If you’re thinking about setting some goals for yourself for 2009, assessing what happened in 2008 might help you get started. It’s hard to move forward and plan for the future if you don’t understand where you’ve been and where you’re at right now. I got these questions from a website called First 30 Days. It’s a wonderful little website full of tools and inspiration to help people change their lives. And it’s free! Which is awesome! So here are the questions and my answers.
- What was the best thing that happened to me this year?
There were a lot of really great things that happened to me this year. I fell in love, went to Toronto, saw Leonard Cohen in concert, went to a taping of The Hour where Rushdie was a guest and I got to meet Strombo, bought a painting I loved for years, acted in a play, saw TNB’s performance of Rocky Horror, got to share the TNB experience of Narnia with all my family, enjoyed a really wonderful Christmas at my parents, started writing on my novel seriously again, met some incredible artists for the first time, made new friends, really got BnM into a groove and finished the year with a really strong team in place … wow! Overall 2008 was an amazing year. It’s really hard to pick only one thing, but if I had no other choice under threat of firing squad, I would have to say the trip to Toronto was the best thing that happened this year. Because I reconnected with the city and remembered all the things I loved about living there. Because of Stombo and Cohen of course. But mostly because I went back to Foch and had a really good experience there that left me with only good feelings of peace, love, and some very welcome closure.
- What did I do this year that I’m really proud of?
Again, so many things pop to mind. I’m really proud that I was able to perform in a play to raise funds for JDRF. I’m really proud that I organized an amazing AGM in Miramichi for the WFNB. I’m so proud that BnM is loved by readers all over the world. I’m proud of the relationships I’ve developed with other writers and editors throughout this year. I’m proud of the way I handled myself in my old Toronto stomping grounds. I’m proud for putting myself out there in the dating world. Sheesh! I could go on and on. I’m proud that I sucked it up and went to all my nieces and nephew’s Christmas programs no matter where they were held, despite my own personal feelings and misgivings and general anxiety about going to Church or returning to my old high school. I’m proud of myself for attending the huge holiday party for the first time since … 15 years? maybe longer? But again if I only had to pick one, I would pick BnM. I’m really proud to be a part of the magazine, and that wasn’t always the case. I think I’ve always had misgivings, but this year I really felt connected to BnM in a way I never had and I started to see it and my role in it in a whole new light.
- Who did I really help?
Hmm, now’s the hard part kicking in … I think I’ve really helped writers to feel empowered enough to show their work to others, to read their work in public, to be published. I’m in a position to encourage and nurture writers as they begin their creative journey. And I very much enjoy doing that. I remember the people who encouraged me and I’m so thankful for my mentors, only wish I had found them earlier in life. So for me, it’s important to always help budding writers in any way I can. And I think I really did that this year.
- Who do I need to thank and acknowledge for having been there for me?
My family first and foremost and always. They are my universe and my rock. I honestly cannot fathom how I would get along in this world without them. So, thank you! Mom, Dad, Sherry, Jenn, Lee, Gary, Jason, Charlotte, Paulina, Samuel, Jules, Abby and Anna.
- What are the top three lessons I learned?
Off the top of my head and in random order … that I am ready, willing and able to open my heart to another human being and let him in, that I am strong enough to get through anything life throws my way, and that I have already lived enough to begin sharing my lessons with others.
- What increased my happiness and joy this year?
I started to make a big long list again in hopes of gleaning the one most important thing, but then I stopped myself because I could see a pattern forming. What increased my happiness and joy this year? All things artsy! From attending events to performing at them, from appreciating art to creating it myself. Arts increase my happiness and bring joy consistently for me.
- What’s something I got through that was really tough?
Well there’s no nice way to put it really, so I’ll just come right out and say it — Being dumped by a man I cared about greatly and with whom I had never had an argument only good times. I fell in love and then he left me for someone else. I was shattered in a way I hadn’t been in a decade because I had never let anyone get close enough to be able to do that to me. But I drank absinthe and had rebound sex and went on trips I couldn’t really afford and spent money I didn’t have but I got through it and now I’m all the stronger and wiser armed with the knowledge that I can cope. I can put myself out there, get crushed and live to put myself out there again.
- What did I avoid that I must pay more attention to in 2009?
I guess I would have to say fiscal responsibility. I mean I’m still not as bad as I was once upon a time, but I kind of lapsed in 2008 and let spending get a little out of hand. I need to pay more attention to my financial matters again in 2009.
- What character trait did I develop most this year?
Well I don’t know if this is really a character trait or not but it’s the thing that comes most to mind–accepting ownership of my position as BnM Editor. This part of myself really developed more this year than in any other previous. And it’s all good!
- What new people did I meet that are now in my life?
Well you know I meet a lot of people online through email, twitter, Facebook, etc. and I feel really connected to a lot of these people even though we may never have met face-to-face or very rarely see one another in person, or in some cases they don’t follow me at all but I follow them religiously. So there are a lot of new people in my life in that way, and I think that’s worth mentioning because these people whether they know it or not impact my life on a daily basis. But one person who is in my life both on and offline now is Laura. I met her last year briefly at writing things, but after AGM this spring we hit it off and I’ve been workshopping with her this fall. A great person! Wonderful writer! And definitely a new friend for me.
Whew! That only took an hour or so of soul searching. You should give it a try!