Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Resolved: Get Organized

by Susan Seyfarth

My first blog of the new year & I forgot it. Or spaced it. Or just wrote it wrong on my calendar. Who knows? I sure don't. If I were more organized, however, it might be a different story. Unfortunately, being organized does not crack my top ten list of things that must be resolved for this new year. Frankly, it does not crack the top five.

Oh come on. Let's be honest. I don't have five resolutions. I can't even keep track of three. I have two. Two little things that, if I can manage them, will satisfy my puny little will for self-improvement. And here, with all the appropriate fanfare, there are.

1. I will write twenty pages per week.

That's four pages a day, five days a week. I try to write every day while my kids are ostensibly sleeping and/or observing quiet (HA!) time. Whether or not this hallowed time occurs on any given day is not necessarily under my control, which is why I'm going for the weekly rather than a daily page count. This gives me evenings & weekends for make up. It's a humane schedule, & one that will put me on track to finish a 400 page book by June. Assuming my weekly pages are more or less salvagable, this will allow me to pitch a new book at the RWA conference in July.

Doubtful, but hey, a goal's a goal, right?

2. I will have a date with my husband at least once a month.

This involves lining up a babysitter & convincing my skeptical 1 year old that the world will not come to a shattering end should I occasionally absent myself from the bedtime routine. It's a hard sell, but one I'm willing to make. We spent Christmas with my husband's family, & they (wonderful, fabulous people) took it upon themselves not once but twice to deal with said 1 year old's convictions that armageddeon was upon us so my husband & I could go out to a matinee one afternoon & out to dinner one evening.

It was revolutionary. We spoke like adults. We cut only the food on our own plates & stayed seated during an entire meal. We had wine. I curled my hair & wore a dress that I absolutely couldn't nurse in. I looked great, & he appreciated it. And I appreciated that he appreciated it. I'd almost forgotten we could do that. And now I'm addicted. So if anybody knows a good babbysitter in the upper Midwest, give me a shout. I'd like that number.

So how about you? Any new year's resolutions out there you want to go on record with? Or do you hate resolutions & refuse to make them on principle? What was the best one you ever made? The worst? Let's share!

40 comments:

Gillian Layne said...

Yes!!!!!!

I knew 2008 would be a good year :)

Gillian Layne said...

You should see my writing space right now. Or forget my office; the entire house looks like a bomb went off. We started painting one room, which quickly escalated into "well, we should go ahead and do the girl's rooms as well..." etc, etc. So organization is very near the bottom of ours.

Love your 20 per week! Double love the time w/hubby. We consider it a date if we can make it to Lowe's or Wal-Mart alone. :)

The stupidest one I made was to forget writing and throw myself 110% into my regular job a few years ago. Didn't take long for that to show I love my writing and can't live without it. So maybe it served a purpose.

Good luck w/ the babysitter number. Trustworthy ones are worth their weight in gold, and about get paid as much :)

jo robertson said...

Go Gill - i - an, go Gill - i - an!

Congrats on winning the GR. A great start to the New Year!

Too funny post, Susan. I loved the part about wearing a dress you absolutely couldn't nurse in! It cracks me up how much of a nursing mother's life revolves around another being's hunger!

Yikes, Gillian, the painting gig grows like a chia pet! Once you start, it just goes on and on and . . .

Susan Seyfarth said...

Congrats on the GR, Gillian!! And way to be ambitious with the painting! That's on my wish list this year, too. Splash some color into my boring '70s split level. When we moved in (almost ten years ago!) it took us a good year just to get rid of all the gold/silver wall paper & shag carpet in various hideous colors. Now we've been living in sterile white for so long I feel like I'm living in a mental hospital sometimes. Time for a little color!!

Hi, JoMama! Yeah, I have a whole wardrobe I can't wear for the first two years after I have a baby. Sometimes I feel like my entire body is nothing but a big security blanket for my whole family. They all want different parts of me for their own reasons, & all I want is twenty minutes in a hot bath all by myself. Most days I settle for a two minute shower while most of my family stands just outside the glass asking questions. *sigh*

Susan Seyfarth said...

Sorry for the tardy blog, everybody. I have a morning of errands I have to handle, but will be back to play this afternoon. See you all in a couple hours!

Susan

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I don't do resolutions, to the best of my memory I have never kept one so now I just set in my mind goals I have a shot at reaching. LOL I tried the quit smoking several times (8 at last count) and needless to say it was ugly times for all associated. I tried the lose weight things a couple of times, I gained instead :::sigh:::.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Gillian, how does the GR look? Is he doing okay? Was Anna able to get the green off of him? Has any of his feathers grown back?

p226 said...

