My husband and I have moved back to my hometown, Huntsville, TX, home to statesman Sam Houston and site of Sam Houston State University. We live outside of town in the rolling hills of a golf community. We’re not golfers, but we have adapted to the culture because we like our outdoorsy neighbors.
Why am I bringing this up? Because today, mid-January 2022, I’ve decided to take a mulligan. In informal golf, a mulligan is a “do-over,” a second try after your first one sucks, and it doesn’t count on your scorecard.
I made significant decisions for this year, but as with most folks who decided January 1 of a new year is the perfect time to make changes, I have already fallen short of my mark. In the past, this would be the time when I tossed away my goals. But one of my intensions is to change from being an all-or-nothing kind of person. You know the kind I’m talking about—the person who must do something perfectly (writing every single morning, running 3 miles 5 days per week, eating farm-to-table clean, etc.) or not doing it at all.
Which is why I’m taking a mulligan. I’m revisiting my intensions and making a critical adjustment. I am focusing on moving forward with my goals rather than being perfect in my performance.
I’ve chosen a word for the year: joy. My intention is to live in joy this year. I will take care of myself, so my writing is a joyful undertaking. I hope to have the first draft of my memoir-in-essays completed by this time next year. I will approach this project with joy, which means I will give myself permission to take a break if the writing is not giving me joy and feeding my soul.
Yes, you read that correctly: I will step away from my memoir if the writing on a particular day is not feeding my creative spirit. It’s important to honor my creative cycle and to find my own rhythm. If that means not writing every day, so be it. However, I also will be aware of what is blocking the joy. Do I need to grieve something in my past? The loss of youth is always on the table, it seems. But I’m working on how I am transforming sassiness into boldness (or maybe bodacious-ness) as I slip into my crone years. The point is, I will keep moving forward by taking care of what blocks me and returning to my work.