Readers, friends, writers, artists,

As straightforward as I am, there’s so much more honesty and courage inside of me angling to get out.  Let 2017 be the year I pay even more attention to the tiniest of feelings – that whisper of “no” I often hear but override.

Here are my Notes to Self for 2017.

Just because “I can,” doesn’t mean “I should.”

I’m tired of being nice. It’s exhausting, That’s not to say I’m not a good person – I am – but I’m more interested in getting better acquainted with my fierceness.

“No” is my word for 2017. You can help me practice by asking me for things. If I say yes, cock your head and ask me one more time. If I say no, kiss me.

Sometimes I say yes, and then an hour later I realize I meant no. Note to self: Don’t be afraid to change my mind. I’m not a flake, it’s just that my internal listening after 56-years of not listening so well is a little fuzzy.

Every time I have the courage to have a difficult conversation with someone ten pounds are taken off my shoulders.

It turns out that getting people mad at me doesn’t kill me.

My propensity to be helpful often occurs because I’m uncomfortable being with people who are unhappy. They make me nervous. Like, unless I try and fix them they might kill me. Note to self: Let unhappy people be unhappy. Sadness is a path too.

The big problem with my beautiful 21-year-old daughter and her lack of plans after graduation from college is me, not her. If she needs to come home after school is over and spend three months upstairs in her bedroom watching re-runs of The Bachelor and banging her head against the wall until she can’t take it anymore, so be it. She’s smart. She’ll figure it out.

Stop pushing for things to happen. Trust the process and the timing.

Speaking of which, eggs don’t chase sperm. If I’m interested in someone and they don’t see me, it’s not a good idea for me to get up on stage and do the Can Can. I just Can’t, Can’t.

I never mean to hurt people, but I will and I do.  I fucked up a few times this year – things that still make me wince. While I know that all I can do is apologize, I can’t keep dredging myself through the mud about it. Apologize and be done with it.

Sex isn’t casual. People get under my skin. My need for approval from men is at the core of a lot of the sex I’ve had these last many years. If I don’t need their approval I wonder how my relationships with them will change?

Putting anyone on a pedestal is a problem. Men. Women. Teachers. I’m pretty sure I know what’s best for me.

I need more time – not to get more done – but to do nothing. Weekend mornings need to be open-ended, no plans. Hell, whole weekends need to be open-ended, no plans. Putter. Putter. Putter.

If I don’t make time for art and writing, it won’t get done. Accountability is everything. I’m going to make a lot of writing dates with other writers this year. I’m also going to make a lot of art.

And play more racquetball. And take more walks alone. And learn to read again. What happened to my attention span?

Being brave enough to dismantle my marriage after 23-years gave birth to a deeper, truer love for my ex-husband. Our friendship is one of the great gifts of my life.

There should always be clear exits. The fire in the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland broke my heart.

Music saves me. Spending money on a concert or a song is money well spent.

Comfortable clothes over tight clothes, hands down.

I need help. I cannot do the work I want to do, or be the person I want to be without my friends. I need their feedback and their intelligence and their muscle. I need to say Yes when they offer help – even if I don’t think I need it – which is all the time.

When I notice special people – especially if they’re strangers – say hello. Kathi and Martin are my new, incredibly smart and creative friends from Bali, and we’re talking about building something together this year. I could have seen them sitting at the Yoga Barn café and looked away, but Martin was glowing. I had to say hello.

Not drinking hasn’t been the hardest thing I’ve ever done, though I thought it would be. While I still love the idea of a martini, I don’t miss the cruel, slithering voices that woke me up every morning asking me who the hell I thought I was. Being a human being is challenging enough. Being a creative who makes things from nothing is challenging enough. Being someone who means to love with transparency and courage is challenging enough. I don’t need no slithering voices. No. No. No.


If you’d like to become a leader in your community, if you’d like to lead with your voice and teach people to lead with theirs, consider my Wild Writer Teacher Training. More details here.