Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
New Year’s Resolutions


Clarify. Unknot. Simplify.

Pack away the holiday decorations. Organize the closets. Wear pink, red, orange, plaid and stripes. Wear your pants too short, too high, too low. Wear your nicest jewelry to the preschool breakfast. Wear your macaroni necklace to Valentine's dinner.

Show, don't tell.

Buy the shoes you love. Read mysteries, romance, thrillers. Read newspapers. Read Go Dog Go eighteen times. Play I Spy and Twenty Questions. Take a road trip and find the alphabet in signs along the highway. Listen to War and Peace. Organize treasure hunts. Read Madame Bovary, Jane Eyre, All The Kings Men.

Write lists of what needs to be done. Write lists of what wants to be done. Write lists. Watch for the passive voice. Keep things active.

Make juice. Listen to your child recount her dream at the breakfast table. Play hooky and take in a matinee. Eat nachos in bed. Give the man on the corner a sandwich, a dollar, a pair of warm gloves. Think about your story. Dream about it.

Write to your congressman, write to your mother, write to your lover. Leave notes in your child's lunch box. Take your family to a concert, outside, under the stars. Climb a mountain or a hill or a flight of stairs. Take a glass elevator. Read science fiction, non fiction, poetry. Recycle. Get a fish.


Go to a play. Watch out for snakes. Learn the difference between honey bees and bumble bees; hornets and wasps. Floss. Put up a birdfeeder. Camp in the living room. Camp in the backyard. Camp at the lake.

Write a sonnet, write a haiku, write a song.

Fly a kite, shoot the rapids, sail a paper boat across a pond. Sing in the shower. Open doors, open minds, open windows. Try the high dive. Offer clementines, bake bread, give away your skinny jeans. Answer a question. Love your stretch marks, love your partner. Buy new underwear. Watch the sun rise, run on the beach. Learn to knit. Learn to kick box. Say yes.

Don't explain.

Savor your children. Let the dust gather. Let the laundry pile up.

Find a new park, a new forest, a new playground. Be kinder. Hold millipedes in your hand. Collect snails, pinecones, rocks. Meet your neighbors. Ride a bike. Plant a flower. Put one foot in front of the other. Eat ice cream for dinner. Cook soup. Open your heart. Dance with your children. Believe. And write.

Or simply write. Every day. Write.

Erin Sullivan works full time as a software developer and takes on occasional freelance web design and writing work. Her editorial experience includes teaching writing workshops at the University of Denver and Elon University, and her writing has appeared in Salon and The Independent Weekly. She lives in Durham, NC, with her husband and three young sons.

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"Read Go Dog Go eighteen times" -- I'll probably have that one crossed off by tomorrow noon, at the latest.... :) Thanks for the great list!
What a lovely reminder, Erin, of some wonderful resolutions for the year!
Way to go you wild woman. No wonder you have no time for other blogs. That's quite the list. But you forgot to add, Check up on Mama P! (Congrats on the gig... seriously.)
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