Happy Happy Valentine’s Day

I’m feeling pretty good today. It was a good week. But typing that makes me nervous. I don’t want to jinx it. You’ll notice I still didn’t say, “I’m happy.” In my experience, that’s just asking for trouble, an invitation for emotional ruin.

Except I am mostly happy, and one of the things I’m working on is how to celebrate the good moments instead of disbelieving them, or feeling like I don’t deserve them, or waiting for the horrible thing to rain down and punish me for my small moment of joy. And I’m learning that the small moments–the pretty clouds in a blue sky, or a sweet gesture from W, a nice unexpected email from a friend–these are worth noting and remembering and absorbing.IMG_20130518_173402

I’m also learning that there can be light and dark–that they can coexist within my heart and mind–and to be less afraid. If I allow the good sink in and become a part of me, even if the bad thing comes, and the jaded part of me says it always will, it still can’t steal my big smile or little heart flutter or whatever tiny blip of happiness I experienced. That is mine if I want it , and I’ve finally decided that I want it more than I want to be prepared for the other shoe to drop.

So here I am, celebrating, validating this feeling of optimistic contentment.

This week, I was asked to judge a prominent literary competition, and I found out I am a semifinalist for a book competition that could seriously boost my career–one of 10-15 out of five hundred entries. I read a new book by a good friend that I loved.

Last month I married a man I love and we are better than ever.  After eleven years together we still spend so much time talking to each other when we’re both home that it’s hard to get our work done. We are going to spend today, our first married Valentine’s Day, outside since it’s supposed to be in the mid-80s here in LA, barbecuing with good friends and playing croquet in their beautiful yard. Flowers never stop blooming here. Southern California winter is the best summer.

Sometimes I’m still in awe that I live in this place. The weather is part of why we moved here, but LA has been good to me, to us, and I feel like there is more to come. Optimism, people. It’s like a face lift.

So, anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you spend it with people you love who make you laugh. And I hope you too can take a minute to absorb the good, capture it so you can keep it with you no matter what.

Bring it, 2012. I’m Ready.

I’m feeling optimistic on this first Monday of the new year. Hopeful. Excited. Good things are brewing in the coming months and I am working on letting go of the worry and enjoying life, and I think, making progress.

Last January I wrote a post called, 2011: I Will Own You, excerpted here:

People seem to have come to the general consensus that 2010 was a shitty year. On a global scale as well as personal, things were often more bad than good, or at least seemed that way much of the time. Of course good things happened too, but the overwhelming feeling might have been defeat for many of us. People we cared about died. People we care about lost their job or their relationship or their home or their pet. We cried a lot.

I thought it was just me who was glad to be stepping into a new year/skin/attitude, but the first few days of January sparked a slew of Facebook posts from my friends vowing to kick ass in 2011. Posts about stepping up, getting out of slumps, renewing passions, not taking shit, and moving forward with optimism. 2011 is going to be better. We are going to make it so. If you believe, it will happen, and I believe. I think the fog of the last few months is passing, and I can see sun and sky and it’s time to finally let go of the disparaging voices in my head—as well as the belittling external voices—and fight for what I want and need and deserve.

So, here’s a (slightly belated) new year’s toast to 2011: You are mine.

And it worked. About a week later, I sold my novel.

So I’m stating my intentions again, here, with you as my witnesses: 2012 will be even better. I will spend more time in sunlight and moonlight, read more books, eat more colors, and play without guilt. I will try to ease up on self-doubt, fear, and worrying about things that haven’t happened. I want joy and love and health and freedom and courage and laughter and fun in the next year, and I will make it so.

So, thanks to 2011 for getting me here. The positivity is growing, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

It also doesn’t hurt that I’m starting off 2012 with a trip to Maui. (Yay!)

Happy New Year!