I just love the beginning of a new year, don’t you? It’s so full of hope and promise, just this endless vista of potential spread out before you, every day an opportunity to do things better this time around.
Yes, I realize it’s totally arbitrary. There’s no reason one can’t decide on any random day that tomorrow is going to be a fresh start. But I’m a sap, and I’ve always loved the idea of having one day that marks a time when everybody gets to just let go of all the nonsense that’s been dragging you down or holding you back and make a fresh start all together.
Overall, 2009 was a pretty awesome year for me. I didn’t manage to accomplish either of my resolutions, and I managed to do a fair number of stupid things I regret, and a decent number of really sucky things happened (some my own fault, some totally out of my control) but I also got to know a lot of wonderful people and had many amazing things happen to me as well.
But the one thing I feel probably the worst about from this last year is how much I’ve been neglecting my blog for the last few months. I feel especially terrible about it when I think about all the amazingly generous people who so kindly gave me money, who I feel incredibly guilty for letting down. I don’t know why I’ve had such a hard time posting recently – okay, that’s not true. I know exactly why, but it’s not really worth getting into here.
Anyway, for 2010, I resolve to write a new post on A Better Oakland at least three times a week. In a perfect world, it would be daily, and I’m going to keep five days a week posting in my head as a goal. But there’s no point in making promises I can’t keep, and I would rather commit to something that’s challenging, but doable if I try, than something where I will probably just end up failing and letting my readers down.
I have two other blogging-related resolutions, as well. First, I am going to be better about responding to my e-mails. I am terrible with e-mail, as any reader who has ever written to me probably knows. I love all the messages I get, and I always want to write a really good response, so then I put it aside for when I have more time, and of course, that, like, never happens, and then I never end up responding and I feel like a total jackass. No more! I will realize that short, non-perfect messages are okay, and I will write back to the people who take the time to write to me.
Finally, I resolve to leave more comments on other local blogs. I adore Oakland blogs, and it always makes me so happy whenever I discover a new one. I so want them all to keep going and keep writing, and I remember from my early days of blogging that one of the things that made it hardest to keep doing it was this nagging thought that nobody was reading. I used to get so excited every time I got a comment, even if it was a mean comment that was like “You’re completely wrong about everything and a total idiot, your mother must be so ashamed. V Smoothie suxxx!!1!”
These days, I’m totally spoiled, and get more comments than I could possibly have time to respond to. (Although I hope my commenters know that even though I can’t often write back, I do appreciate every last one – well, almost every one.) But even now, I’m still sensitive about it, and when I write a post that only gets like, four or five comments or something, I get all upset and whine about it to my blogger friends, who, of course, give me absolutely zero sympathy.
Anyway, I’m always intending to leave comments. Just like the e-mails, I always want to write some great, thoughtful, perfect comment, and I leave all the posts I want to respond to open in tabs in my browser, thinking I’ll write something when I have time, and then of course I never get around to it and then eventually the browser crashes and then the process starts all over when new posts appear. No more! I will start leaving more comments, even if the comment is something not very exciting at all, like “I really enjoyed this post,” when someone writes a really good post. The absolute worst feeling as a blogger (well, for me, anyway) is when you spend a ton of time writing a post, or you write something that means a lot to you, and you get no response at all.
So those are my blogging resolutions – more posts, responding to e-mails, and leaving more comments elsewhere. As far as the rest of my life goes, I am going to get a driver’s license so I can join Zipcar. And I am going to see more movies in the theater. It occurred to me on Tuesday, when I went to see Up in the Air (which sucked, BTW), that it was the first time I had been to a movie theater in all of 2009. Then I was all “No, that can’t possibly be true” and I spent like three hours trying to think of a movie I had gone to see, and never managed to come up with any. Weak. I’m going to shoot for once every two months this year. Wish me luck!
Enough about me, what about you guys? What are your New Year’s resolutions?