Welcome to the Funhouse, 2016

flowersIf I were truly organized, this would have appeared on New Year’s Day, but I had a very nice weekend instead. Now it’s Monday, and I’ve had my coffee and homemade yogurt and done some stuff. I’m feeling good about the year and have made the usual sorts of resolutions. Things that I’m trying in 2016:

More productive. Daily writing, no matter what the circumstances, shooting for 3k, but taking 1k as the absolute minimum. Getting the novel done, done, done, and a slew of other stories and projects, all stuff I’m looking forward to, but which must be banged out and then (ugh) revised. Daily free-writes to get warmed up and help me listen to my unconscious. Doing some of the daily little practices that end up accumulating, like practicing my Spanish on Duolingo.

More organized. Sitting down in the morning to take ten minutes to sort out my day and write the three most important things to get accomplished. Tracking things better. Having a household system where things have their designated place and get put there, and eliminating the clutter clusters, the places where stuff gets dumped and remains. The new house helps with not just the act of having to purge and sort that moving involved, but in having more spaces to put things.

More mindful. That same morning moment helps me figure out my day and live it more purposefully, less prey to random disorientation and derailing. Keeping a daybook/journal where I jot down ten things about the day, as well as a short list of what I got done, and the more important occurrences like visitors, trips, etc. Giving my poet-side time to sit and think at times.

More healthy. With the move, I’m walking more, and with the Fitbit, I could be tracking that and making sure I hit at least 5 miles a day, but hoping to be closer to an average of ten by the end of the year. Fewer eat-ALL-the-sweets moments and more fruits/veggies. Focusing on positivity and trimming negative crap out of my life where I can. Celebrating things that should be celebrated and practicing gratitude for being alive in such a nifty world, under what are pretty darn good circumstances.

I thought about trying to map everything out in Habitica but in the end I’ve just got a journal page with it all listed, plus I’m trying to build in habits that let me audit how I’m doing.

Part of mindfulness is the occasional moment where I remind myself that I have managed to do okay so far, and that despite feeling like a hapless mess half the time internally, I put on a reasonable facsimile of a responsible adult with an actual career and stuff. That’s kinda key too. While my inner teenager does give me a lot of pleasure, she’s also pretty insecure. To me, taking care of all those internal personae seems crucial, and it’s that part of me that’s actually achieved a semblance of adulthood.

Currently working on a couple of collaborations and a story whose title makes me laugh every time, but actually seems to have some social commentary at its heart.

Happy 2016, everyone! Here’s to health and happiness, to an overall increase in human empathy and a decrease in insecurity and meanness. Here’s to living life in a way that’s meaningful, rather than treading water and waiting for things to occur. Here’s to wonderful words and songs sung together, full voiced and beautiful, even with the occasional disharmony to make the rest sound all the better.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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