January 2nd, 2019

piranha - kissing mirrors.

New Year's Resolutions 2019

New Year's Resolutions 2019

1. Blah blah blah blog
In the last few years, I've really let blogging fall to the wayside, and I've come to miss it. Some people are blessed with glorious detailed memories, and they can recall conversations they had with decades ago word for word and a performance they watched with crystal clarity. I...cannot. I an barely remember what I did three days ago, let alone three months or three years in the past. So I need to get back into the habit of journaling daily, even if it's only a sentence or two of the most mundane variety.

2. Create an "art" each week.
When I started working full-time, the first thing that dropped dramatically was the number of books I read. My creative output in the form of sketching and painting was the next to go. I want to reverse this utterly depressing trend in 2019. If I can find a place to take an art class, some sort of community center painting or life drawing session, I'll sign up for it. And no matter how tired or unmotivated I feel, I'll make myself go. So much of my identity as a child and young adult was tied up in being an artist, and I don't want that to slip away permanently.

3. Read two Asian-American books each month.
Asian-Americans. My people. Or as much "people" as I have. There's an old chestnut that if you're black, you're black - it doesn't matter if you're full, half, or quarter. Take our former president Obama; Barack's mother was as white as they come, but nobody ever called him anything but African-American. If you're mixed Asian, it's not the same. A half isn't the same as full-blood, and a quarter is even less so.
It has gotten better since I was a child, because there are more and more of us half-breeds out there every day.
Anyway, I have seriously digressed. To get back to the point: I want to read more books about people like me, and support authors with backgrounds like my own, so I'm going to try to read two books featuring Asian or Asian-American characters each month. One adult book and one children's book. I'm sure it'll vary month to month, but if at the end of the year I'm exposed to two dozen new Asian-American voices. I think that'll be a good thing.

4. Get a financial life!
Get a Financial Life is the name of a book on personal finance that I was given at a booksellers' conference after attending a session about managing your money when you work in our poor-paying industry. As I get older, I want to make sure I'm stretching my dollars as far as I can while still maintaining a lifestyle I enjoy. Seanie and I are going to make a budget and stick to it. I'll cut back on impulse spending on stuff - because I have plenty of stuff, do I not? - and try to build up our savings for future big life events.

5. Get into a regular exercise routine.
Because I'm getting really freakin' old and I need to, obviously.
I've had a few health scares over the past year that have just driven home that I need to prioritize health, and yes, that includes physical exercise.

6. Build my personal brand.
What a millennial goal.
But it's important all the same. Basically, the bookstore I work at now isn't going to be around forever. This year it turns forty years old, and it's still being managed by its original owners. They aren't getting any younger, and there's no succession plan, so there's a very real chance that when one of them calls it quits, the whole thing shuts down. Oh, they might try to sell it, but it's going to be a hard sell, convincing someone that a low-margin business like bookselling is worthwhile in one of the most expensive places to live in the world.
So, before that happens, I need to establish enough of a reputation that another bookstore will want to snap me up, or some entrepreneur will think I'm knowledgeable enough to partner with for a new endeavor, or that I can do some sort of consulting and freelancing work because I know useful things.
I'm not sure what I think this means. This is the goal that will require the most consideration and setting forth of concrete steps. I can think of little things: attend local literary events and network like hell, get active online in bookseller groups, try to position myself to participate on award committees, etc. But the overall plan is something I still gotta figure out.

7. Start that darn Youtube review channel.
For the past couple of years, I've been nagging Seanie to help me build a Youtube channel to review Disney-themed books. He never has the time. So, I've got to stop waiting on him and just figure it out on my own. It's something I want to do (and it connects nicely with the previous goal, doesn't it?) so I need to take ownership of the idea and make it happen.

8. Schedule a monthly adventure.
You know what I didn't do nearly enough of in 2018?
Museum visits.
I love going to art museums and I don't think I went to a single one!
I like going on hikes. I enjoying going to tea.
I have a closet full of fun and fancy outfits that I don't want to wear to work but I really want to enjoy.
So I need to take the time to schedule in opportunities for fun.
This stems into something Michelle Obama said when I saw her speak last month. She talked about a difficult period in her life where she was being run ragged, and it made her realize how important it was to schedule in self-care. Like, in your planner, before you add anything else like work or family obligations, you have to schedule in your self-care time. If you don't, you'll fill that calendar right up and never take care of yourself.
So that's what I'm trying to do. Take care.

Eight goals. That's certainly enough of a start!