• Mel Jones

Remember What the Door Mouse Said...

So here’s my list for 2019. Everyone needs a list, I’m big on lists. So much to be done; this list barely touches my goals.


1. To finish my book. I have a draft of a fantasy novel based in Irish mythology, with a serious twist. Good story, breaks a lot of rules, well Irish mythological rules, but I’m ok with that. I teach English, rules were made to be broken.


2. To write a poetry collection. I made a pact with my son Nick, that I would write a poem a day, or seven a week. So, this should not be too difficult.


3. Publish, publish, publish. Oddly this is very, very hard for me. I have poetry, essays, stories. Lots. I subscribe to submission lists (yes plural, I like lists, see above!). But I have trouble pushing send. I must refine this goal. I will send out seven (eek!) items a week. Color me terrified.


4. To paint the room formally known as Ian’s. That’s all that’s left to do in the room, walls and floor. Well, and racks for my hats (again, yes plural, don’t judge). And I need to just do it. My goal is to paint the week of August 12. I have 2 rooms to paint, and carpets to tear up. I won’t be working that week, and I will be traveling to see son(s) the following week. The room will be empty. Wish me luck.


5. To not fill every free moment with work; to give my part time job my availability and to stick with that. Don’t allow myself to be guilted into doing more than I am able. I am a workaholic. I fill all my waking hours filling other people’s brains with information I gained during my schoolaholic days. But I work and don’t do other things that are important to me, like read, write, go to museums, concerts, stage shows, and restaurants. My time is all sucked away until I am just working and sleeping. Sleeping and working. Eating badly and gaining weight—eating the absence of other things in my world.


6. Complete living room makeover. I have finally started this project. Finally. I am in search of a black end table, curtains, matching lamps, And throw rugs. I need a bunch of throw rugs. A piece of lace, like a shawl or something, olive green. And a front door. I need a new front door, with a window near the top. It’s a list within a list. Go me! Sitting furniture in place.


7. To reboot my “Things That Bring Me Joy” project (12 of each [at least 1 per month]: movies, concerts/stage shows, museums/exhibits, read books, go to a restaurant) and write a review of it. I so enjoyed this project the last time I did it. And 12 is a minimum number. The last time, I hit that in every category except concerts six months in. I will post reviews of it all. And it starts today. I have read two diet books in the last three days, Keto and Macro, it’ll be a brief compare and contrast. And I have started a nonfiction book that I am thoroughly enjoying. So it has begun. And I would like to add new music to this list. I have bought several new albums this year that have passed into my collection without proper accolades. David Crosby, Martin Furey, and Fin Furey’s being the most notable.



8. Start/join a serious writers’ group. A Writers’ group and not a mutual admiration society. I see meet up in my future. Or maybe creating a google hangout group as most of my writer friends are not local. Interested? Email me or comment below.


9. Eliminate soda (easy task) and juice from my diet. I only drink soda when I am very tired, eliminating it won’t be stressful, I don’t keep it in the house. Juice will be another issue entirely. I drink juice at home, though not at work. I usually drink water at work. This is going to be a discipline thing. I gave up Pepsi, years ago by instituting a none at home rule—don’t think that is going to work this time. Damn it. I am starting a diet and exercise program, that should help this.


10. Have and maintain a garden. Planting a garden is always easy, maintaining one is another story. And nothing fancy mind you: tomatoes, hot peppers, herds (cilantro, rosemary, basil, catnip). And I want to grow lavender. I somehow always manage to kill lavender. Always.


11. Eliminate meat from my diet at least 3 days per week. I was a vegetarian for a long time, and happy with that. Then my doctor explained it was going to be me or them. My iron level dropped to a 4 (out of 14). Not good. My body does not absorb iron correctly and this creates issues. I must have red meat at least once a week. Perhaps my pasty white self is a vampire and I just didn’t know it.


12. Spend time with friends. See number five. Seriously. I have worked my way out of friendships. No time for friend-things. And that’s just not healthy. As an introvert, friendships are hard won, they require peopling. As an introvert, I have x-number of peopling-hours per day. If I spend those hours teaching (a sub-category of peopling) I will have nothing left. But, I need to do more with friends.


13. Walk/exercise at least 3x per week. I already started this. I am using an app: 30 Day Fitness. We’ll see how it goes. I want to lose 50lbs. Yes 50, don’t argue with me or roll your eyes! Thank you.


14. Write a poem a day, take a photo a day. Seven poems a week. Some days are not conducive to writing. I did a photo 365 in 2018, that folder (on Facebook) currently has 536 photos. So, yeah. Document your life people.


15. Blog 3x per week & Continue to offer space for others to blog. 2x a week general blogging and once a week for Things That Bring Me Joy. This is actually challenging for me at this point. I kept my blog on Wordpress for over a decade, in one form or another. I had thousands of readers. Now my readers number in the hundreds. Share my blog, offer encouragement.


16. Practice Astrology, Tarot. Both have been such powerful meditation tools for me in the past. A chart a week (and if not, then a transit) and a card a day. Make it a mindful practice.


17. Steps, traditions, concepts. I don’t often share my relationship with Dr. Bob publicly. But it’s there and has been a powerful force in my life for as long as I can remember. And my dad’s before me. I take it one day at a time. So, yeah, that.


18. Continue to resist and encourage others to do so. Politics. Everything is political. Especially for women. Fight the good fight, encourage others to do so. Do it now. Save the planet, protect women’s rights, fight for our children the way our mothers and grandmothers did. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the only thing to do. Write to your elected officials today. Do it.


19. Make my own happiness. If I am doing all of the above, then I will be successful in this endeavor. I, we all, must learn to listen to the flight attendant in our heads: first give oxygen to yourself so you will be able to help others, or as Grace Slick put it, feed your head….


Happiness and prosperity in the new year.



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