When I told My Dear Friend about my New Year's goals, she gave me that look. Yes, we were on the phone, but some looks don't require visual contact.
"You're not going to be able to manage that," she said.
"I'll be fine," I assured her. A note of condescension may have crept into my voice. "I don't have all the same responsibilities you do. You'll see."
She may be right.
I haven't picked up a fiction book since I finished The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson in January. I'm plowing through The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but technically, I should have finished that in February. My first serious attempt to write on Past Ties this month was last night.
I'm not making it.
I'm not quitting, either, and I'm leaving my goals as is. For now.
What My Dear Friend knew and I failed to anticipate is all the stuff life can throw my way. The nieces are more involved in stuff, and that means more concerts, recitals, plays and whatnot. No sports, thank you, Lord. I don't think I could do that even for them. I love you gals, but I can't think of a single sport you could practice that would entice me.
Well, gymnastics was okay. I just couldn't sit on the floor because I kept gasping and startling the team. My bad. So sorry I can't handle watching tiny bodies barely evading horrible, neck-snapping, life altering potential injury. I'll work on that.
The Kansas legislature is back in session, so some attention must go there. Responsible citizenship takes time and effort. I am learning to be a responsible citizen.
But none of those things were happening last night. I could check off goals with abandon. With the TV off, devotions finished and 30 minutes of book reading out of the way, I sat down to write. Then I paused.
I've thought of a short story idea I could post either on RT the FB page or at NAF, so I was torn between starting that or working on Past Ties. Which one?
Or, I could check out the new Splashdown Books writing event Avenir Eclectia, which on first notification freaked me out no end, but upon further reflection sounds a lot like what I used to do before I wrote books (I believe that is now called fanfic, but I could be wrong). Anyway, a little, bitty part of me thinks submitting a short story there could be fun, and I want very much to encourage that part. Seems like a publishing-seeking writerly thing to do. But if I'm doing that, I'm not writing on Past Ties and I need to do that if I want to make my deadline.
What to do, what to do?
I set the distractions aside and wrote on Past Ties. I'll add the short story and Avenir Eclectia to my to-do list and plan time for them. With the TV off, I make progress on my list. It may be slow but it's steady.
That's why I'm keeping my goals. I may not accomplish them in quite the time frame I expect, but I will accomplish them. One month at a time, one goal at a time, one priority at a time.
It's not so different from leveling up in Farmville, really, and I've been doing that for almost a year.