I've made pretty much the same five resolutions every New Year's Eve for the past four decades, so I've decided to exit 2016, one of the most craptastic years on record, resolving to remain unresolved. I'm launching 2017 with a single guiding principle: Screw it. I'm just going to be myself.
Top 5 Non-Resolutions for 2017:
#1 Stop using bad words. Yeah, fuck that. I'm a professional. I know which words are appropriate to the occasion.
#2 Lose weight. Based on 45 years of empirical study, I can conclude with some certainty that dieting, self-loathing, guilt and constantly talking about my weight is not going to make me a size 9. I am a size 16. Bam. Weight problem solved.
#3 Work smarter, not harder! "Smarter" too often translates into "what works for other people." I have to do what feels right to me as an artist and works for me as a sole proprietor, and so far, working insanely hard seems to have yielded the most fruit. I am a workaholic woman dedicated to a life in publishing, in the words of JFK, "not because it's easy but because it's hard."
#4 Be a purveyor of shalom. This is a lovely ambition in theory, but sometimes the world needs shit-disturbers, tell-it-like-it-is-ers, boat-rockers and contrarians. For 20 years, the only prayer I've spoken on behalf of my career is "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace." Praying for book deals or for certain people to get syphilis is too narrow-minded for the wide-open possibilities of modern publishing, so I plan to stick with that, but genuine, lasting peace usually comes in the wake of healthy change, so upheaval serves that goal - in personal and professional arenas - far better than denying one's self and placating others.
#5 Be a better mom. Over the years, the specifics ranged from making a daily hot breakfast to chore charts to a total ban on television in our home for two years. God knows what my kids (now fully grown adult folk) will tell their analysts about me, but they are a couple of awesome blossoms, no one's been arrested lately, and we can all go to sleep at night knowing that our family is loaded with love. My role from here on out is to love them, not to finance their foolishness, enable their self-doubt or critique their decisions. The best thing I can do for them is give them permission to be themselves by living the mandate I'm resolving to better embrace:
"To thine own self be true."
Happy New Year, beautiful world. Let's be kind and get through this together.