Friday, January 1, 2010

One afternoon in the fall of 2008 I took a break from work with a friend from the library; we sat outside the Coffee Cat and talked about our writing projects and life in general. Joedy and I had moved to Ventura a few months earlier, and although the move away from Santa Barbara was good I still felt dissatisfied and restless. I was pretty sure Ventura was just a temporary stop on the way to something bigger and more exciting, but what was that something going to be? Where was that something going to be?

"I want change," I told my friend, feeling silly for not being able to articulate better. "I just want some change, you know?"

A few weeks later, I found myself standing much too close to a naked contortionist whose mission, I discovered, was to hand me the body of Ronia D'Arc. Taking Ronia's body meant instilling some major changes in my life, starting with a new name for my blog, and from then on the changes just kept coming: I went on maternity leave, Malko was born, I turned into a milk factory, I decided not to return to work, Joedy got laid off from his work, we visited and considered moving to France, we decided instead to move to Costa Rica, we gave away our rabbit, we sold all our furniture, we moved to Costa Rica, Lula started a new school, we realized we couldn't live in Costa Rica after all, we parent-hopped from Texas to Arizona to Rhode Island, and we decided to settle in Austin.

Without any doubt, my wish for change was granted this past year, and now there's something else I want, something I hope will happen in 2010:

I want to GIVE. I want to have a Year of Giving! I want to give in big, little, and medium ways to people, animals, and phytoplankton! I want to give back to those who have given to me. I want to give before I'm given to! I want to give phone calls, fish sticks, and visits, hugs, mittens, and Q-tips, smiles, shoe horns, and support. I want to be a more giving friend, cousin, daughter, sister, and niece! I want giving to become my theme and my obsession. I want to repay all the kindness so many people have given me! I want to take care of my loved ones, not just because they deserve it but because GIVING feels GOOD. Giving is good! Giving is the meaning of life!

Woah there, she's getting philosophical. Borderline spiritual! Better GIVE her a shot of tequila and remind her of the last time she tried to get all "new and improved"--she opened her mail for what, three days? And then went right back to throwing it in the trash. But it's true she's been thinking about this for a while now--it's true she's felt like an improvable friend and family member for a while now. She wants to do more...can she? Will she? If she does, she'll be really, really happy this time next year...

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