Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions - ver. 2010

So I give myself a "B" for last year's resolution:

Anyway, my one resolution for 2009 is to enjoy living in our house a lot more (I suppose in preparation for the eventual move). That encompasses a lot of things, from enjoying the time spent playing in the living room with Beatrix, to getting small things fixed and big rooms finished, to keeping the house neater, to entertaining more at home.

We definitely made some progress on this front. We finished the den, and a beautiful patio outside, and planted lots of new things. We fixed some major appliances. We put in all new windows (a project that started in late 2008, but whatever). We spent a lot of time hanging out at home, and expanded our household — Miles moved back in, and we took in a stray cat. We did not finish the front room, or fix a lot of small things that bug me, or paint the house, or entertain as much as I think we would have liked to, or been as neat as we could have. Life (and lots of work) just got in the way.

So I'm going to extend that resolution for 2010 (and add some others):

1. Enjoy living in our home more (round 2). I think that will mean some big projects, like painting and a new roof. Plus the aforementioned finishing the front room, and a bevy of other projects. I'd like to enjoy our garden with Beatrix. I'd like to be neater (sigh), and I'd like to have people over more.

2. Be better about appreciating my friends. Keep up with birthdays (if only on FB). Email and call more regularly. Make time for coffee and get togethers. Be an ear when people need it. Do my best to advance my friends' goals and dreams. Have people over more often — wanna come over for cocktails some night after 8? We're always home.

3. Eat and drink better. I know that better eating is going to be on Patrick's list so I might as well be proactive. Cook more at home with better recipes. Have people over for dinner (see a theme here?) Eat local. Go to some of those restaurants I've been meaning to check out. Find a signature cocktail. Enjoy wine.

4. Look and feel better. I guess that goes hand in hand with #3 above, but also exercise more. Get that damn rec center membership and do the 200 sit-up challenge. Get my knee checked out (yikes - $$). Dress better. Find the perfect pair of black earrings. Take baths with that great new bath scrub I just made. Clean out my make-up. Keep up with my hair.

5. Bring more creativity into my life. This is the one resolution that will be kind of all-encompassing, so is kind of scarey. See shows. Do creative activities with Beatrix in particular. Be more creative in my approach to work, so that I am more innovative. Read more — don't be afraid of the Kindle! Write a lot more. Take creative chances. Maybe fail.

It's kind of an intimidating list. I'm hoping that by putting it out there I'll stay accountable.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hillary Clinton Gets It

From her speech Monday at Georgetown University regarding human rights in the 21st century —

"I remember some years ago seeing a play about women in Bosnia during the conflict there. It was so gripping. I still see the faces of those women who were pulled from their homes, separated from their husbands, often raped and left just as garbage on the side of the road. So I think that artists both individually and through their works can illustrate better than any speech I can give or any government policy we can promulgate that the spirit that lives within each of us, the right to think and dream and expand our boundaries, is not confined, no matter how hard they try, by any regime anywhere in the world. There is no way that you can deprive people from feeling those stirrings inside their soul. And artists can give voice to that. They can give shape and movement to it. And it is so important in places where people feel forgotten and marginalized and depressed and hopeless to have that glimmer that there is a better future, that there is a better way that they just have to hold onto."