new year, new post.

Well, 2015 has arrived and with it a whole new batch of resolutions, and fresh starts.

The past year has had its highs and lows, like any year, I suppose. I was happy to celebrate the release of both “Lily” and “Happy Birthday, St. Louis!” Both books mean a lot to me. “Happy Birthday has definitely been my most successful book so far, and I am proud of that, but "Lily” is probably my most meaningful book and the connections and memories I’ve made through its publication are priceless.

I spent most of the year working with the Cheetahs, Hyenas, Capybara, Anteaters and Bush Dogs at the Zoo, and I will tell you, there is not a species or individual on that list that I do not treasure and feel honored to work with. They are just amazing, each and every one.

As per usual, I spent 2014 in a mad scramble of trying to balance Zoo work and children’s book PR, as well as attempting to write “Dizzy and the Gashouse Gang.” Things have fallen to the wayside, for sure, including this blog.

I am thrilled to report that I completed ONE, yes that’s right, ONE of my nine resolutions from last year. Hey, you win some, you lose some.

But I have to say, 2014 was a very transitional year for me.  I learned A LOT. I’m hoping to remember the lessons I eked out of my 28th year and carry them into 2015.

With that, I am renewing my vigor to complete last year’s resolutions, as well as adding a few to the list.

Here is what I have so far:

1. Be a force for positivity:

There is a man who I often see in Forest Park. He is a very fit man, probably in his late thirties and he has a very specific cardio routine. He dances, yes, dances his way around the entire six mile loop of the park. Not running, not really walking, just dancing. The entire time he does this he has this giant grin on his face. Every time I see him I just grin right back at him, mainly because I cannot look at that man without smiling. He always waves to me and I wave back.  He just exudes joy. In 2015, I want to be like that dancing, waving, grinning Forest Park man.

How to do this? Well, I think this article sums up a great place to start.

2. Truly stop picking my face:

Those of you who are not face pickers will probably be disgusted by this. Those of you who are, well, I know you feel me. I have had this terribly addictive habit for over five years now and this year IT. WILL. STOP.

3. Marathon PR:

This one was on my list for last year, but a nasty bout with runner’s knee forced me into the half instead of the whole. This year, there are no excuses. It is time to go after that PR. I’m racing 24 year old Carolyn and I intend to win. 

4. Write like a…well, you know:

A good friend of mine gave me Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
for Christmas (definitely recommend!) and there is a great column in there titled “Write like a (can’t repeat the word here since I’m a dignified children’s author).” This year I intend to take Cheryl’s advice. I wrote quite a bit in 2014, but in 2015 I’m really going to discipline myself and write like crazy.

5. Pay for everything with a credit card:

I live on a very tight budget and so have always been a debit kinda gal. I usually only use my credit card for major purchases (camper van to drive around New Zealand, anyone?). But, now is the time to experience all of those rewards points everyone keeps talking about. I don’t care if I have to discipline myself to pay the thing off every week! This year I will join the land of credit.

6. Relax:

About life, about work, about all the little things. As midnight approached on NYE my friend A and I were discussing our resolutions. I said I wanted to be more like her (a free-spirited, spontaneous, laid back person) and she said she wanted to be more like me (a wound up perfectionist gravely concerned with the amount of confetti covering the furniture)! So, this one’s for you, A. In 2015 I aim to be relaxed.

So, that’s it! Only six this year. Think I can manage? Here’s to health, happiness, new books, new friends, goals and memories in 2015. Hope you all are starting the year off with a healthy dose of auld lange syne!