Looking Back, Looking Ahead

It’s the end of the year, always a time to look back at the past year and look ahead to the future. I believe a few thank-yous are in order.

Thanks to my family for supporting me in my crazy schedule when at times a week or more would go by and I barely came up for air, much less cogent conversation. My husband for standing behind me and being my sounding board. My children, I will always worry about you even though you’re off on your own with jobs, marriages, children, but thank you for being so resourceful, happy, hard-working, and faithful. I miss you like crazy and wish I could see you more often, but you have to be off doing what God has called you to do. My five grandchildren are adding a new dimension to my life. Again, I wish we lived closer, but the times I get to see you are full of so much joy that it carries me along — at least for a little while. In the in-between times I send you lots of prayers. My family is there when I need them, providing a safe harbor in life’s storms.

Thanks to my students. You give me a reason to get up in the morning and joy in my work that I never knew I could have. I love opening my office door every morning, planning my lessons, and trying to give you tools that will carry you into awesome writing and publishing careers. Your enthusiasm in the classroom, your hard work on the assignments, and your willingness to cut me some slack (I’m still new, after all, and learning the ropes) keep me fulfilled and happy and constantly trying to improve.

Thanks to my fellow students and mentors in my MFA program. I love being a student again, and I am so thrilled to be getting to know you. You amaze me with your writing and your insights into my writing. You’re helping me to write better and encouraging me in the daily grind. You’re giving me tools to use in my writing. You inspire me. I love how different we all are yet how much we love the art of writing.

Thanks to my friends past and present who encourage me with your Facebook posts and your blogs about your lives. You’re raising amazing families and doing amazing things. Sure, we may have our differences spiritually or politically, but we have made great memories and I’m so glad we’re still in touch.

So going into 2016, I have a few goals:

  • Call my various family members once a week. Life is all about relationships, and my family means the world to me.
  • Write to my grandchildren those old-fashioned things called “letters.” I started this last year but didn’t keep it up very well. I need to do this at least twice a month to all of them.
  • Write every day–for publication, for my MFA thesis, for myself. I have gotten lazy in this area, discouraged at times. But if I make it a goal in front of all of you, I will be more inclined to do it. My goal is 500 words a day.
  • Read at least two books a month. I’d really like to do more, but I don’t want to overextend myself.
  • Blog twice a month.
  • Continue to be a good literary citizen sharing others’ work and encouraging fellow writers and writing teachers.
  • Run a 5K. I’m working with my trainer to prepare for this. It’s sort of a bucket list thing, but I plan to be ready in May.

Thanks to all of you who check in and read. I appreciate you. Wishing you a wonderful new year!

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