Armistice Day Resolution

calm daylight evening grass
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Interesting fact: you don’t have wait for New Year’s Day to start working on a goal. This November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that silenced the guns of World War I, or the Great War as it was called at the time. It had been one of the largest and bloodiest conflicts in the history of humankind, resulting in millions of deaths and immeasurable pain and suffering.

By the time it ended, the world was hungry for peace. It was supposed to be the “war to end all wars” yet many of the wars that have followed had roots in that conflict. It turns out peace isn’t something you get once, set on a shelf to admire and there it stays forever. Peace requires an active, sustained effort, always. We will never have to stop working for it.

Robert F. Kennedy said, “Each time a man(sic) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

And Desmond Tutu has said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

So my Armistice Day resolution is to do my little bit, starting with internal work, to create a ripple. To actively look for little bits of good I can do where I am each day.

A friend of mine recently passed away after a six-year struggle with cancer. She was truly a light in the world — one of those individuals who inspires the best in others. After the last presidential election, when many of us were on social media discussing what we could do, or what we would do to try to save the world, she posted that she was in the middle of chemo treatments and much too weak to go to meetings or phone bank or march. But she would spend some time each day on loving kindness meditations. That was her ripple.

I have decided, though it won’t be the whole of my action, I will try to help that ripple spread by focusing on the same thing as my main goal. My first concrete step is peace within myself, so I can then work on the world. In that spirit, and to honor my friend’s memory, I have the goal to engage in a loving kindness meditation at least four mornings a week. From there, my actions can build.

April Fool’s Resolutions

The dead of winter doesn’t really seem like a great time for making a fresh start. I think spring, about two weeks in, is more appropriate. So in that spirit, I’ve written a poem containing my April Fool’s resolutions.

April Fool’s Resolutions

Starting today

I resolve to play more tricks
on my family and my friends,
to begin each day practicing
a silly walk,
to lose the weight of serious

I will quit all smoking that does
not involve smoke bombs and all drinking
that does not involve a dribble glass.
I will save money
by crafting my own pranks at home;
Handmade is best.

I’ll study hard to learn new jokes.
Reorganize things, though I won’t say
whose.  I’ll seize each opportunity
to get a laugh
But most important of all, I resolve
to watch my back.

A Writer’s Resolutions for 2010

I’d like to announce that I’ve already made progress on my writing-related goals for 2010 by improving my blog, however slightly. Look over to the right.  I finally have a “follow” button and have also add an RSS feed option.

My writing goals for the coming year and beyond can be summed up under one umbrella resolution: Treat my writing more like a job. This means I will establish regular office hours and I can’t take off from work willy-nilly. If I need to miss work, then I’ll need to make up the hours.  With the demands of my “real” job, my old house, my two children, my pets, etc. I find it all too easy to sacrifice my writing time to dentists and veterinarians and school staff who need volunteers to help with a project, not to mention all the time I spend at the hardware store. Since my regular job is part-time, in theory I have a couple of days a week when the kids are in school that I should be able to devote to my writing. In reality, those are the days I end up doing all of my appointments and errands. Then I try to fit in the writing around all the rest. A lot of times, the writing doesn’t happen. I aim to change this.

I’ve broken down my general intention into smaller, specific goals. From past experience I’ve learned I need to keep my goals limited to things I can control.  So my list doesn’t include the goal of having someone else publish a piece of my writing, but it does include how many pieces of writing I want to finish and send out during the year. The hope is to have them published, of course, but since I can only control my end of the process, that’s where I need to focus.

My list of writing goals:

Set regular office hours and stick to them, at least five hours per week.

Finish the rewrite on my novel and offer it for consideration to at least ten outlets (publishers and/or agents) before the end of the year, unless someone accepts it before I reach ten.

Write at least four short stories and send them out into the world. I decided on four for the year, because I have four ideas floating in my head right now.

I currently have a book of poetry entered in a contest. If I don’t win that, I will offer the manuscript for consideration to at least ten other outlets or until it is accepted for publication, whichever comes first.

I will not let a month end without sending out at least one item.

I’ll update my blog at least three times each month. I figure once every ten days or so is a minimum. I will learn more about the nifty features of my blog and attempt to improve it.

Happy 2010 everyone! Let’s get some writing done!