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A much-belated 2016 resolutions post

Said I to myself, at the end of December/beginning of January: “Who needs goals and resolutions? I just want to have fun in 2016! ANARCHY WOOOO.”

And thus commenced some of the worst depression in my life.

Perhaps this attitude is not terribly helpful for my well-being. Perhaps I am not good at undirected fun-having.

Look. I’m having significant issues with self-esteem, internal validation, poor body image, etc. I see how I am constantly looking for external validation, even though I know it’s not going to make me happy. Even as I realize that my self-worth is an empty pit into which compliments and reassurances fall with a thud.

I have to fill that pit myself.

I… have no idea how.

How do you shovel shit into a hole?

It seems like some people do this* by setting realistic goals and achieving them. A sense of mastery, it turns out, contributes to a sense of self-esteem.

Sidebar: Is that it? Setting goals and meeting them? I don’t think so. At the end of the day it’s dangerous to tie our well-being entirely to abilities we may lose. To use a trite phrasing, we are human beings, not human doings. But it’s a start. Suggestions on other ways to fill the pit of self-worth are certainly appreciated.

So I did a tarot reading around the theme of–

–I know that sounds ridiculous, but bear with me. I could write a whole post on my attitude towards “fortune-telling” devices like tarot. Executive summary: I don’t believe they’re supernatural, or have any real oracular ability. But I do believe in the divine trickery of stories, i.e. the message I send to myself in interpreting the cards.

ANYWAY. I asked what will help me in my search for self-esteem, and the response I got was the Ace of Pentacles, which has to do with things like NEW BEGINNINGS and MANIFESTATION OF GOALS.

ace_pentacles
Isn’t this a happy-looking card?

Message received. Set some fucking resolutions, lady.

The towering inferno of last year’s plans

First, let’s talk about last year’s goals: to write 50% of the days and read 50 books.

I did neither of these things exactly. I wrote about 34% of the days, and I read 32 books (counting one I abandoned because it deeply displeased me).

I love writing, but the demoralizing hell of submitting my work and having it continually rejected took a toll on me this year, and I don’t feel I’ve had traction in this area for a couple of months. (This doesn’t seem reflected in the number of submissions I put out there, but my brain is really good at concocting catastrophes).

Reading-wise, I feel like I’ve tackled a goodly number of “tough” but rewarding books this year (like Our Mutual Friend), so the actual number concerns me less.

Overall, these are non-zero numbers, and I’m happy with what I did. Hell, I wrote 51,000 words this year on Lioness, which is nothing to sniff at.

Other cool stuff wot I did in 2015

  • Wrote a couple of new short stories, “Remember to Die” and “Handedness.” The latter I probably won’t do anything with, but I’ve been shopping the former around (see below).
  • Wrote a few new poems
  • Wrote a terribad piece of smut for a local burlesque group
  • Wrote some Fifth Gate fanfic – “Unending Circle” and “The Eyrie Goes to the Beach”
  • Submitted “Powder of Sympathy” to seven places — notably, this was my first time ever submitting to a short fiction market.
  • Submitted “Remember to Die” to a few places
  • Queried three different agents with Gods and Fathers. I think I’m trunking it/backburnering it at this point in time.
  • Started PCing my first boffer larp (Fifth Gate – Silverfire)
  • Made costuming for said boffer larp (an invocation circle, underdress, and overdress)
  • Tried two foods off the Omnivore’s 100 that I hadn’t tried before — curried goat and snail
  • Completed a 21-day habit streak for writing
  • Relaunched this site (as a slightly-more-professional bit of branding. Except for the part where I still swear like a sailor).
  • Attended my first (and so far only) SCA event
  • Played in seven new-to-me theater-style larps
  • Visited Ireland and England
  • PAID OFF THE SECOND MORTGAGE WOOHOO
  • Got a significant raise and promotion at work (to Senior Front-end Developer)
  • Raised my 401k contribution to $80/pay period

The past is boring! What am I doing this year?

Well, first up: I want to finish Lioness (it’s at 91k words), edit it, and begin querying agents. Everything after that is out of my control, and is the sort of external validation I need to stop thinking so hard about.

In the interest of not continuing to go through life like a brain in a jar, I need to get more in touch with my squishy meat body. This, I think, will help with my body image issues. I think my exercise-related goals in my 101 goals list are pretty good, starting with a 21-day habit streak and the introductory fitness ladder.

Oh, an entirely fun and trivial thing — I want to get a tattoo. I’ve had several ideas rolling around in my brain for YEARS (a post about that maybe forthcoming?), and I’d like to finally see ink put to flesh. In particular, I’ll probably opt for the Nerevarine Moon-and-Star from TES III: Morrowind first, which is perfect in its “this is exceptionally geeky but looks mainstream to anyone who doesn’t know better”-ness.

And that should be enough to keep me busy — and, hopefully, happy.

Final note

I have a TON of posts I have been neglecting while the energy-sucking flu has been particularly bad. You may see a greater volume from me in the next few days. Given how infrequently I’ve been posting, I doubt this will be an issue.