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Beginning with Ending

I made enough resolutions in my life to realize they’re all bullshit. I’ve probably even ranted on this blog about how it is too socially acceptable to fail at implementing resolutions to make them a credible way of committing to change, but I’m too lazy to go fishing for it. (Not to mention the fact that I’m downloading and streaming so many things at the moment, it would take FOREVER to open another browser to search.)

So this post isn’t about what I’m going to do better in 2014, nor is it about the nasty little habits I’m going to obliterate. I have my share of both, of course, but I don’t have any active plans in progress to change them at the moment. Instead of being a “new year, new me,” post, this is focused on how I started my year by ending.

One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that I am fantastic at getting a project going, or kicking off some major doing. I can even get to the middle of it, but the problem is that once I let the enormity of it really sink in, I get stuck. Think Artax in the Swamp of Sadness. Yeah. Sinking in the muck of “Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into?” So instead of starting a million new things (which I’ve proven over and over that I do perfectly well), I spent the first week of the new year FINISHING things. This is more of a challenge for me than dreaming up new things to do. I did some time cleaning and realizing that I have a half a billion craft projects started and none of them finished, a bunch of stories started and abandoned when I lost the gusto for the newness of the story, or realized that it was going far past the intended scope, or that the focus had shifted from the bright, shiny idea or a thousand other little flaws. Instead of making my traditional list to deal with all these tangled little ends, I sat down and finished some of those craft projects, which is a fantastic excuse for camping out on the couch and watching the LoTR marathon on Spike. I packed up some things I know I will not use, no matter how much I want to, and prepared them to go to Goodwill where someone else will hopefully make better use of them. I have spent time each day working on those wily little stories to wrangle them into some kind of submission so I can finish them, even if they amount to nothing other than skill-building. In some small way, I helped bring some of the chaos and distraction to a lower level by bringing things to a close instead of drowning in half-finished, incomplete things. It’s like washing away guilt and starting my 2014 with a sense of accomplishment, a little decluttering and spending time doing things I don’t normally take the time to indulge in. I hope this is a portent for the year to come.

Another thing that I will be finishing this month will be the epic list of book reviews that I was supposed to take time to write while I was on vacation in December. While that didn’t happen, I still have my notes for these books and I will finish them as I intended. The writers deserve as much, as do the stories. Look forward to those, just be patient, school starts before long and academic hibernation will probably take over before long.

I hope you all had a great new year and I hope you’ve had a positive start, however you choose to kick it off. How do you start your new year? Do you make resolutions and will you keep them past the first quarter of the year?

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