper club...  that's a lot of achievement for one year.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I wouldn't call anything I did this year a failure. I worked extremely hard. My momentum slowed in the fourth quarter, but I do not regret it.  I'm a work in progress.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
 I had surgery in July, and after the recovery, I felt much better.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
 Healthy food.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Everyone's.  I have so many friends who made it through challenges.  So many who have helped me make it through mine.  I am so grateful for everyone in my life.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Hollywood arsonist upset me.  I do not understand the impulse to endanger people or their property.

14. Where did most of your money go?
While both of us were unemployed, our money went to the basics.  Later on, it went to the things we'd put off while we were only paying the basics.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Slimmons - the strength I got from the workouts, and the support I got from the entire community there, from Richard on down.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?
Probably Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," in terms of its release, of my sudden awareness of pop music again (from Slimmons) and because it reflects coming to terms with myself, which I did a lot this year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?

Happier.  So, so much happier.

b) thinner or fatter?
Thinner.  And it was a lot of work - and will continue to be, for the rest of my life.

c) richer or poorer?
Poorer than Dec. 31 2010, but richer than January 31, 2011.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Communicating with my loved ones when I felt off-balance.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Taking it out on myself - or putting myself down - when I felt off-balance.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I spent time in San Jose with Tom's family, and in Midland with mine.  It was a really lovely holiday.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I was already in love with my husband... but I think I actually fell in love with me. 

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Modern Family.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I try not to dwell on conflicts with others.

25. What was the best book you read?
Bossypants, by Tina Fey.  Totally enveloping, amusing and endearing.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I'm not sure I had one this year.  The most recent album in most frequent rotation is probably Book of Mormon.

27. What did you want and get?
Goals fulfilled.

28. What did you want and not get?
The next set of goals fulfilled! Which is OK. They're for this year.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Artist, by leaps and bounds.

30. What did you do on your birthday?
I turned 32.  I went to a botanical garden with friends.  I hosted the first edition of Supper Club 600.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

It was pretty damned satisfying as it was.  A random lucky break is always nice - but come to think of it, I actually had one of them.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
 I'd call it "Oh crap, I just bought it but it's already baggy."  I did the best I could with a limited wardrobe (thanks to the weight loss) and I put outfits together pretty well, considering.

33. What kept you sane?
Tom.  Budget spreadsheets.  Slimmons.  Friends.  You.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't think there was one I "fancied," but after watching both seasons of Louis C.K.'s show, I'm in professional awe.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
The Occupy movement - or, more specifically, the ignorant backlash against it - stirred me.  Also, the marriage equality debate.  (Why is it even a debate?)

36. Who did you miss?
Mom.  Always.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
So, so many of them.  I met so many wonderful people this year, who became vital to my journey and my life.  Among them - Richard, Rochelle, Samantha, Alexa, Joanne and Mia.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:

You will feel the most content when you're taking the best care of yourself.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
And so it goes.
This soldier knows
The battle of the heart isn't easily won.
But it can be won.