When reaching for New Year’s resolutions, or what I call broken promises, I’m old enough to know these 10 pounds are not only not coming off – not ever – but instead have taken on a life of their own, expanding to 15, 20 with no end in sight. Onward and outward so sayeth my ass!
But last year’s goals, ass not included, were not in vain. Write, submit, get paid, speak. Lobby congress to change gun laws so we stop killing each other. Take a class. Find a job. Or at least try. Keep my kids outta jail and my marriage in tact. It wasn’t easy, but yay me.
I didn’t write as much as I aimed to, but I did submit my work which was aptly rejected. Again. And again. And again. Until it was not. Then it was loved, and shared. Then rejected. For me, that’s a big fat win.
I attended writing workshops and conferences where I’ve met talented, extraordinary writers I am honored and humbled to be seated amongst. I didn’t want to, it was scary and intimidating, but I made myself go – and am a better human for doing so, and just maybe a better writer.
I hid in bed, blankets over my head, tears on my face, with every single 2015 mass shooting that flooded my Facebook and twitter stream, or if horrific enough made the evening news. Mass, urban, domestic, mentally ill, colleges, theaters, office parties, toddlers shooting kids and babies getting shot. This is the fucked up world we live in, until we, the voting public, say enough. Congress must be held accountable. So I went to DC with Newtown Action Alliance for the National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims and escorted victim’s families to their senators and beg them to do something. It was painful and powerful, energizing and exhausting. I didn’t want to go, but made myself and put myself in a situation I never expected to be and am forever grateful. This was an extraordinary experience and shame on me for not sharing it with all of you.
The little boy, 12 year old Tamir Rice, who was gunned down for playing (while black) with a toy gun in a town park by those sworn to protect, was found to be a perfectly acceptable act with no one held accountable. Yet every white 50+ year old disgruntled male yeehaw can buy an semi with unlimited rounds and parade into their local donut shop, or squat in an Oregon bird sanctuary, to prove the government is not the boss of him.
Something is very broken here in ‘merica. We here in Newtown know that all to well.
Yet there is hope. Today, the twitterverse is alive with rumors of POTUS taking executive action where Congress failed. There is always hope. Hope for action, for change, and the opportunity to make voices heard.
The point of this blathering post is to say last year was hugely successful because the goals I set were small, but personal, attainable, and measurable. Not much, just something. Anything to make my world a little less comfortable in order to become a little more tolerable.
Sorry for the pontification, but the goal for this year is to write more, post more which means more blogging. I gotta start somewhere, so I’m starting with this. I’m fully aware most will be throwing spaghetti, but something will stick. I know this for fact.
Because the ceiling of the house I grew up in proves it: if you throw enough spaghetti, eventually something will stick and leave a lasting impression. For years. Maybe that’ll be the same for me.
You know, way back when I was working on a big ‘ole blue chip account as a not so blue chip account exec., I was afraid to submit some of my work. My boss said, “Hey, you’ve gotta throw it at ’em and see what sticks!”… got on the phone that second and made me do it. I’ll never forget that. Here’s to remembering the advice more and to throwing/sticking power.
Thanks for the reminder. Looking forward to more of your stuff.
smart boss you’ve got there. knew talent when s/he saw it.
I adore the pontification. You kicked ass and took names last year and I’m praying hoping and working 🙂 to follow suit this year.
It’s not hard. Be like dori in Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” and eventually you’ll get there! (Or at least that’s the plan!)
What I loved is that you put yourself out there and you were brave! I am aiming to be braver this year – I am tired of sitting back and not taking risks – so I’ll use you as my inspiration and have a go at things when I get the opportunity. Thanks so much for shining your light!
My new approach is: No one’s gonna like/read/respond/feel it hiding in a folder on your desk(top). best of luck!
Laurie @ Musings, Rants & Scribbles
I love the “throwing spaghetti” theory. You’re right. Something will stick. Here’s to a great 2016.
could get messy, but i’ve never been a neatfreak! happy 2016
OK – I want to meet you at the EBWW. Seriously. I’ll say it: You can write.
Your article is interesting, funny, and authentic. Good job.
