A Time Between

December 26, 2005|Posted in: Uncategorized

Here we are, between the end and the beginning, between major holidays, just poised and waiting for a new year/phase/life to begin (with apologies to TiMoune in Once on This Island). Christmas was good, with several days of feasting and celebrating, and now it’s quiet, with my girls gone to their other houses, and much of the business world stopped or in slow motion.

I’m still running behind on about a hundred projects (maybe not that many), and trying to plan my new year. There’s that list of things I want to do, and the list of things I have to do. There are the fun things and the “wish I could do more of” list, but sadly, also many on the “gotta get this done or else” list as well.

What I Wish I Could Do

1. Read more books.
2. Write more books (maybe this is number one?)
3. See more plays.
4. Reconnect with friends.
5. Travel
6. Host dinner parties.
7. Sew and garden and cook more.
8. Sleep
9. Daydream
10. Breathe

What I Should Do

1. Update my Social Security Card info, which means a trip to the county courthouse for legal documents, which means a long wait in line, a morning wasted, etc. Ugh.
2. Organize paperwork. Filing, sorting, ugh ugh ugh.
3. Pay bills. Always, all the time. Ugh.
4. Exercise more — this is fun and feels good but ends up far down the list.
5. Do disgusting and necessary medical things like mammograms and dental cleanings and other such maintenance.
6. Wash my car. Clean the carpets. Clean the refrigerator.
7. Get tax stuff ready.
8. I hate this list.

What I am Burning to Do

1. Polish up my new book and send it around to agents.
2. Do more stuff with the kids.
3. Work on the yard (weather permitting).
4. Plan our trip to London.

What I Also Have to Do

1. Make a living
2. Get more clients
3. Find an editor for the Sun (I’m filling in temporarily)
4. Pay bills (ugh, I mentioned this already)
5. Visit/call/write to friends/relations
6. Regular chores/housework, laundry
7. Balance checkbook
8. Spend quality time with each of my kids and the love of my life
9. Yikes, get the next issue of Red Hills out the door (sorry, Laurie, I’m working’ on it!)
10. Check things off my list(s)

(Not So) Fun Things Coming Up

1. Saying goodbye to Mia Jan. 3
2. Jury duty in January
3. Figuring out which health plan to use
4. Passing a kidney stone
5. Taxes

How about that?

In the next few days I will be making plans for the new year, working on my overview of what I want to do and how to get these things accomplished. If you haven’t made your list of goals for 2006 yet, now’s your chance.

Check back soon for an update. Otherwise, Happy New Year.

Advice to Aspiring Writers: Lists, I tell you, lists! Make them. Keep them. Check them. Lose them. Then make new ones. Find old ones much later, and discover how much you have accomplished — or not.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.


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