I still do this, this documentation of shifts and backslides and growth from the previous year--though working and mothering and messing around on the internet have cut my itemized account down to 20 entries or so. But I do it, because the reflection has become addictive to me. I have to measure, in some way, the movement of my life. It opens my eyes to gratitude, it helps me to see that effort can yield results, it screams to me, "You can do more than you tell yourself you can."
I'm sharing my things, my life in 2012, with you, because I'm hoping you'll tell me what's gone from point A to point B in your life, too. Something that's hard for me to do is to take stock in the good--even if I've worked hard for it. I've been trained that sharing good news is bragging. It's not appropriate to talk about how something awesome has come your way. I want to work on this, because when the coolest things happen, we feel happy--but some of us have been told and believe that talking about it isn't the right thing to do. What do we do then, with the joy? Tell no one? How do we celebrate, without appearing to gloat?
I know you all from the blogosphere, and I'm lucky to have you in my life, and I'd like to see what you document as change and movement and enlightening from your year. Tell me.
2012, My Year in Review:
--Normal mammogram (no small thing)
--Ditto on the normal blood work, dental exam, pap smear this year: I never take "normal" for granted
--Happy to still be working ::knocks on wood::
--Great tremendous personal news for my 17 year old son (keeping private, you can email me though)
--Middlest started high school and he has found his element (love this)
--Youngest is turning into a sports rock star (despite his mother's gene contribution)
--We went to Washington DC and had a week that we recorded in comic book form (should post this-illustrated vomiting on airplane and all)
--Getting off coffee was easier than I thought (guess it was all just in my head)
--My feelings for Clint Eastwood have not changed (I am able to overlook #Chairgate)
--My years-old biker boots--amazed at how they never fail to make me feel BA
--Still trying to grow my hair out since 8th grade
--Gotta confess, disappointed I haven't taken the free drum circle class offered, I know I'd totally dig it. (barefoot, long skirt--it's practically calling my name)
--Rihanna grew on me with "Shine Like a Diamond"
--My mind has remained opened to possibility of future with Restylane or Botox or a knee lift
--Content and fulfilled that I'm still writing for Aiming Low, FunnynotSlutty, TikiTikiBlog, Milwaukeemoms
--Promoted to editor of Aiming Low Guest Posts (with lots of help from Kym-my girl)
--Still presenting to women's groups on importance of self care when a young mom (am really digging this)
--Read with Molly Ringwald at The Moth StoryTeller's Tour in May. Holla!
--Will be part of team bringing Listen To Your Mother Show to Milwaukee in May. *highfive*
--Figuring out how I got such great kids who do so well when we bring my mother with dementia here on Sundays for her visits (these three--they are so awesome)
--Presented panel at BlogHer/NYC on "Blogging For The Love of It"
--Part of Round Table Presenters at Aiming Low's NonCon in Georgia (made good good friends that weekend)
--Published in BlogHer '12 VOTY anthology
--Babble told me that I was a "Babble Top 100 Mom Blogger" (stoked about that one)
--Went to Erma Bombeck Humor Writers' Workshop in Dayton. Met and fell in love with Molly Campbell.
--Working through my own shit with this whole aging and changes process. Making peace with never being beyond Level 1 in Jillian Michael's 30 day shred.
--Still submitting to McSweeneys on a monthly basis and still never hearing back. Maybe I'll break a record of ten years straight of submissions and that's even cooler than Stephen King's 300+ rejection slips and Kathryn Stockett's 50some publisher rejections.
--My youngest still dances with me when no one else is around. My 17 year old still loves going to the movies with me, and my 16 year old still laughs at my jokes and tells me I'm funny.
--Year to year, daily appreciation for my online friend, Brian Miller, of Waystation One.
And now for the Pep Rally Part.
What I don't talk about here is how much time I spend and how much of my writing I submit and submit and enter and enter in contests, knocking on publication doors, pitching ideas to magazines. I come up empty handed too many times to count, and I mean empty as in not even a response back.
But I can't stop trying. Because I've seen how trying is the only thing that's gotten me anything with regard to my writing.
And this is where self talk comes in. This is where comparison can be da debil. I follow funny funny all star women, and when they're featured on top sites, I follow and read more of them there. I love reading funny as much as I love writing funny. I study the sites where these women are published, and then send my work in there. I could a.) tell myself I'm not even close to that level of expertise in humor writing, or b.) just keep on emailing my work in blind hope, sending it out with a push of a key and a prayer. Which is how I do most anything on the internet anyway.
The point to this is (and if you're still here, I love you) that you never know which one, which post, will get noticed.
MyPheme is a hot humor site I began following over three years ago after I saw that Anna Lefler, Wendi Aarons (yes, that Anna Lefler and that Wendi Aarons) were published there. I submitted, I waited, they picked me up as their featured essay today.
Thank you to Robbie and Susan, for the jumping up and down you didn't see when I opened your email. I am honored, thrilled, grinning to be on your front page today.
If you feel generous, please celebrate with me today and visit me on MyPheme.
And to all of you reading this right now--whatever it is you dream of, don't talk yourself out of it. Keep trying, keep wishing, keep taking any steps--baby ones still count--anything that gets you closer to your goal. If you don't do it, no one else will do it for you. And dreams don't come true by magic, the only way to even get a little bit close to where you want to be is to put your ass out there. Believing, it's so necessary.
Here's to 2013!