Friday, January 1, 2010

Reflect, Review or Resolve?

Hard to choose.

Reflect: Lots of folks today have commented on what a bad year 2009 was (wars, economy, general state of discord and division in the country) and I certainly agree with them. Watching the death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan rise weekly almost makes me want to quit watching the news - which I dearly love.

Watching friends struggle to find a job is heart breaking sometimes. One of my Wise Women is still unemployed 18 months after we were laid off in 2008. She has so many excellent skills and brings so much to an employer. Why do I have a job when she does not? It happens it's largely a matter of location, but that makes it no less frustrating.

And my goodness, when (and why) did we get so divided? And so negative? and so mean to each other? I know it has been happening for nearly 20 years, but it seems now that conservatives and liberals have gotten to the point that they can hardly say "hello" without fighting about something. I love a good discussion of political philosophy as much as the next one, but I wouldn't dream of entering into such a discussion today - certainly not with anyone whom I wish to keep as a friend. At the very time when we need to be united we are terribly divided.

Review: There were some good things this past year, tho. The stock market has risen 25% since January and many of us have recovered a good deal of those pesky 401(k) funds. I ain't Pollyanna and realize that not only did I lose a lot of money, but I also lost well over a year of growth. I am still way behind, but at least it's going in the right direction. This morning I read that those in the know predict an additional 10-12% growth in the stock market in 2010.

Economists tells us that things seem to be opening up a bit in the general economy and that some banks are lending a bit more. The very small company for which I work has had no difficulty getting credit. Two banks have asked us if they can't lend us more - so that's a small, but good, sign.

We changed direction (slightly) in the wars. Maybe that means that things are starting to improve there, too, and that the weekly death tolls will finally go down. Hard to tell.

Love it or hate it, at least the Congress seems poised to do something about health care. It seems to me that anything is better than nothing. That, too, remains to be seen.

A bunch of good movies have just come out. We hope to see "It's Complicated" this weekend. Meryl, Alex and Steve - what more could anyone want. And, did you notice that it's about older folks? Despite it's bad reviews I want to see "Nine", and what woman over the age of 8 doesn't want to see George Clooney's "Up in the Air"? I hope it doesn't hit too close to home.

Resolve: Like every woman over the age of 8, I want to lose weight. I've lost the same 25 pounds at least three times, and need to lose it (and perhaps some more) again. But dieting doesn't seem to help. I think I will start with journaling and try to watch my serving sizes. Somehow that seems like a plan I could live with. I have cut out the after dinner snack, so that's a step in the right direction.

Like most women "of a certain age" I don't get enough exercise, altho I have been working hard on that for the past two or three years. I took up tennis seriously nearly 10 years ago and most of last year I played at least twice a week. Have slacked off a bit since Thanksgiving - partly due to my busy schedule and partly to tendinitis in my right shoulder. I need to get back with my foursome and start playing regularly next week.

Just over a year ago I discovered Jazzercize. I saw it as a good cardio workout, but discovered that we work on flexibility, balance and weight lifting, too, so it's a great all around workout for me. Over time I have rediscovered my core, regained a lot of lost balance, and generally started to tone up. If I could lose that 25 pounds, I think I would find a pretty good core lurking under that layer of... fat! Last year I went 114 times. My goal for 2010 is 150 classes. I think that's absolutely doable.

This year I want to work on making sure I have a positive outlook. I realized to my horror this year that a family member I love is one of the most negative people I know. It's painful to be around her and I don't want to end up like that. So, I want to start now looking at (and for) the good in people and situations. I want to be sure that when I am a little old lady my nieces and nephew look forward to being with me!

And, I want to work on my writing. Am not sure how to do it, but I have already sought help. I have recently added a lot of blogs to my reading list and have found some excellent writers. One ( mentioned some writing magazines on her blog today, as well as writing exercises. I have contacted her for more information. She mentioned taking a day a week and doing writing assignments. I like that idea, but am so often devoid of ideas. If I can find a way to get assignments.... And, I have bought a book for writing down ideas as Charlene ( recommended. It's still empty, but I am hopeful!

As for this blog, I have decided to write it again. I know. I just went on hiatus six weeks ago, but found I miss it. I am committing to one post a week, and will attempt to not make it a stream-of-consciousness review of my week!

Happy New Year to one and all!


  1. Well, I can recognise myself in some of your comments re 'women of a certain age'... I always intend losing weight at the start of each new year, but the most I can aim for is control of weight, and even that defeats me sometimes fighting the steroids as I am.
    However, not one to be daunted..... I tell myself each new year beginning, I will try again. If I fail, so what? It's not the end of the world is it?
    As for writing magazines... here in the UK I used to read WRITER'S NEWS and WRITING MAGAZINE, two mags printed by the same people, and offering lots of advice, news about comps and so on, everything you would expect from a magazine.
    A good book is FICTION WRITERS WORKSHOP by Josip Novakovich, and there are loads of others which offer lessons, exercises and so on.
    I was published several times a year for five years in the late 90s early 2000s, but then lost the love of feature writing, and went onto short stories, had some published, whilst writing my novel. Completed that, it now needs a rewrite, but I have decided to get back into short stories again. I keep a daily journal of my daily life, with snippets about the news both local and worldwide. And always a comment about the weather, you know how they say we Brits obsess about the weather!!
    Maybe if we both decide to have Wednesday as W for writing day too, we could encourage each other. Perhaps email one another to say what we did in the way of creative writing that day. Only need to spend an hour or two at most on it, but they say getting into the habit of doing it is the only way to do it.
    Might help... what do you think?

  2. Seeing as I have no email address, this is the only way I can answer the comment you left... so hope you read this!!!
    Yes I did write on Wednesday... I decided to take it in small bites, so began with just ten minutes of writing, everyone can manage that can't they? I had a long list of cues to write a sentence in one minute on various subjects. I have been very nerdish and written down a list of exercises and lessons I want to work through from one of my writing books, one a week, Felt it might give me the structure I needed.. like you I need someone to say, DO THIS... and so on. I chose ten subjects to write a sentence on, one minute each.... here are some of the ideas the book gives....WRITE A SENTENCE ABOUT...... an animal, an inanimate object, how you're feeling right now, about the weather, beginning with a name, beginning with an expletive, about water, about love, beginning with 'How...', about a season, about death, about a place, about a habit.