New Year 2020: Looking Back and Forth

by | December 31, 2019 |

Gotta love the nice round New Year 2020. So full of possibilities!

On January 1, I posted New Year’s Resolutions 2019: A Writer’s List. I approached my resolutions as gifts to myself. This morning I got up and reread what I wrote a year ago.

I had three categories: Community, Writing, and Mental & Physical Health.

How did I do?

New Year 2020: Looking Back

Under Community, I had three resolutions. Teach in a prison, Join my new condo board. Get involved in Durham recycling.

None of those things happened because my life took an unexpected turn. I accepted a one-year Visiting Professorship at Florida International University in Miami. I taught there Fall Semester 2019. And I will continue Spring Semester 2020.

Royal palms line the walkway to the FIU library

I have loved being Miami. And I’m soaking up the experience of teaching at FIU.

Under Writing, I had three resolutions. Ask writers to participate in my Five Questions Series. Promote The Hard Bargain. And begin Book II in my shapeshifter Buy Me Love series.

I surprised myself this morning. I saw that I had invited five authors to participate in 2019! Pamela George, Adam Schwartz, Caroline Hagood, Maria Kuznetsova and Win Kyaw Zan. Pamela is a fantastic illustrator, Adam is a talented linguist, Caroline is a wonderful poet, Maria is delightful novelist and Win is a superb photographer.

I met Win when he was my guide when I visited Burma/Myanmar in May. Here is Win’s photograph of the Thiri Mingalar Fish Market in Yangon at 4 in the morning.

Of course I promoted The Hard Bargain, and I did begin Money for Nothing, the second in the shapeshifter trilogy.

Under Mental & Physical Health, I had two resolutions. Plan my around the world trip. Do Splits and Wheel in yoga.

Sure, planning an around the world trip takes some effort. But as a resolution it’s a gimme. I went to Japan, Shanghai, Singapore, Burma, Qatar and Romania.

More to the point, the yoga poses ….

Here are the ideals:

My Splits (right side) as a November:

Nope. Not comfortable.

My wheel? I got nothin’! Zero progress.

New Year 2020: Looking Forward

I’ll keep the same three categories.


When I finally settle in Durham after the Spring Semester, I do want to teach in a prison.

I do want to get involved in my condo if only to join a reading group.

And surely there is something useful I can do in town. Maybe it’s better to be open about what that usefulness is. I’ll ask around.


I love inviting writers (and other artists) to my Five Questions Series. A definite keeper as a resolution.

I will finish Money for Nothing.

Plus I’ll do revisions on a short story I wrote last spring, had edited and then put aside.

Mental & Physical Health:

I will travel. But I don’t think traveling counts as a resolution, as such.

The best thing anyone can do for their overall health: Be open to new friendships.

Also, I’m a big believer in yoga.

I have a ways to go on Splits. I don’t know where I was at the beginning of the year, but I think where I am now does count as  progress. So I’ll continue. Also, further challenge: make sure I can do both sides equally.

Okay, It all comes down to Wheel. I did make attempts at the beginning of the year. Bottom line: I got scared.

Resolution: Conquer my fear of holding myself up upside down.

New Year 2020 and You

I offer this post not so much imagining that you, the reader, are particularly interested in the details of my life. Rather, I hope to inspire you to think of your own categories and the kinds of gifts you want to give yourself this year.

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This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen

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