Resolutions and Expectations

Katherine Longshore 1 Thursday, January 06, 2011
Here’s the thing.  I don’t like New Year’s.  There’s something about the desperate need to have a good time that just makes me want to go to bed early.  And then there are the resolutions.

My most memorable New Year’s Eves are the ones that went awry.

The year my friends and I drove twelve hours to a different city on the off-chance I would see the guy I was hopelessly in love with.  We stood in line for two hours outside of a club, my friends thankfully preventing me from accepting drinks from strangers.  At 11:30, blocked from entrance, freezing cold, we returned to our hotel room, where another friend popped open a bottle of Dom Perignon.  (Best.  Wine.  Ever.)  Eight days later, the guy got married.  To someone else.  (Told you it was hopeless – the Graduate I am not.)

Or the year I came home from traveling and thought I might try to settle down.  Get my Masters.  I had two jobs – one of which kept me at work until 11 on New Year’s Eve – and a keen interest in a guy who lived in England.  I decided to go out and see if any of the guys I’d ever been interested in at home were at the bars, and see what happened.  My friends who went with me on the road trip?  Went out with me again.  Gluttons for punishment.  What happened was that I drank one (or two) too many Alabama slammers (yes, in an hour) and then found and kissed several of these guys and…they were bad kissers.  I mean bad.    It could have been the Alabama slammers, but it was enough to convince me to pack my bags again.  And visit England.  A year later, the Englishman asked me to marry him.

At the end of December 2009, I was just giving up pushing my book in a direction it didn’t want to go.  I thought it would make it more commercial, more like what was already on the market.  It felt false.  Contrived.  I had to stop.  But the idea set the tone for the novel my book became.  When I stopped pushing, I was able to write.  And finish.  And sell GILT.

What I want to illustrate is that I operate on an ideal – to find the guy I’m in love with, to find a reason to stay at home, to write a commercial book based on someone else’s idea – but can see (through hindsight) that the best things happen, sometimes, when my ideals fail.

So my resolution this year is to keep my eyes open for opportunities.  Not focus so hard on the one line, the one book, the one ideal that I lose sight of…the rest.  The possibility. The single sentence that can expand to become a plot point.  Or a plot.  The pieces of life that are out there, ripe for specific description.  Just plain life.

Expect much.  Embrace the unexpected.  And avoid kissing drunks on New Year’s Eve.  Those are my resolutions.


Keeping your eyes open for opportunities is a fantastic resolution! Sometimes when we push to hard and make too many goals we don't see those opportunities that pass us by. You're brilliant!

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