a new beginning

It's finally 2011! YAY! I've been looking forward to the new year for months now. Overall I had a scathingly awful 2010 and I'm elated that it's finally behind me. It was a year of massive career disappointments--one in particular early in the year that haunted me for over 10 months, a long and emotional quarter-life crisis (they happen, ok) and lots of other little things that conspired against me & my family to make it a pretty lousy year. Only 2 others have been worse so far -- 2003, the year that I left high school and 2007, when me & my cat both got really, really sick.

But that's all behind me now and 2011 is going to ROCK! Believe it or not, I've never really made a list of resolutions before, so I guess that accounts for why I've never stuck to any. This year, though, I've made such a list and oh golly gee damn I am sticking to it.

1. Exercise. I have no desire to lose weight, really, just to tone what's already there. I'm thinking yoga might do the trick for me, so I'm already prepared with a beginners DVD.

2. Learn French. Despite having 4 years of high school French under my belt, I'm afraid I can barely count to 20 and the extent of my knowledge pretty much ends there, with the exception of the random phrases "a cup of tea," "the record player is broken," and "hot dogs." I have the Rosetta Stone software for French now, and I'm planning on using it until I'm fluent.

3. Move. I took off from work for all of January (yes, I'm self employed..) to clean out my house so we can finally get it on the market. Waiting around for my parents to sell the house would take years, so I'm doing it myself. I'm scrubbing the walls, getting rid of clutter and mending things that need mending. My goal is to have a for-sale sign up by February 1st.

4. Control impulse buying. I really have a problem with spending my money on things I don't need (clothes and dvds are my weaknesses!) and I need to stop. Until I can handle the problem on my own, I've given my mom control over my debit cards so she needs to approve my purchases. Once I start realizing that I can't spend my money just because I have it, hopefully I'll drop the habit.

5. Take better care of myself. I already eat healthy, but I don't do keep-up well. I forget to take medicines, I forget to change my pillowcase each night (being an allergic mess & sleeping with a cat in your bed, this is a must!), and I let my roots grow in until I have two-toned hair. Better maintenance will probably help me be in a better mood, too!

6. Watch more Dirk Bogarde movies. He's my favorite actor, and I even have a website devoted to him, but I rarely find time to actually sit down and watch his films. There's still about 15-20 I haven't even seen yet and dozens that I want to re-watch. Yeah, you're all thinking "great, just what we wanted.. Kate talking about Dirk Bogarde even MORE.."

7. Convince Millie that films don't need happy endings to be good. (Really, they don't!!) Although I know that this probably won't happen until I admit that Tyrone Power is a handsome, good actor, so the chances of this occurring are slim to none.. ;-D

8. Read more. I LOVE to read but by the time I curl up in bed with a book at the end of the night, I'm usually too tired to actually absorb what I'm looking at. My goal this year is to take little reading breaks during the day, when I'm actually awake enough to enjoy it!

9. Stop letting small things bother me so much. When I get a nasty email from a customer, or when someone leaves a comment on my blog that upsets me, I can't stop thinking about it forever. Especially at night I'll just lay in bed with the words running through my mind over and over. Little things really weigh on my mind, and that needs to stop this year. 2010 probably wouldn't have been half as bad if I'd stopped thinking about all the bad things right when they happened, instead of letting them linger in my consciousness all year long.

10. Start my life. I've been floundering for years trying to figure out what I'm doing. Since 2004 I was doing outdoor art festivals selling my pun paintings, then in 2009 I started Flapper Doodle. Neither is really the ideal career for me -- mainly because both involved customer service, a job that I loathe -- but also because these jobs don't make me feel like I'm an artist, but an entrepreneur. And at heart, I'm not a businesswoman in the slightest. I've started looking into schools that do store window design degrees.. might sound odd at first, but I think it fits me (I'm such a Rhoda) The only people I'd have to deal with are my co-workers and my boss -- not customers. I'd get to do something creative, and hands on, without having to do business-y work. It's a job that I could do anywhere in the world, because every country has store windows that need dressing! I think it might just be my perfect job.

11. Spend more time blogging, but take it less seriously. Towards the end of the year I started blogging more often, taking more outfit photos and posting monthly playlists. It was partly because I want to blog and share my interests but also because I've come to think of my blog as a personal diary that I'll have for years to come. For the first time since I started blogging two years ago, I've finally realized that I need to do it for me, not just for readers.

I also want to blog more often on my classic film site, Silents and Talkies. I've been wrestling with it for about a year now, trying to decide if it was worth keeping, why I even blogged there, etc. I've never felt those posts were as good as what other film bloggers turn out. I don't think of myself as a writer in even the most narrow sense of the word, and since that's mainly what I do on Silents & Talkies, I feel intimidated whenever I have to hit the publish button.

But I'm applying my new blog-for-me outlook to that blog as well. If I watch a movie and want to write about what I thought, I should do it. Even if I can't perfectly express with words how I feel about a film, I should do it anyway to have a record of having seen it and know how it affected me at the time. Some people treat classic film blogging as a competition -- there's even a movie blog award thing each year! -- but I'm just going to see it as an online diary of my thoughts on film. Competition of any sort actually makes me feel kind of sick (when I used to compete in art shows I would get literally sick during judging) and -just for me personally - I think that subtracting that from the equation makes everything more fun!

So basically: write more, scrutinize my writing less, don't feel intimidated by better writers, and blog because I want to, not because I hope other people will read it.

2011 will be my year. I just know it. I'm going to make life happen, and stop waiting for it to come to me. I'm improving my outlook, and giving myself a new beginning.


One of my blogging idols and dear friends, Diana from Our City Lights is in the hospital today having emergency surgery. Please keep her in your thoughts!