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#041; and you can make your own new beginnings

September 30, 2009

A dear friend of mine – a young woman whom I envy for her bravery, she packed up her life and moved to Brooklyn from NC on a whim – has decided that October 1st is going to be her very own new year. She published ten goals to those of us she feels will keep her honest and she has a year to accomplish them; new years resolutions, really.

I can’t get enough of this idea. Of creating your own beginning. Of completely embracing the ideas that every sunrise is truly a new day; believing that it is never too late to start over. I think of all the rules and trappings of limbo, I forget this one most often: this floating I’m doing is a wonderful opportunity. This is a chance to figure out what it is I really want to do with the next 70 or so years of my life. A chance to be where I want to be and get inside my own head in a way that I might never get to do again. And so, I’m not going to give myself a year, but I want tomorrow to be a new start of sorts for myself as well. From tomorrow until the new year, I have some goals.

  1. Focus on my health more acutely: I understand (and somewhat embrace, to be honest) the fact that I am a drinker and a pack a day smoker. I doubt those are habits I will ever give up without serious just cause (other than the health factor, I mean) and so I need to focus on other things I can do. Pay attention to my posture so that my back doesn’t hurt after working all day. Walk more. Eat better than ramen and take out and cookies. Drink more water and less soda. These are things that if I do them, I should be feeling better by new years in leaps and bounds.
  2. Branch out musically: I tend to get into certain genres and scenes and then never do anything else. I’d like to check out more jazz and blues clubs, go dancing at a lounge every so often (I might even have to get dressed up for that – the horror!), and check out venues I’ve yet to experience (there are entire communities in Baltimore and NoVa that I’ve never set foot in!).
  3. Trim down the stuff that I own: Starting with an awesome house-wide yard sale in a couple of weeks, I’m planning on using this Fall/Winter to do what I started doing last Fall thanks to the Break Up of Doom. At the time, I realized how utterly impossible it is to call up your bff and shove your stuff into a car and move in an orderly, FAST fashion. Aka – I wanted to get out of Cleveland Park as quickly as my boxes of books would allow. Well, boxes of books don’t move so quickly. I decided then that I would seriously cut down on buying and keeping and started with donating a bunch of books/clothes but it also sort of ended there. Not this time. I’m determined. I’m going lean, mean, and mobile. Here’s hoping.
  4. Win NaNoWriMo: This is my 7th year taking the 50,000 word challenge (in thirty days!) but I haven’t won it since 2006. I am determined. I have a goal. I (sort of) have a plot. I have very little else to do in the month of November.
  5. Lastly, I will get back to my roots: I’ve started all ready, by re-immersing myself in the social life and political debate of the DCYRs. Monday night there was happy hour-ing. Tonight there is an event with George P. Bush. Tomorrow there is a fundraiser for an old friend who is now running for office in NoVa. It feels good to debate and discuss again. To be respected for my opinion and my history in policy. It’s been too long, and I won’t let another campaign season (2010 midterms, here we come!) pass without my presence.

Well then, it seems like a lot when you just list them out and give yourself a deadline. But deadlines are good, they push us, they expand our comfort zones, they give us a real target. I will spend this Fall making DC my home again, something I should have been doing all of 2009 (something I need to do before I consider taking a chance else where, something that’s been tickling my interest for ages). I have a soundtrack to guide me, friends to keep me company on the trip, and clear goals ahead – besides having missed the Muse/U2 concert last night, I’d say I’m sitting pretty going into October, how about you?



11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2009 8:35 PM

    ♥ this list. I can definitely sympathise with the need to trim down on personal belongings. It makes moving a serious pain, esp. when you’re the kind of person who tends to move internationally and across large bodies of water.

    Also, you’ve inspired me to consider doing NaNo this year. I’m signing up at the website, anyway and I’m going to spend this month seriously channelling ideas for my current-novel bunny so I’ll be ready to start actually writing in November.

    • atlimbo permalink
      September 30, 2009 8:46 PM

      I would love to move across large oceans (leaving your heart in Rome is never a good idea!) but for now I’ll be happy to simply have more space in my basement, ha.

      I think you would brilliant at Nano! It really pushes writers out of their comfort zones with it’s “quantity not quality” feel – if you’d like me to ship you ‘No Plot No Problem’, let me know, my edition has been around the block a few times by now, what’s a worldwide trip going to hurt?!

