It's a new year. First Monday of the year, most people are back at work. I'm taking stock of where I've been and getting a little more concrete about where I'm going. Over the past year, I've:
- rested and recovered from a stressful job
- educated myself about making a living as a self-employed person
- read several books on discovering and pursuing one's bliss
- attended seminars and programs related to possible directions for my career
- read several well-written novels -- for enjoyment and to see how it's done
- gotten into the habit of daily walks and twice-weekly yoga classes
- lost enough weight to drop one full jeans size
- decluttered my kitchen and done several small maintenance projects around my home
- completed a small mosaic tabletop and a tapestry toss pillow
- started making a small table out of my old college textbooks
- started the design on my next tapestry
- discovered a couple dozen online friends from around the world who share a common interest in the ongoing saga of Andrew De Leon
- bought a guitar and started relearning my notes and chords
- published two short stories
- written a feature story on science careers (will be published soon)
- learned to use Twitter and become a lot more proficient in using Facebook
- kept up this blog and a daily journal, and begun putting these together as a book
- completely redesigned and updated my website, with a lot of help from my sister Linda, a talented graphic designer
- rediscovered the joy of spontaneous day trips, local musicians, and three-hour lunches with friends
Over the next several months, I will be contacting several organizations that I have identified as potential outlets for my writing. I'm checking out several agencies that specialize in writers and other creative people. I'm signed up for a six-week writing workshop, and I bought a book on "how to blog a book".
I'm also paying more attention to friendships and spending time with people I enjoy. I'm more receptive to going out and doing things now than when I started this adventure a year ago.
I'm currently conducting an impromptu survey of friends from my various social circles asking them to complete the sentence: "Nancy is my go-to person for _____." Interestingly, none of the responses so far mention my technical knowledge, editing skills, time management abilities, or any of the other talents that were so useful in my previous career. Instead, the responses mention wit, insight, humor, creativity, rationality, carefully considered opinions, and the like. I'm taking this as a sign that I need to build these elements into the line of work that I pursue. If people are already looking to me for these things, then shouldn't I be including them in the efforts where I spend most of my time and energy?
If 2012 was a year of healing and exploration, then 2013 will focus on love and money, and how best to integrate the two. I need to make a living, but I also need the dear people and passionate pursuits in my life. I can't call my book "Eat, Pray, Love" -- that title is already taken. Perhaps I should call it "Heal, Explore, Thrive". That seems to capture the adventure so far.