Every January, for the past several, I've gotten together with friends to create a yearly vision board. I've never been big on resolutions, but a visual reminder of my personal goals works for me. I can post it on the fridge or keep it at my writing desk, or focus on it during meditation.
One of the exercises I do as part of this process is to look back over the year. Did I set and abandon some intention? Why? What took its place? Even if I didn't think I got much done in the last 365 days, once I go through my calendar it turns out I kept pretty busy. A nice side benefit to this process is that it forces me to cop an attitude of gratitude, and appreciate what is.
This year, I'm sharing with you the highlights from my last year. I'm not sure they're "accomplishments," but that's not the point. The idea is to celebrate what I did, no matter if it was a baby step in my intended direction or learning from my (inevitable) mistakes. Goals change, and there's nothing wrong with failing as long as I learn from the experience. And putting these thoughts down on paper makes me more accountable---if only to myself.
Whether you're a big fan of making resolutions, you still might find this exercise enlightening. Studies show that you're more likely to accomplish goals when you approach them from a positive angle.
Here's a list of my 2018 greatest moments, including many that took me by surprise. Feel free to share yours in the comments below and let me know what did and didn't work for you.
Comedy and Storytelling
I can't tell you why I keep getting up on the stage, but by the end of last year, it was still on my list. And I got to start 2018 doing it in front of a packed house at the Underground Comedy Brigade. I also took a storytelling class at UCB, taught by the remarkable Margot Leitman, author of Long Story Short (highly recommend you read). And I went to a crapload of soul-crushing open mics and hung out with comedy buddies, either writing or at clubs. I performed standup or storytelling off-and-on the entire year, at one venue or another. Not sure how long I'll keep it up, but it feeds my soul. And I've met some incredibly talented and funny women.
Performing at Bada Bing Bada Boom
Speaking of funny women, I wanted to find a way to blend my comedy life with my blog. So I solicited submissions via various Facebook comedy groups for a new blog category of Boob Stories. These are tales from young girls trying to fit in at school, first bra disasters with moms, and strange encounters with lovers. I'll be continuing to post more in the future. Even though they're not about bra wear and care, they talk about overcoming adversity and celebrate the weird ways we live our breast lives.
Ladies Room Comedy First Anniversary Show
You know what else happens when you meet a bunch of funny, creative women? You get asked to be a guest on their podcast. This year I share how I lost my virginity in the early 1970s (at 15), the gross business of boobs, and sex and aging. In all, I did five podcasts that reveal some pretty intimate details about myself, and it felt great.
You think getting up on stage is scary? Try modeling in your undies, in your 60s. This year I did it three times! The first was for a Valentine's Day giveaway and collaboration with the fabulous luxury brand, Harlow & Fox. I posed with two true professionals (Jenny Rieu and GiG Marie). Next was the unexpected opportunity to appear in the book Underneath We Are Women. Finally, for my 62nd birthday, I took all the trappings of my former corporate housewife life and combined them with favorite lingerie pieces. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to old furs and shoes I no longer wear, and that long ago life. You can read my blog post about the experience here.
Jenny Rieu, me, and Pinup GiGi Marie Wearing Harlow & Fox Photo by Jason Kamimura Photography Wearing Dora Larsen Lingerie Photo by Mikel Healey Photography Clowning around behind the scenes at my Birthday photoshoot Wearing Fleur of England via Sarah Nelson Makeup
By far the most significant learning curve I climbed in 2018 was one involving the craft of screenwriting. It's not a cliche that everyone living in LA is writing a screenplay. It's the truth. There's something about this city that draws you to the medium. While I've taken numerous seminars and courses on the subject, I buckled down and started working on an idea that's been occupying my imagination for years. This desire led to taking a highly-acclaimed screenwriting course via Skype, and an in-person class on how to write a TV pilot. It's the most challenging thing I've ever attempted to write (and I've got two books and a one-act play under my belt). But all the effort I've already put in makes me determined to finish it in 2019.
What am I looking forward to in 2019? A little of all of the above. Plus I've already been asked to be in two (?) short films. No, I don't consider myself an actress and have no desire to pursue an acting career. But I'm not saying "no" to anything that will keep me growing, learning, and getting out of my comfort zone.
What didn't work for me over the past year is too much time spent on social media. I'm not talking about sharing The Breast Life blogs, or fascinating piece of boob news. Staring at the phone screen starts with minutes that can lead to hours. Getting distracted by click-bait headlines doesn't feel productive. How is that action getting me closer to my goals? It's the one thing I want to change in the New Year, although not sure how. Those little apps that let me know how much time I spend on my phone don't motivate me to change my behavior. Maybe I need to schedule regular social media breaks. If you've got any tips or tricks, please share!
Happy New Year!!