Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My (cringe, wince, dare I say them) 10 Resolutions for 2014

I'm not a fan of resolutions because they create a paper trail of one's inevitable failures from setting expectations too high. The word resolution is so authoritative. I know it's because it's so close to the word "revolution" but resolution always makes me picture a Confederate soldier pointing a bayonet at my head.

On the other hand I love lists. And new beginnings. I'm also a hopeless hopeful liberal who thinks everything in the end will work out if we can all just get along. There's nothing wrong with a good old fashioned drum circle, people. I've got the sage stick in my desk.

And since I've already given my grilling resolutions for Char-broil, and am inspired by writing group buddy Helen Landalf's most excellent writing resolutions, here are mine with grilling and writing naturally a little mixed together.

1) Nano the novel. I've been timidly chipping at a novel for two years now. Timid because I think I don't have the time to commit to a long work, so I put most of my fiction writing energy into poetry and short stories. The novel won't go away, however, and my writing group keeps asking about it. It's time to Nanowrimo this thing. November is never a good month for me to do so, but I can pick a 30 day period that will. March sounds good. It's my birthday month.

2) Lose the Forty 40. You know the Freshman 10? Well it gets worse. It's time for me to lose the belly. Period. It's hindering me and I'm sick of it and I've already lost four pounds from cutting out grains and dairy for four days, not because I think they are bad, but because I love my bread and cheese, and this addict needs to detox. I'll be sure to blog about the healthy grilled and smoked dishes I make along the way.

3) Create a work/life balance. My husband and I have run a 7-day a week, lunch and dinner restaurant for ten years. Ten! Look for some business model changes soon. Very soon. For starters, we are open from 12-8pm, Wednesday through Sunday this month. That will help, but stay tuned for more. And less.

4) Walk the dog more. I'm supposed to be morning walk girl and Eric is night walk guy. I miss a lot of my shifts. Trixy, our very energetic cattle dog needs it, and so do I.

5) Play more fully. My daughter has been saying a lot lately that I don't play enough. It's like a stab in the heart and I predict that she will improve upon this ability to break me in her teens. But she's right. We're going through some transitions and I've been pretty absorbed and work focused. I keep telling her that I'm working on getting more play time but that means nothing to a five year old. Or to anyone. On the contrary, my husband sees the kids less, will lay down and nap sometimes when it's his shift (seriously!) but doesn't get that comment at all. I think it's because he really plays when he plays. He doesn't check e-mail, or call anyone, or make shopping lists. I may not be able to play more hours, but my goal is to play fully when it's play time.

6) Add some Zumba to the Karate. I jumped back into Karate last year and it feels great. I get my heart rate up, learn every class, and take it pretty seriously. I want to add in exercise that for me is purely for fun. Zumba (registered trademark yada yada) sounds perfect.

7) Sharpen the editing skills. I've always thought I was a pretty good proofreader and editor but I've noticed errors lately that I should have caught. I need to own that. Whether that means taking a refresher class or simply taking more time, it's all about the practice. Practice makes perfect.

8) Submit to the Slush Pile. I tend to hold on to what I write. This year I plan on giving some of my stories and poems wings, even if it means they rubberneck back stamped NO in red ink.

9) Grill purple. It's funny because I've always considered myself a little outside the barbecue world, even though I own a barbecue restaurant and catering company, and have published a cookbook. I don't compete though, and I live in Seattle and sometimes have purple hair. I've noticed, however, that my posts are mostly about traditional barbecue and basic grilling. There aren't a lot sides, desserts or weird/daring/bizarre recipes on my blog and as I said in the Char-broil New Year's post, I'd like to blog more out of the barbecue box this year.

10) Breathe. This is the most important, which is why it's the last one. Eric says it to me all the time because I get spinning so fast I forget to breathe. My guess is the Tasmanian devil had the same issue.

So what are some of your resolutions?


  1. You are a wonderful writer, Julie, and I'm rooting for you to crank out that novel. :)

    1. Thank you!! I'll let you know how it goes...Happy New Year!

  2. Kristinmerri G'SelleJanuary 9, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    I think the most inspiring take-away from this list is that each of your resolutions is rooted in the desire to become more present in your daily life. That itself is a revolution!

    1. Thank you, KM. I don't think I realized that, but it's definitely something I struggle with (future-tripping is soooo much more sparkly than the cold harsh reality of the present) yet desire (because if ya ain't here and now, you aren't anywhere). Happy New Year!