I don't like new year's resolutions on principle. One could make the same resolution on any day of the year. If a need is identified, resolve to fill it regardless of the need being identified in March, June, September, or January 1st.

Closest thing I have to a new years resolution is my annual "ok, you've been a pig so far this winter, time to get back on your workout routine." I do that ever year. Gotta have my winter fat on. It keeps me warm.

Gillian Layne said...

The darling GR seems no worse for the wear, although he keeps pecking at our wine rack, and I've had to hide all the chocolates...

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Hmmmm sounds like the GR has developed some discriminating tastes while he has been traveling, I wonder where he picked those two up at?

Donna MacMeans said...

Congrats Gillian - way to start the new year!

Well, I packed on the pounds from Thanksgiving through Christmas so, once again, I'm returning to the lose weight regiment.

I also made a resolution to be more disciplined about my writing routine, so we'll see how that goes.

Congrats on rediscovering life outside of kids. (Of course you know that behavior leads to more children *g*). Now the trick is to have an adult conversation that isn't about the children in some way. Good Luck!

Christie Kelley said...

Count me in the hate resolutions and refuse to make them category. Except for my resolution to get this manuscript done in the next three weeks. Okay, really I'd call that a self-imposed deadline, not a resolution.

Nancy said...

Gillian, you're off to a great start! Congratulations. Does the GR like all chocolate, or does he have a preference? My house, alas, always looks as if a bomb went off in it. We're hoping to clear away serioius clutter by spring.

Susan, I don't really make resolutions since I feel entirely free to disregard them, no matter what they're called. I do sort of make plans, though. One of mine is to particpate regularly in the BIAW program one of my chapters runs. I can't this month because I'm deep in revisions, but Feb. should be good to go.

There was one year when I had no weight and fitness resolutions. I was in great shape. I plan to get there again by mid-summer so my fancy dress for RWA will fit properly (i.e., I can sit down in it without feeling like a sausage).

Yay for the date! It's a great idea, one I wish we'd held onto harder when our son was young.

Happy New Year, all!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Welcome back, Susan! I remember those days of having no time for yourself, let alone the hubby--three kids in three years is a crazy want to raise a family!!

At the end of last year I started purging my house of clutter. If you knew my pack-rat husband, you'd know what a major feat this is. So far I've cleared the front room of computers and desks and junk, got it patched, painted and the new dining room table and chairs in it. The Foyer is devoid of all hideous wallpaper, patched and has fresh paint!

My new office is decluttered of hubby's things, cleaned, patched, painted and is currently in organizational mode! Once it's done, on to the masterbedroom.

So I intend to continue this purge and declutter mode throughout the house throughout the year.

I too, wish to write 20 pages per week. I'll believe that one when it happens!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Gillian, I've found the answer to painting woes....his name is Manuel!

I clear the room, clean the room, prep the room by removing all hardware and call my husband's painter subcontractor...Manuel!

The patching and painting is done in one day, he or his helper clean up the mess, and wha-la, freshly painted room. Best part, my shoulders don't hurt, (which they do when I do the painting). Oh yeah, and they do the trim, too!

I LOVE Manuel!!

Helen said...

Loved the post Susan
Gongrats on the GR gillian I am sure he is having fun and yes he does like chocolate

Organization how I wish! At work I am very organized but here at home it just doesn't seem to happen the house always looks like a bomb went off I really need to have a big clean up and get rid of a lot of clutter but finding time is always hard and this is a resolution that I will endevour to make this year although I don't make them I know I need to get more time to do things around the house but then it interferes with my reading time and that I need it keeps me sane.
I hope you get all those pages done Susan and enjoy your dates with your hubby.
Have Fun
Helen

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Gillian, congrats on the GR! I know you'll treat him right! And Dianna, it's obvious where Mr R picked up his taste for chocolate and red wine! That's about all that's in my pantry right now!

Susan, my NYR (not that I believe in them) is to try and get some structure into my life. At the moment, everything is catch as catch can and it's driving me a bit bananas. Great post! Love the idea of the date!!!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Well I hope someone gives me specifics on his tastes Anna just in case he ever makes it to WV. I am not up on wine so someone needs to tell me what type of red wine is his preference and of course if any chocolate will do or does he have a preference there as well. Of course if he likes vodka we are good to go........LOL

Susan Seyfarth said...

hrdwrkdmom--Ooooh, you tackled two of the hardest ones--quitting smoking & losing weight. Both destined to make a girl crabby. Hope you're kinder to yourself this year! And it sounds like I missed a lot concerning the GR while I was on email hiatus this holiday break. What exactly did Anna do to the poor little fellow??

