My Non-New-Year’s-Resolution for 2012: Live Lovely

January 1, 2012 — 8 Comments

Happy New Year! I just returned today from an awesome family holiday in Colorado, filled with skating, hiking, skiing, hugging, crying, laughing, eating, and drinking. Here’s a view from the gondola up the mountain at Keystone (which was way out of my league skiing-wise):

It’s resolution time, but I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions. Here’s what I said about them in a post a year ago:

A resolution is something we should do, don’t do, resolve to do in the future, do a few times, and then fail to continue doing. Which makes us feel bad.

I respond much better to commands. So I’ve started choosing one meaningful command that repeats in my mind as if yelled by a drill sergeant at top volume, or, better, as if sung by an awesome singer who repeats it as a refrain I can’t escape.

Last year – 2011 – my command was: Put Yourself Out There  (See full post here.)

And I did! Against my own shy nature, I gave lots of readings for my book, developed my blog, made a new web site, won awards, applied for a competitive Fulbright post in Belfast (survived preliminary round!), submitted a tenure dossier, gave more readings, and just generally Put Myself Out There.

Before that, in summer 2010, my first blogging summer, my command was: Finish What You Started

I’d started all these manuscripts that I hadn’t finished, and this command, repeated over and over, helped me get focused and finish lots of projects.

Which brings us to 2012. My theme for this year is: Live Lovely

This basically means I’m tired of putting myself out there and I want to turn my focus toward living well, slowing down, making art – literary, visual, decorative, culinary – and toward my loved ones.

It’s a weird phrase – Live Lovely – so I’ve been trying it out for a few weeks in my head. And it’s already working! For Christmas I made a few gifts, which combined art-making with loved ones. Here are some vellum votive candles I sent to my mother and grandparents, and I made some for dad and sister too:

[Update: I got the idea from this cool book: PHOTOCRAFT Cool Things to Do with the Pictures You Love]

A friend and fellow writer keeps a terrific blog – I Will Not Diet – where she posted lots of Non-Resolutions by contributors (like me!) HERE.

What did YOU accomplish this year? What’s your command/theme/non-resolution for 2012?


8 responses to My Non-New-Year’s-Resolution for 2012: Live Lovely


    Your votive candles are amazing!!! How did you attach your vellum to the glass? I’m going to tuck this idea away for next year…or mayhaps for birthdays! A very positive approach to your New Year. May you be blessed!


    Thanks, Painter Lady – I just used double-sided tape to attach the vellum. But it doesn’t look that great on the seams. I got the idea from this book PHOTOCRAFT (check “Festive Votives” on p. 59 of the table of contents):


    Hi Kelcey, thanks for the post, I always enjoy reading your thougtful responses to life.
    I like the idea of self-commands for the new year. I will be thinking of one for myself. Thanks for sharing!
    2011 was a good year for me. Lots of trips to the home front. I accompanied students to Berlin and Vienna, went to a very good conference, made excellent connections, will be editing a book on family (conflicts, secrets, revelations) with a German scholar. Our kids have become very active with sports, dancing and instruments, so we have turned into a shuttle service business in the afternoon and on weekends. Phew.
    We are still in Austria where we spent Christmas with my family. They gave us a mini vacation in the mountains as a gift. The boys learned to ski within two days and were using the lift all by themselves to come flying down the hill like Bode Miller. Amazing.
    I love spending time with my old friends from school. I miss them when I am in the US, but I also have come to enjoy looking forward to coming back here. I like my life in TN, and the distance between here and there. I value the freedom of distance.
    All the best for 2012, and live lovely, my lovely friend. I still have to read your book, but it is on my list.


    2011 was a bit about putting my poems out there and doing what I wanted to, as well as what I had to. Live lovely sounds good for 2012…a good command to live by:)


    Seems like you’ve already got a head start on your resolution, I love it.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? « ph.d. in creative writing - February 29, 2012

    […] art class was part of my 2012 New Year’s LIVE LOVELY campaign. Here’s a portrait I made (inspired by Alfred Henry […]

  2. 2013: The year of Dig Deep (& make mistakes) « ph.d. in creative writing - January 2, 2013

    […] Last year it was Live Lovely because I really needed a fresh way of thinking of life after turning in my tenure dossier. The year before was Put Yourself Out There because I needed to be brave when my first book was published. […]

  3. 2018 Non-Resolution: 50 Pounds of Art « ph.d. in creative writing - January 7, 2018

    […] out in my head, talk them through with loved ones. Previous years are: 2011 Put Yourself Out There, 2012 Live Lovely, 2013 Dig Deep, 2014 Mindful(ish)ness, 2015 The Year of the Art Journal, 2016 Own It, and 2017 […]

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