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2015's Word: Compassion

2014 is on its way out, and let me tell you, the last three weeks of this year have been...less than stellar. Crappy, in some cases. Deaths in my family and in my husband's, work issues, writing issues, The Bronchitis That Won't Die--all of which are making me eager for 2015 and its fresh start.

However, overall, I have no beef with 2014. My family traveled, my kids stayed healthy (except for the minor bugs and colds of childhood), I wrote more than I have since they were born, and I made new friends. Not too shabby, 2014. I also did pretty well with my 2014 theme, "Be Deliberate." On to the new year.

My theme for 2015: Compassion.

I've tried a few other words on for size over the past week--creativity, boundaries, exploration, and artistry, to name a few--but I keep coming back to this one. This is the one that feels right. And when it comes to words, I tend to go with the one that feels the best, sounds the best, and makes the most sense. So, "compassion" it is.

Here's how I want to incorporate it into my life this year:

Interaction: Like a lot of people in my generation, I can lean towards "judgey" at times. After all, it's a lot easier to judge someone else's choices, opinions, voting record, or peanut butter preference  than it is to walk in their footsteps. And on the heels of responding with more deliberation (from last year), this year I'd like to ineract with more compassion. Before making that quick comment or offering advice from my all-too-perfect vantage point, I'd like to more actively/conciously be aware of others and their circumstances. And another side of this cube is that not every single reaction that someone has to me is necessarily about me: That disinterested student might be preoccupied by something going on at home, not think that my class is boring (ok, maybe that's a stretch). So...yeah. Compassionate interaction.

Reading: Can you read compassionately? I think so. In 2015, I'd like to read with more thoughtfulness--trying some authors who I've rejected out of hand in the past ("Oh, I didn't like X, so I'm not going to read Y)--and more care. I also want to continue to expose my daughter to a range of authors and titles that feature protagonists who are different from her...everything from Laura Ingalls Wilder to Nikki Grimes to Rita Williams Garcia to Grace Lin. This will lay a foundation of empathy and connection that she'll carry with her forever. Can't wait!

Writing: This year, I want to work on projects that I generate, that excite me, that stretch my capabilities. Where compassion comes in this category is to not push myself to burnout (see Brochitis that Won't Die, above) and take the time I need to get things right. And if that means saying "no," or "not yet," or "I want to do something different"...so be it.

Health & family: There's that never-ending quest to actually take care of myself consistently (again, Bronchitis TWD), but I also want to be more compassionate as a family/parent. My kids have big, fun, personalities. They are smart and funny and can keep up really well with my kooky schedule. But...they are still little. They have very little choice in their days (school is mandatory, yo), and they do get shuffled and swept along with the tide of the two adults who care for them and work from home. So I'd like to be more aware of that on the days when they wake up on the wrong side of the bed and are grumpy, or when they need to pull the brakes and recharge. I'd like to be more compassionate towards myself on those days, too--when I feel that way and when they do.

This year is a big birthday year for me. Lots of new beginnings, opportunities for change, and opportunities for growth.

So here's to a more compassionate 2015. A warm and fuzzy year, I hope.


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Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
deva_fagan
Jan. 1st, 2015 10:33 am (UTC)
Compassion is a great word. Best of luck to you in 2015! May it bring you everything you hope for!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

News

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• New book alert! MOXIE AND THE ART OF RULE BREAKING will be in stores July 11 2013

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• TOTAL TRAGEDY has been named to the Texas Lone Star list as well as Kansas' KNEA Reading Circle catalog (with a starred recommendation)

• TOTAL TRAGEDY is out in paperback! Ask for it at a bookstore near you.

• TOTAL TRAGEDY has gone into its third printing! Thanks to everyone who bought it!

• MODELS has gone into its fifth printing! Thank you!!

• Have you seen the TT trailer? Go here & check it out:
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• Disney's Family Fun Magazine and Girl's Life mag both loved TT! Check out the reviews in their February issues!

• I've signed stock recently at the following stores:
- Barnes & Noble, Framingham, MA

• Booklist says, "Some sisterly bonding, the sweet flutterings of a first romance, and a creatively contrived comeuppance for the mean girls make [TOTAL TRAGEDY] a cheerful read for younger middle-schoolers."