Susan Seyfarth said...

P226--You & my husband are in complete accord on the resolutions thing. He also feels that Jan 1 is an arbitrary date, no more conducive to positive change than any other. My thinking is, if one date's as good as another, why NOT jan 1? Most folks have just had a week off, some time to reflect (& yes, alas, to stand on the scale)& it seems like a great time to think about how we want to move forward.

I hear you on the winter fat, though. Up here in Minnesota, we start covering every single dish with a thick layer of melted cheese around, oh, October & keep it up until March. We need our blubber. Too cold to do without. :-)

Susan Seyfarth said...

Donna said: You know that behavior leads to more children...

Yikes!! I hadn't thought of that. I suppose there's a reason that aside from my oldest (re: planned) sister, the rest of us were all born in the two weeks surrounding the end of August/beginning of September. A little holiday celebration can go a looooong way, eh? *g*

And if you find a way to get more disciplined about your writing, be sure to fill us in, okay? I could use a little of that in my life...

Susan Seyfarth said...

Wow, Christie! Three weeks to finish? How much do you have left to write? Go, go, go!! We're cheering for you!

Susan Seyfarth said...

Oh, Nancy, I feel you on bomb-went-off-in-my-house thing. We just got back from vacation yesterday & it looks like a laundry bomb went off in my house. Suitcases everywhere, dirty laundry scattered hither & yon. We all just wore pajamas yesterday because we couldn't face figuring out the laundry.

After the holidays, I think we all feel a bit like sausages. I hope it'll wear off by San Fran, but if not, well, we can all wear caftans & sit together at the midnight chocolate buffet after the GH/Rita ceremony. :-)

Susan Seyfarth said...

Suzanne, you're making me envious with all your decluttering, patching & painting! I wish, I wish!! I can't even water the plants without the kids trying to eat them. I can't imagine what would happen if I busted out the paint brushes. People assure me that kids grow up too fast, but I have to say, it hasn't been my experience thus far. :-)

YOu're on your way to completely organized beauty, though! You must post pictures as you get there. For those of us who want to sigh with envy & live a vicariously organized life.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Oh, Helen, I think we're sisters under the skin. I love organization, too, but not more than I love reading & writing. Given the choice between them, organization loses out every time. I'm willing to live with clutter if it means living with books, too.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Anna--structure in your life is a good thing, just like wine & chocolate in the pantry & a GR crowing on the fence post. :-) Here's hoping you have all three in abundance!

Susan Seyfarth said...

hrdwrkdmom--Don't all roosters like vodka? I mean, what with all the coq au vin out there, if you were a rooster, wouldn't you look into wine alternatives? :-) I'm thinking the GR will be A-OK with vodka. *g*

flchen1 said...

Congrats on the GR, Gillian!

I'm not sure I like or dislike resolutions--I've made them before, and they're hard to keep, but at the same time, I think that process of thinking through what you'd like to happen and setting up goals is valuable. I don't think resolutions stick very well without a plan...

This year I didn't make any real resolutions, but I do have a few things I'd like to be working towards--a less cluttered house, a better streamlined day (clearer priorities, as they are)... We'll see how it goes :)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Susan, it wasn't Anna that did him in it was P226 the day before yesterday. He plucked all his feathers out, painted him phlorescent green and put him on the aircraft carrier to freak out the pilots. Anna got him yesterday and began the healing process and Gillian says he is in pretty good shape today other than he still wants the chocolate and wine Anna was feeding him.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

That is good Susan because I know Vodka but I don't know wine....LOL. I figure after enough Vodka you really don't care what you are drinking anymore anyway.

Beth said...

Great post, Susan! I love resolutions and goals and make them throughout the year *g*

Here in Northwestern PA we tend to bulk up for the winter too. We really need to - it's only 3 degrees right now!

:-)

Kate Carlisle said...

Oh Susan, I know I shouldn't but I'm still giggling over your subject matter and the little detail about forgetting to post today. That sounds like something I would do! LOL

I've always made resolutions and have always blown them off within a week, so these days I just use New Year's Day to look back and look forward, see what I've done and where I'd like to be this time next year. Sort of my own version of a one-year plan. :-)

Good luck with the babysitter search. I really love that you've set that goal for yourself!

