Accountability, Take Two: 2015 New Year's Resolutions

As a professional writer, I try to avoid cliches. But sometimes cliches are true, so why try and put it any other way?

Time flies. 

Sure, logically I know time goes by at the same same pace as always. I don't make a habit of denying basic math and science truths. I'm not one of those people.

But I still struggle to wrap my head around the fact that we're halfway into May. The less rational part of my brain (the part that says, "Buy heels. Lots of high heels. You'll wear them, really!") is yelling, "HOW DID THAT HAPPEN!?!"

I feel like this year has been sped up, and I don't have enough to show for the nearly five months of my Year of More.

I've been avoiding checking back in with my New Year's resolutions because I haven't committed to them like I know I should.

Everyday life seems to get in the way of tackling new challenges and finding time for people, places and things out of the ordinary.

I know, I know. If I want a better year, I have to put in the effort. I will try harder.

I held myself accountable for my first five resolutions in April, and now it's time to do the same for the rest of the list.

Progress on Resolutions Six Through Ten

6. The sixth goal was looming over my head without much progress for too long. I resolved to demand of myself professionally. To that end, I knew I had to spend money to make money. I needed a new computer. I don't have that kind of money lying around, but I do have lots of space on my credit cards and a constant pile of zero percent interest offers arriving in the mail. So after much debate, I used a zero percent offer, and now I have a fast, good quality laptop for the first time in years. Debt: It's the American way.

Working from my new laptop has allowed me to completely revamp my professional website and especially focus on updating my portfolio. Having a reliable, fast, Windows-based system (as opposed to a slower, outdated Linux system I knew zilch about) has also afforded me the confidence to go for new gigs and also to rejoin a writer marketplace I previously used to connect with clients for guaranteed, no-hassle payments. No hassle = so good.

I like this whole, modern technology thing so much that I might even get a smart phone. Every day I'm surprised when I wake up and -- assuming I charged it all night -- my old texting cell still powers on.

7. "Live more, get out of the house and do more" probably sounds like a simple goal to most, but my life is not typical. Between my health problems, my husband's disabling health problems, and our limited resources as a result of these, doing more is a challenge. I'm happy when my husband stays awake through our free Redbox rental.

Still, I did treat myself to a special 31st birthday gift. Aaron took me to the Sacramento Ballet's production of Swan Lake. For less than $20 a ticket, we had very decent orchestra seats from which to view the stunning performance. It was truly memorable, and I love any excuse to actually use one of those pretty dresses hanging in my second closet.

Although 2015 hasn't lived up to my "live more" mantra, summer always opens up more memory-making opportunities. Warm weather means more low-cost and free concerts, festivals and art events.

I have several favorite bands and singers on my June calendar including Belinda Carlisle, Mr. T Experience and Kelly Clarkson! Be still, my eclectic-music-loving heart.

And this Friday is the 20th anniversary show of a band near and dear to my heart, The Brodys. I'm going to party like it's 1999. Seriously. That was the year I first saw the band, and my life was forever changed.

8. Nerd alert. I've been spending my nights playing online geography games to rectify a serious gap in my knowledge bank. And dang it, I'm proud of myself. I was slow to start on my study more goal, but now I can fill out a map of Europe within seconds and name the capitals, too. Plus, with my new computer, I'm back to playing trivia games to further broaden my knowledge ... and kick some online butt.

9. My ninth objective was to pray more, and that's been an easy one. I have what some would call a bleeding liberal heart, so praying more has just come naturally with all the crisis in America coupled with the ignorant and ugly comments I see in response on Facebook.

10. Lastly, I resolved to romance more. For a non-biased progress report, you'd have to ask Aaron, but his memory is so bad that he'd probably just refer you back to me for confirmation. Final answer: Passing grade.

Intermission at Swan Lake