Getting Back Out There – New Year’s Resolutions and Other Garbage

When my parents used to tell me that time goes by faster and faster the older you get, I never really believed them.  Seriously.  How was THAT even possible?  Like another year gets slapped onto your total and life just eases down on the accelerator a bit?  Didn’t seem to make much sense.

Holy Hannah, people.  It totally makes sense now.

And here’s the thing I never like to admit: THEY WERE RIGHT.

Right now I’m sitting on the edge of first day of the year 2011.  When I look into the bowels of my website and blog, I can see that a month has passed by since I wrote some stuff on the interwebs.  A month?  That’s nothing and certainly not too uncommon for a shabby blogger like myself.  But, as I was doing some home repair (details later), I realized a whole year had been pulled out from beneath my feet.  A YEAR?

Okay, okay.  The home repair, because I know you’re DYING to know what kind of handy-man I am.

All right, remember how I did the biggest loser thing with a couple other firefighting chaps back at my fire station?  Well, a few weeks ago last year, I was getting ready for the inevitable beginning of our competition.  We were going to weigh in after the first of the year.  I decided that I was going to ‘fatten myself up’ to pull a big weight and then just lose it like it was going out of style.  I did that, eating just about anything I wanted as often as I wanted.  I ended up weighing in at about 216 pounds.  Pretty porky for a dude who’s only 5’9″.  Don’t bother looking at a BMI thingy.  I was a pudge.

Well, after the holidays last year, we decided to take down the lights we had on this upper shelf-like thingy in our kitchen.  It looks pretty sweet.  All this fake garland with lights woven into it.  It made you just want to cry and sing Christmas carols.  It was that awesome.  Since I’m not afraid of heights, I got up on the counter using a kitchen chair.  I handed the garland stuff down to Laura, getting a little misty in the process (no, not really) and soon the work was done.  As I prepared myself to come down off of the kitchen counter, I stepped down onto the kitchen chair and, well…I stepped right THROUGH the kitchen chair’s seat.

It was like I did a karate chop, but not really.

I powered through the chair and it must’ve looked like something from a really bad sitcom.  My tubby self stood there like a deer in headlights.  One leg outside the chair, the other, still through what remained of the dumb thing.  If that wasn’t a ‘dude you’re fat’ wake-up call, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, this story isn’t about my Biggest Loser competition (and victory!) it’s to show how quick time goes by.

So guess when I fixed that chair?  2 days ago.  For a whole year, we went ghetto and used a mismatched folding chair to accommodate our family of four at the dinner table.  As I was cutting the dumb piece of wood in the garage, it dawned on me.  One year.  Just like that.  Gone.

It’s not like I just sat around and let the year fly by without something to show for it.  Heck no.  But still, being the way I am, I feel like I used about 34% of the year with doing awesome things.  The other 66%?  (For the record, I had to double check my math.  That works out to 100%, right?)  I sort of took it easy.  I let days and weeks go by without writing something.  It actually got to the point where it was HARD to sit down and work on something at all.  It’s like it had become foreign to me in some way.

How did I let that happen?

But that’s not to say I didn’t write stuff.  I wrote plenty, y’all.  Just very little of my own projects.  I think all told, I kicked out 5 books for Picture Windows and 5 for Stone Arch.  Not too shabby.  I also worked on another short film with my Soft Drink Productions crew.  The sad thing?  We’re just NOW putting the final touches on the DVD of it.  Sorry to all the people who worked on it with us who were waiting for one.  I swear it’s not my fault.

But anyway, this is the year stuff happens.  I think I’ve said it before, but I’m not messing around anymore.  Look at my face.  You see how it’s all serious and stuff?  That means I’m not messing around.  I’m going to wear this keyboard out this year.  When the keys crack and splinter from the awesome I’m channeling through my fingertips, I’ll unplug it from the computer, toss it over my shoulder like an empty can of some delicious soft drink and crack open a new one.  It’s that kind of intensity I need to re-acquaint myself with.

Self?  Meet motivation.  Motivation, meet self.  Let’s rock.

The other thing, too, is how I need to put myself out there.  Sure, I’m disappointed that ANNA 2.0 and even GOODHALO for that matter, didn’t exactly make any agents clap and do a back-flip into a dumpster.  Maybe it wasn’t their time and who knows, maybe it never will be, but it’s not like I ran into a corner with my corner team, let them squirt water into my mouth and press that cold metal thing against my beat-up face only to have them throw in the towel.  Nah.  I’m not like that.  I think I just got all swept up working on my contracted books and using the little breaks I had between them to recharge my batteries instead of writing more, submitting stuff to agents and letting the chips fall where they should.  I still want to write stuff for my peeps at Stone Arch and Picture Window Books, but I need to wedge my own projects in there too.

That how it’s gonna work, 2011.  You hear me?

Oh, and agents?  I’m throwing my hat (well, manuscripts) back into the ring.  You’re going to see some new stuff that might make your undergarments spontaneously explode, destroying your pants in the process.  Sorry about that, but you know, you’ve been warned.  I’m getting back out there, y’all.

But overall, 2010 has been a transitional year for me, I think.  Big stuff happened, some good, some bad.

– Travis started kindergarten.
– Jake learned how to say “Are you kidding me?”
– Laura dressed up like a hot witch for Halloween.
– I rediscovered how delicious Orange Crush can be.

Need I go on? These things don’t just happen overnight.

I guess what I’m saying is this: Don’t take time for granted.  It does fly by and before you know it, you’re 38, your hair is a little grayer and you’re a little less hilarious than you thought you were.  I’m not saying this from experience, I’m just saying.

But really.  Another year.

Every time I sit on that fixed chair, I’m going to think about that.  Seriously.

Have a rip-roaring 2011, everyone.  Let’s make it a good one.