Ripe with steep, senseless hills and weirdly shaped spaces and holes, the Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Headquarters’ backyard resembles the outlook for 2022. However, a hot tub would make everything so much better. And, as everyone knows, the first step to getting a hot tub is developing a “landscaping budget” and placing a hot tub in that budget. So, guess what? BOTH things are in our budget, as of now, and we’re working with a landscaper and hot tub salesperson to drag this thing out well into the fall of 2022. But. It. Will. Happen. The original 2021 goal was to get a hot tub this year, which didn’t happen, but we did manage to do the following activities:
–visit a number of hot tub stores
–climb into dry models of hot tubs of varying sizes, shapes, and sound-system features
–discuss whether or not we needed a crane and several city variances to lift the hot tub over our house (we do not)
–place the hot tub in our budget.
So, in a sense, we set some new goals and met them. Mission accomplished.
In other news, here’s how well I did in meeting other goals and professional development opportunities I set out to accomplish in 2021:
–Get wild and crazy “lost” in adult coloring: This did not happen. The closest I got was filling out Covid-19 vaccination forms, which was not relaxing or colorful at all.
–Write some book reviews: I managed to write three. However, none of them involved a craft, which is a shame because there’s so much you can do with a book after you’ve read it. For instance, I would like to put wheels onto the bottom of my copy of The Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) and give my paperclips the ride of their lives across my desk.
–I was supposed to expand my collection of glass starfish and virtual 5K running medals, which I did do, but I’m wondering why they were on the list of “goals” last year. I would do these things anyway. However, they do “professionally” enhance my office.
–Go to Canada: I made it as far as Florida, which is the exact opposite of where Canada is geographically to where I live. The Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks Team went to Walt Disney World. It was such thrilling, terrifying fun for so many reasons.
Things I Accomplished, that I Had Not Planned on Accomplishing:
–I got a full-time job as a copywriter for Funko, which is dangerous because my job is to look at super cute toys and clothing and accessories and describe them in an enticing manner. Well, it’s working. After I look at all of the adorable features of each product and describe the item, I want to buy it. So in addition to the starfish collection and the virtual 5K race medals, I’m growing a family of mismatched Funko products from Disney-themed to horror. They live together in weird and disturbing ways on my bookshelves.
–Publish some more short stories. I set a secret goal of writing 52 stories (a short story a week), and I did it. Thirty of them were accepted for publication in different literary magazines. Some will never get published, which is fine. Not all of the stories I wrote were publishable. They will live on in a drawer and then, eventually, I’ll set them on fire.
–Get my hair dyed a reddish/purple/burgundy at the hair salon. I love how it all turned out. It’s not shocking or “mid-life crisis-y” or anything. But the roots are growing out now, and if I look closely, I kind of resemble a Woolly Bear Caterpillar that’s predicting a long winter. I’ll go back to my roots the next time, but it was fun to mix things up for a month.
Things on Tap for Next Year:
–Sit in a hot tub that I own in my own backyard, hopefully without the neighbors seeing me sitting in my backyard in my hot tub. In other words, we are begging the landscaper to NOT place the hot tub on a mound right next to the fence that butts up against the park where all the kids and dogs play.
–Invent a mildly challenging aqua-aerobics routine I can do in the hot tub without displacing too much water, hitting my head, or getting a body part stuck in the jet system. (I have to be very careful about what I wish for these days because I might get what a want, but with a slightly undesirable twist.)
–Join an improv group. I think it will help me with my productivity at work. Right now, when someone asks me to come up with something clever, I sound like this: “uhhhhhh.” Then, ten minutes later, when no one cares, I think of a joke that might involve a snake, a pirate, and a vending machine walking into a bar, and when I’m finished, no one laughs. They just ask: “How would all of that ‘work’ in a product description?” An improv group might be just the thing I need. Obviously, a live audience, a stage, and harsh spotlights would loosen me right up. (Perhaps someone should talk me out of this idea?)
And that’s it for now. If I can just do those three things above, I’ll be on my way to a very productive and professional 2022. Except, as always, I have to cover all of the possibilities with one more potential scenario: Please, please, please, 2022: When I’m sitting in my hot tub and doing my mildly challenging aqua-aerobics routine, do not allow for unnecessary and invasive visits from extra-terrestrial beings. Thank you.
In Other News: I have a story that came out December 26th. It’s called “The Shoe Rack,” and you can read it here, on page 26, in the inaugural Seafront Press issue.
Your Turn: What are your goals for 2022?