Saturday, January 9, 2010

Don't Open Till January!

I found an envelope addressed to myself tucked into the back cover of my Christmas journal/organizer. The following instructions written in bold letters: “Do not open until January 1, 2010.” I have no recollection of writing or sticking the envelope into the journal. I stared at the envelope, debating whether to open it or throw it in the fire. The fire option saving me the grief and disappointment of reading unfulfilled resolutions made twelve months earlier.

Bracing myself I opened the letter with some trepidation. I was taken aback. I had written two full pages. My first thought when I saw the length of the letter, oh no!!! Why do I do this to myself?

The first paragraph dealt with my morning writing. I indulged in a little air punching and skipping around, as I read my commitment to do my morning pages on a regular basis. I had accomplished this one. With a smile on my face and feeling euphoric, I moved onto paragraph two. No air punching here. I expressed a desire to write more letters. Not to rely on email or texting. I noted how much more exciting it was to receive letters in the mail. Letter writing, a dying art is one I actually enjoy. A favorite pen moving across beautiful stationary. Sealing waxes monograms etc. Score so far, one and one.

Next, going to Florence was a dream of many years. I express frustration at the fact it is still an unfulfilled dream. Now I smile with self satisfaction because last summer I spent ten glorious days in Florence. Keeping a daily journal to record all the wonders and delights of my dream trip, my heart’s desire. I went on my own! Rented a beautiful little apartment in the historical centre and walked my feet off for ten days. I was able to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes, walking at my own pace through art galleries and museums, soaking up the beauty and wonder. It was truly an amazing trip. Every time I think of my ten days in Florence it fills me with joyfulness and a smile insists on appearing and spreading across my face!!

I fell short in a few aspects I had set down in the 2009 letter. I was a bit disappointed in myself to be honest. Then I thought of the things I had accomplished. Things that I never imagined at the time of writing this letter. Facebook for one. Last January I knew nothing about facebook. I tentatively began navigating the world of facebook last May. I stumbled and fumbled but finally got the hang of it. I even have a decent number of friends. My next step was a blog. Another major learning experience, I think, I have gotten the hang of this phenomenon. From here I moved onto Twitter. Twitter is still an enigma to me. But I am determined to conquer the world of twitter in 2010. Quoting Scarlett, “So help me God!”

The time has come to write a new letter. This year’s letter will no doubt contain the usual things, eat healthier, lose a few pounds, exercise more, world peace etc. My focus for 2010 is to concentrate on honing my writing skills. Taking classes and attending a workshop or two. Expand my blog following. Hitting the double digit would be awesome! More than awesome! Submit a piece or two to a contest or a magazine. Get something in print.

All going well, when I open the letter next January I will be jigging around with delight!!!


Niamh Griffin said...

Sounds like you did great in 2009! Florence would be an amazing place to visit. Good luck with the 2010 ventures!

Ann said...

Thanks Niamh. Florence was more than amazing. The gelato and cappuccinos are still stuck the hips etc!!

Sandra said...

Hi There!

I found your blog through Help! I Need a Publisher! Congrats on your accomplishments last year, and I wish you the best for 2010! (And I'd love to visit Florence too someday!)

Ann said...

Thanks for the lovely comments Sandra. Hope you visit again.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I love the idea of writing myself a letter to open next January. I think I'll do it! And congratulations on your trip to Florence (and especially on doing it on your own). I took a solo journey to Norway in 1998 at the age of 56. Spent part of the time getting acquainted with elderly relatives and the rest exploring on my own. A most excellent adventure!

The Virtual Victorian said...

That letter is an amazing idea - we should all do it! So much can change in a year.

KarenG said...

Hi! I am still getting around to explore new blogs from Sunday's party. I also hail from the Midwest (Illinois) although now I live in Utah. I like blogs that chronicle the writer's journey through it all (like mine lol), so I'm following you now. I've done the letter thing too, and it's always such a shock, sometimes good to see what's been accomplished, sometimes not to think "What a whole year went by and here I still am, fat as ever!" Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

Ann said...

@Patricia, Norway is on my to do list, but it didn't make into the 1/1/11 letter. Wow, look at that all the ones!

@ Virtual Victorian, sometimes you need to see where you have come from to understand how you got to now! Tuesday must be my profound statement day! lol

@KarenG, So glad you stopped by and liked what you saw! Welcome! I spent hours last night reading blogs and am only half way through. Need to get back to it tonight!!!

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea to have something in writing, looking back on your past accomplishments, or perhaps, unaccomplishments! But a great way to start a year nonetheless.

CJ xx

Ann said...

Thanks Crystal. It is interesting to see where you were and what you hoped for yourself.

Old Kitty said...

Hello Ann

What a lovely letter to have to and for yourself! And what a lovely blog too. I'm just reading about your puppy Louie and could see a poem!!!! Hooray!! I can't wait to read it. And Louie is so cute.

Good luck with your letter for next year. I am thoroughly inspired. I have to confess to being a bit of a gadgetphobe/technophobe creature. Although I can't do without my broadband, pc, laptop, I shudder at digital cameras, mobile phones, wiis etc. Twitter just looks insane and I cannot keep up with Facebook! I am such an old fuddy duddy really LOL!!

Anyway, I'm so glad to meet you. I look forward to reading more of your blog/poetry/stories (and going "awwwwww" at the lovely Louie).

Take care

Barbara Scully said...

What a lovely story Ann and a great idea.

Think I did something similar when I was about 14 and sealed a letter in an envelope labelled NOT TO BE OPENED TILL I AM 18. I managed to put it away for about a month and then opened it as I couldnt remember exactly what I had put in it!!! Useless

Congrats on ur blog going from strength to strength - lots of comments.... well done u!

Ann said...

Thanks Barbara! I am sure I would not have been able to leave the letter for a full year, if I had remembered writing it!!!