So, here we are in the last week of 2021. Congratulations on making it this far!
It wasn’t the year we necessarily wanted, but it was the year we had, and the year we made of it. What did you write and publish this year? What did you read that you absolutely loved? What did you pull off, whether hijinks or cross-country moves?
This year, like last, I focused on process over goals when it came to writing and weightlifting. The process for writing was simple: write every day, 5 days a week. (I learned from last year: not only is 7 days a week impossible to maintain due to schedule conflicts and sickness, but also sheer wear and tear on the wrists.)
The result was the most productive year yet: Two books out and one short(ish) story that’s about to be published in the Tales Around The Supper Table II anthology. Also, I’m over 10K each into two different stories that I’m hoping to finish next year.
On the weightlifting front, it’s been a year of recovery: I caught Kung Flu for the second time early this year, and that wiped me flat to the point I had to restart with bare bar (45 pounds) and build back up. As I’m neither young nor male, rebuilding muscle and reserves is harder, but a persistent 5 pound increase at a time, then 4, then 3, and now 2 skinny little one-pound microplates… I’m back to rack pull of 175 pounds. I may, at this rate, make it to a rack pull of 185 pounds right at the anniversary of being able to do that just before the idiot virus hit.
I may not be near as good as the shining examples in either field, but I’m persistent. Persistently showing up and putting in the effort has a way of forcing growth and inspiration, and arriving at new personal records.
But process without goals is easily sidetracked, and hard to restart when it gets knocked out. After I published the second book, I had a writing drought of over a month, because I had nothing left to say. I know some of the luminaries in the field say that ideas are everywhere and they’re constantly bombarded by them, but I am not so blessed.
So, too, the plan to “eat a better diet”: without clear milestones to work toward, I started the year with the vague intention to lose 5 pounds. I now have 11 to go…
Well, this is the week to take stock of the dying year, to eat the joyous fruits of my accomplishments and drink the bitter dregs of my failures, and make goals, milestones, plans, and processes to put in place and follow again. Next week is a new year, a new challenge, and I shall rise to meet it.
See you there, on the path to a better world. Even if we have to build it one stone, and one written word, and one barbell rep at a time!