Thursday, December 16, 2010


By Paula Matter

The good thing about this time of year is I’m still not a year older. I used to hate having a birthday in late December. Not so much anymore. Don’t get me wrong--I’m grateful for every birthday since the alternative sucks. It’s just kind of cool to be the last of my friends to get older each year.

My blog mates* and our regular readers (thank you!) know I’m the youngest of three girls. Being the baby gives me the leeway to be a brat. That’s a secret among us which I’m now sharing. You’re welcome.

Several years ago, my sisters and I stopped exchanging birthday gifts. We faithfully sent each other cards instead. (Here’s where being the bratty baby comes in.) Growing up, because my birthday falls two days after Christmas, I always received an “extra” gift on Christmas morning. (If either of my sisters were writing this, they’d say that my birthday was always celebrated on the actual day, but because I’m such a brat I don’t remember it that way. Funny how our memories differ sometimes.)

I digress.

Up until six or seven years ago, my sisters sent me an extra Christmas gift for me to open on my birthday. Seems they had forgotten we stopped buying birthday presents for each other. Did I remind them? Hell, no. I got away with that for years.

So, along with a New Year coming up, so is my birthday. A day to reflect over the last year. What goals/resolutions have I met? Which have fallen by the wayside, and will I attempt to reach them next year? Only one of you knows that I have indeed met a huge goal I’d set last year. I dunno what the outcome will be (I’m not expecting much), but I finally achieved this one particular goal.

Coinciding with my yearly reflecting, good ole Facebook has a new gadget and I played with it last week. A year of status updates. What fun it was to look at them. I was able to see that I had met some of my less lofty (but still important to me) goals. I saw that some things about myself never change.

How about you? Do you look back at the end of the year? Do you set goals for yourself? Have you met your goals/resolutions? Care to share what they are for next year? What will you do to meet these goals?
*Why isn't this one word? We have classmates, roommates, so why not blogmates? Ha! Take that, spellchecker. Yeah, I'm still a brat.


susanmeier said...

Yes, you are indeed a brat.

But goals for next year? Yeah, I'm setting some. I have a big contract I have to meet, but also there are a few personal things I want to do.

Something nifty I heard yesterday at a Harlequin Post Party (on a bullentin board for eHarlequin) was that Barbara Wallace and her family write down their goals and stick them in the box of Christmas tree decorations. Then when they decorate the tree the following year, each pulls out his goals and they see who made them and who didn't.

I think that's a very cool way to be reminded of who you were the Christmas before and how far you've come!


visit my website and read a Christmas Story...for free!

Joyce Tremel said...

Glad to see you met your big goal, Paula!

My main goal this year was to get The F**king Book finished and I'm almost there.

Oops. Do I owe you for that word, Ramona?

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Congrats on your goal meeting, Paula.

For me, I set goals at work all the time. It's part of being a department head.

Personally, I never did. At Least until 2006. New Years Eve 2005 I set a resolution to start writing and to start writing a book. Between Christmas & New Year 2005 I wrote the first chapter of a WIP called Deadly Strike. On New Years Eve 2006 I resolved to finish the book. I wrote "The End" on May 6, 2006 (my 50th birthday). The title had changed to A Reason For Dying. At that point, it was a piece of crap, but a piece of crap with potential. After that, I didn't need to set any goals, I was driven.

suanmeier said...

And a piece of crap that you had actually finished, Wilfred!

In almost thirty years in this business I've seen so many wonderful writers fall to the wayside simply because they never finished a book.

Pat yourself on the back!


Ramona said...

Paula, I think that's what you'd call selective memory loss, not brattiness. I like that Facebook app--fun!

I don't do yearly goals, but that is a nifty idea about putting them in the decoration box.

And yes, Joyce, that will be $1.00. Or would you like to run a tab?

Jennie Bentley said...

Gah, is it time for goals already? I'm not ready. Love the status box; must see about getting me one of those. I like your status updates better than mine, though; I never really know what to say. And being the baby of the family is great, isn't it? ;)

Joyce Tremel said...

Ramona, I'd better run a tab...

Patg said...

I have four books started, I gotta get me done on one of them.
Wow, great idea about the decoration box.
Status App??? I better go look.

Annette said...

Paula, I, too am a youngest child/brat. Or "spoiled brat" from what I've been told. Personally, I don't think I'm spoiled at all. ;-)

I haven't given much thought to goals yet. And I'm too afraid to go back and look at the goals I set for this year because I don't think I met any of them.

susanmeier said...

Annette, I seem to remember you revising two books and submitting them recently!

You MUST have hit a goal with that one!


susanmeier said...

And by the way, I have a free goal setting workshop on my website. LOL!!!


Annette said...

Actually, Susan, those two manuscripts weren't even on my radar when I was making my goals for 2010. I'd written them in 2005 and 2006 and had given up on them. It was only a spur-of-the-moment request that had me dust them off and revise them for submission.

Working Stiffs said...

Love that idea of Christmas decorations box. I might have to try that.


Working Stiffs said...

Thanks, Joyce! You still have two weeks to finish!

Working Stiffs said...

Thanks, Will! Sounds like you know exactly what I'm talking about. Amazing how reaching goals drive us.

Working Stiffs said...

Hee hee, Ramona. Selective memory. I am so using that!

I'm about three days behind in my blog reading, so I didn't know what you and Joyce were talking about. At first I thought we had a cursing jar here, and thought, "Oh, f*ck!" Glad to know what it's really about.

I'd also like to run a tab.

Working Stiffs said...

Thanks, Jennie! Ahh, another baby of the family--yep, it is great.

Most of the time my status updates are weeks old. I think my wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving was still up until last week.

Working Stiffs said...

Patg, do you work on all of them at the same time? (You know what I mean) I imagine that's very hard to do. Pick your favorite and finish it! Good luck!

Working Stiffs said...

Yay, another baby of the family! Annette, I'm positive if you did look back, you'd see you've accomplished a few of your goals.