Hello, 2018--I'm excited to see you.
When I wrote to 2017, I had goals. Positivity, love, self-acceptance and personal happiness. And I can say that while I was not perfect, I achieved my 2017 wishes. It was a breakthrough year for me. I remembered to embrace the finite amount of time I have to play games with my daughter while she's still young and wants to play with me. I remembered to write stories I believed in, at a pace that I was comfortable with. And I remembered that life isn't lived like it appears on the screen, it's lived in the moments I'm too engrossed in to even snap a picture.
I still posted, still wrote, still had days when I quarantined Olivia to her corner while I found quiet time in mine, but overall, this past year brought me the understanding that dreams and goals can't be the only focus. With this, I learned with acceptance comes sacrifice--not in the way so many do, but in the little things. For instance, I've realized that 2017 was the first year since 2012 that I did not release more than one book. Tell Me Something Real was released in June, after which I promptly took the summer off. When August rolled around, there came a lot of ideas and a lot of writing, but now it's January 1st, and I have only 30K words on my newest project. What does this mean?
At first I thought it meant that I was a failure--and if you ask me tomorrow, I might think the same thing. But tonight, with 364 more days looming in 2018, I realize it means nothing in the grand scheme.
It's crazy that it always takes a new year to remind me that. I've sacrificed nothing in my acceptance that I can't compete with those amazing writers who hit NYT best sellers with each release, or write five to seven books a years, because when the words come--and I know they will--I will release a new book that may or may not climb the Amazon charts, and I'll move on to my next project. But in between the release and a new project...I'll watch Livvy work on her back-walkovers and mermaid stretches. I'll distract her with baseball and soccer in the backyard when she asks me make My little Pony cupcakes that require something called fondant, and I'll spend a few hours every evening with Old Man River, arguing over the validity of my sexy-Seal shows, and planning our summertime adventures. And those...those will be the moments that count. Undocumented. Insignificant. And still, the best.
I hope whatever 2017 taught you, 2018 does you one better. The words...they'll always come, even if it takes us a while to hear them. . Happy new year, lovelies.