It’s no small talent to take something as non-palatable as mass shootings – & make the situation sound hopeful. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve done so in your post. You’ve made it acceptable to talk about in a creative way (What CAN we do? What HOPE is there?) After reading your post, I feel hope that a terrible situation may get better. You haven’t come up with a cure for cancer, or even mass-shootings. But somehow you’ve made the talk bearable. A fantastic first step. Again, good job.
Besides all that, your pic with the pillow is simply splendid!
made.my.day. thank you for your kind and generous read and words. i’ll meet you at EBWW, it’s a date!
I thought this was going to be lighthearted! I am tearing up, thinking about the America I grew up in and this new country I can’t identify…and I must bring my children up in it? I live in CT ( was born in Woodbury) and my heart skips a beat each time one of my kid’s schools phone number flashes on my caller id. We no longer attend movies in a theater, I have had panic attacks walking into Walmart and the mall, afraid of a mass shooting in a public place. But what have I done to change this? Kudos to you for getting involved
Doesn’t take a lot to get involved, all it takes is a vote. All you gotta do is do. (get on email list of a gun violence prevention group (any group!) and they will make it simple for you. (Brady Campaign, Americans for Responsible Solutions (gabby giffords group), CT Against Gun Violence, Everytown, Moms Demand. Pick one, any one!) Thank you kindly for reading. Thank you more for caring. xo
Just yesterday I had a conversation with one of my very dear friends about this issue. So many people are so discouraged with the way things are going but are unwilling to actually do something to change things. We have to stop asking how many people have to die before something is done, because we reached that number years ago. I’ve always believed that if you are in a position to DO something about an issue that you care deeply about, then DO something. And you, my friend, are a Doer!
I do a lot, I just do something. I honestly don’t think this is a gun problem; it’s a civics problem. We don’t vote in reps that have our best interest in mind. Thanks for talking about GVP (gun violence prevention) – that makes you a doer too! Thx for the read and kind comment. Sooooo apppreciated!
I love the “throwing spaghetti” analogy. You’re right, just keep trudging and doing and something is bound to stick. Keep it up girl and I think I’ll start throwing spaghetti this year too!
Like Dori in finding nemo: just keep swimming, just keep swimming! Good luck swimming, and spaghetti throwing!
Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest)
Way to jump out of the gate in 2016 with passion and some serious truth. Go you!
Thank you for this and your efforts – I live in Oregon and we’ve had more than our fair share of gun violence here as well. And I, too, love the “throwing spaghetti” – you have to cook it enough for it to stick – just like goals, intentions and everything else! (found you from Midlife Bloggers on FB)
hey there oregon, thx for the read and kind words. Love the cooking tie-in, perfect! Love to you from Newtown.
Very much enjoyed your post Kate and I hear your frustration re the gun laws. I am proud to be an American, but I agree with you that we have some pretty serious problems. But here’s my hot button. On more than a few occasions I’ve stumped for local politicians pre-election and it never ceases to blow my mind how many people either do not bother to vote, or vote for someone without knowing what they have actually done to deserve their vote. Just last week I posted a link to an article on FB that listed the congressmen and women doing the absolute worst job – some of these people have been in office for decade and done absolutely nothing! WE are our own worst enemy! We can’t point the fickle finger of fate at the politicians, or the laws or the President if we keep allowing the same people to run our country. More people have to start giving a damn if we’re going to create any meaningful change. I will now exit my soap box. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration and Happy New Year!
agree, 100% agree! I don’t blame congress; I blame us. I don’t think we have a gun problem, we have a civics problem. Thank you so very much for the read and the rant! Here’s to making change in 2016
Putting yourself out there is never easy but you’re doing it and sharing the experience. As you call it “throwing the spaghetti”. Love it!
Your thoughts on the gun issue truly resonate with my feelings. I live in Canada where, fortunately, we do have gun laws. But every day when I read the news in the U.S. and hear of another soul lost, my heart weeps. I fail to understand how so many influential and average people cannot see or do not feel the need to stop the madness. Hopefully something will stick in 2016.
Hello Canada! Thank you for your read & kind comment. 2016 off to a good start for sane gun laws here in the states; I’ll keep throwing spaghetti until there is!