  2. September 30, 2009 11:49 PM

    I love this idea as well as your list! I love the idea that any day can be a personal new year, that we are not so strongly chained to our pasts that we can’t just pick up and move on when necessary.

    I’m also feeling in tune with many of the items on your specific list. Letting go of old possessions and negative habits is something I’m working on to (I also feel bitten by the NaNo bug), I’m feeling inspired to write up a similar list. Best wishes for this coming season, may it be full of amazing change and opportunity!

    • atlimbo permalink
      October 5, 2009 2:37 PM

      Have you decided on Nano? I would love to see what you’re working on!

      (Have I missed your list in my absence this weekend?)

  3. October 1, 2009 1:17 PM

    All sounds good to me, excellent plan!

    As for health, eating better and exercising more is always a good thing. Since I don’t hardly have any time to exercise, I at least try to take the stairs every chance I get, and I’ve got three flights to climb (and descend) at work and at my apartment so I know that helps a bunch. Also, it’s flu season, so like they say, wash your hands A LOT, get plenty of rest, get your shots, I’m gettin’ my seasonal flu shot again this year and the shot for swine flu, I take no chances.

    For jazz stuff, check out Blues Alley and The Kennedy Center and other DC joints that have top notch jazz. Unfortunately, this is of course quite expensive, but well worth it. I’ve seen Wayne Shorter play at the Kennedy Center, McCoy Tyner a couple times at Blues Alley, The Count Basie Orchestra at Blues Alley a couple times, Mayard Ferguson, Michael Brecker, Chris Potter, Mingus Big Band at George Mason, the list goes on and on, and of course some of those folks have passed away since, but there are plenty of folks out there young and old who are still kickin’. HR-57 in DC is a good venue, probably a bit cheaper, too, for jazz and blues, think I went there once as well back in the day.

    Oddly enough I’ve been listening to jazz for the past week or so, gettin’ back to my main guys who play el saxo – John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter and of course, my teacher at Virginia Tech, Chip McNeil, all of course are abosulte world class musicians.

    Oh, and Mike used to work at the 18th Street Lounge and there’s lots of good jazz there. I went once a while back and they had a pretty good jazz/blues group playing there. But again, that place is expensive as well, unfortunately.

    Wish I knew other venues outside of DC/NOVA, but I’m pretty much a local yokal, so I tend to stick around the area.

    However, I am completely against less stuff. More is more when it comes to stuff and I am love stuff. Get as much as you can I say, CONSUME CONSUME CONSUME!!!! Hehehe, but yeah, I have a bit of a problem with hording away everything all the time, I should probably take a lesson from you and Jenna and lose some of my stuff (at the very least I do intend to go through and clean out the junk and clean my apartment, been workin’ out it here and there for the past few weeks, it’ll get there, eventually…I hope).

    Good luck with NaNoWriMo. I used to write short stories and worked on short novellas in my youth (middle school/high school). Good stuff for sure. Write, write, write!! Get to work!

    And of course, all the best with your work with DCYR’s, good luck! 😉

    Oh, and one of my coworkers went to the U2 concert at Fedex Field Tuesday night and said they sounded the best she’s ever heard them, I think she’s seen them like four times or something ridiculous. But she was playing some video she’d shot on her phone and “With or Without You” did sound pretty awesome, even on her little phone, a good show for sure, again, one I wish I could have gone to as well. Hope y’all had fun last night at Velvet Lounge for Adrian and Jay and Curren and Bill and Brad (hope you and he sang well, I’m sure you did 🙂 and at Kostume Karaoke at Solly’s and with the DC Young Republicns and George P. Bush!! 🙂

    – Alex The Red

  4. October 2, 2009 8:42 PM

    And wouldn’t you know it, I just checked the calendar for jazz stuff at The Kennedy Center and there’s a ton of awesome artists coming through, some of whom I already mentioned – McCoy Tyner, Chris Potter – a couple I didn’t mention – Kenny Barron, Sonny Rollins – check it out, good stuff –

    • atlimbo permalink
      October 5, 2009 2:40 PM

      Alex! You are amazing! I’m definitely going to check out these venues, and can’t wait to add more jazz to my library! Thank you so much!

      (We should do a jazz night sometime, btw!)

      You are such an encouraging, awesome influence, I can’t thank you enough!


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