2019 was a year of personal growth and reflection. I understood, finally, what it would take for me to get to where I want to go — and what I must do to get there. Commit to learning more about Amazon ads and other book marketing strategies. Reintroduce a dedicated writing time into my day and stick to it. Run early in the morning … before the sun rises. Take time off to play and rejuvenate. Not be so hard on myself. Some of those won’t be easy or comfortable. Some I don’t really want to do. But sometimes changing your life means changing your habits, and that’s downright scary.
Taking a step back, I’ve got to be honest. I did accomplish a lot last year. Not necessarily how I expected, or in the time frame or order I’d set for myself, but I moved the needle forward. And I don’t know if I’d call it my biggest achievement, but running — and finishing — the Toronto Waterfront Marathon showed me what I can achieve with determination, courage, and commitment. It proved just how much I can push myself beyond what I believe I’m capable of.
But one of the greatest lessons of 2019 came in the final weeks when I went ‘off the grid’ for the month of December. No Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. No weekly blog posts or newsletters. And no flood of drama, cynicism or negativity from news sites. In many ways, cut off from the world but reconnected with myself, my goals, my ‘why.’ A return to the simple life.
A Simple Life…
That’s why I’m writing to you. I’m staying ‘off the grid’ in 2020. I’m tired of reaching for my phone. Tired of being distracted. Tired of living according to someone else’s rules. As a writer with, I’d say, ambitious literary dreams, I’m sure the ‘experts’ would say I’m shooting myself in the foot. And maybe they’re right. But I need a timeout. Time for myself, time to hear myself think.
I’m not going completely dark. I’ll be keeping up my blog and newsletter. But there will be a significant reduction in many other areas, including text messages, phones calls, and updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Because of my day job (flight attendant), I struggle a lot with jet lag, which has a major impact on my sleep and energy. That’s why I’m keeping it simple. Unless it’s an emergency, the best way to reach me is through e-mail or good old-fashioned snail mail.
2020 is my year to step back and enjoy life, make the most of the time gifted to me, and focus on what matters.
How are you feeling about 2019? Did you do most or all the things you set out to accomplish? What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
I hope that the early days of 2020 treat you well and look forward to hearing about your adventures. Live your best life!