And Congrats to Gillian for rescuing the GR! Good luck keeping him away from the chocolate!

Joan said...

I resolve to win the lottery.

There. That's done.

I too started a declutter program this year. Had ALL of my rooms painted in the spring. Fell in love with my painter. Mourned when he left (sigh)

The only problem with getting the rooms painted was that I immediately HATED everything else. This year's tax refund is going for a new kitchen floor!

Gillian Layne said...

Oh, yeah, Joan, guess where hubby just returned from?

Lowe's--with new laminate wood flooring....this house project really is going to take all of '08, I believe.

On a good note, GR is playing happily with the kittens and has evaded the puppy for most of the day! And I'm sure the feathers stuck in the wet paint add a homey look to the dining room :)

doglady said...

YAY, GILLIAN!!!! Congrats to one of my Passion's Slaves CPs on nabbing the GR! He will have a blast at your house! Loved your blog Susan! I am not much for resolutions, but I am determined to get my page count above the five to eight a week where it hovers. I want to be published by the time I am fifty and as of December 2007 I have only one year in which to reach that goal. I also want to do everything I can do to help my CPs get published too as they are a very talented and supportive group!

Kirsten said...

Sheesh--so many resolution Grinches around here! Where the love?! Come on, ladies (and p226)--embrace the goal setting mania! Don't let the health club/dieting fools get you down!

My husband and I swapped with a family for overnight childcare, so we had a romantic New Years Eve, complete with a long, lovely dinner out where we set our resolutions together. Like Susan, we set a date goal (a modest every 6 weeks, rather than the ambitious every month goal Susan made!). We also resolved to go on five family adventures (where we go to some new park or trail for a day), finish the back deck, and see a financial planner.

See? That's not so hard, is it? :-)

20 pages a week is VERY ambitious, as far as I'm concerned. I try for 1000 words a week, when I'm cruising. But as I just finished my WIP and dumped it on my laundry-challenged CP, I've got some downtime right now. Heehee.

Welcome back Susan! And Happy New Year everyone!

Susan Seyfarth said...

flchen1 -- I like your take on resolutions as a time to look forward & back, to think through what you'd like to happen. One of my favorite things to do on Jan 1 is look through my old calendar & review the year by trying to figure out what all those cryptic little notes mean. :-)

Hrdwrkdmom: Ahhh, I should've known P226 was behind the GR kerfuffle. Thanks for rehabbing him, ladies. Though I understand he now has a taste for chocolate, wine, vodka & rolling around with kittens. (Getting to be something of a disgrace, isn't he?)

Beth: Oh my gosh. 3 degrees. It got to a balmy 10 here today. I almost left off my scarf when I went to the grocery store.

Kate: I know. Here I am resolved to get all with it & I'm totally behind already. (blush) But what the heck. I'm trying, right? That counts for something. And I AM meeting my page goal each day (all two of them so far). Maybe I should trim back to one resolution next year, as I clearly lack focus...

Joan: Let me know how that lottery resolution works out. If you have any luck, I'm going to resolve to get published. :-)

Oh & to Joan & Gillian--I have total floor envy. My kitchen floor is nearly as old as I am, & looks it. I lust with all my heart for some nice ceramic tile & a couple new counters...

Doglady--Now there's a goal I can get behind! Published by fifty! You say you have one year to go? Go, go, go! The banditas are pulling for you. Keep us posted!

Susan Seyfarth said...

Kirsten! Lovely to see you, my dear, & I love your resolutions! We should see a financial planner, too, but I'm afraid he/she will just tell me I can't afford a kitchen floor, which I already know & it makes me bitter. :-)

I am thrilled to have your latest masterpiece to distract me from my mountains of laundry & am totally jealous of your romantic new year's eve. I poked my husband in the shoulder at midnight (he was snoring) & said, "Hey, happy new year." Then we both went back to sleep. :-)

Happy new year, all, & here's to a wonderfully organized & productive 2008!

flchen1 said...

Susan, you know, I can't seem to figure out what my microscopic scrawls mean afterwards either...

And your NYE celebration sounds remarkably similar to ours, only we were not quite asleep yet, but actually chatting for like the first time in what seems like months. As we heard what sounded like fireworks outside, I asked, "Hey, is it midnight yet?" Such a sharp cookie, I am... NOT!

BTW, best wishes on your 2008 goals, and keep us posted! I'm especially hoping your date-night resolution works out--we have yet to enact such a commitment, but it sounds like a great thing!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Gillian, just put a mural around the feathers, that might even make hims come to your house more often.