I remain incredibly happy and content with my life—both grateful and excited. I ushered in the new year and paid homage to the last in a wonderful way that was both soulful and inspiring. Jordan and I borrowed a friend’s cabin in Bear Valley and spent five amazing days in lots of snow! We trekked along, reviewed our past year and discussed our goals and plans for the coming year. the crisp, fresh air; quiet, snow-covered world; pink sky as the sun set; Jordan’s company; invigorating exercise … it was as close to perfect as I can imagine. That evening we cooked a simple meal together, huddled by the fire to stay warm and went to bed early. I took a few moments before bed to reflect on and create my own wish paper for 2003—then I set it alight in the fire.
For Christmas, I went back East to visit my family. In the afternoon, on the 24th, I built a bonfire in my parents’ yard and one-by-one ripped out and burned the pages of 24 journals, spanning the years 1988 to 1996, along with hundreds of letters. It was an incredibly liberating exercise. Although I had made up my mind that this was something I wanted to do, I felt some trepidation about burning so much history. Scanning through my journals, however, I realized that little of what they contained was anything I would ever want or need to read again—not to mention have anyone else read. It was mostly processing emotions and experiences I have long since moved beyond. I had originally thought of burning my journals so that they wouldn’t be left behind if I died, but as I watched them burn, I realized that I wasn’t freeing myself to die, I was freeing myself to live. My motto for 2003 was born over those flames and it is to “travel light.” To let go of the past and all its baggage as well as the future’s expectations and desires. I think that this past year being the best year of my life can largely be attributed to my living in the present. So I’m traveling light with just an open mind, peaceful heart and a good attitude.
Traveling light also sums up my two main responsibilities for 2003. It is the year for fitness and finance. Mindfully eating smaller portions effects my energy more than anything else so that Is a paramount goal this year. Jordan is fabulous inspiration for the active part of my fitness objective. We have more plans to ski together, we’ve been doing yoga together, frisbee on the beach, running. Putting our focus on living an active lifestyle.
Finances is the big one—still. I am going to spend less and earn more in 2003. Already I have been mindful of stopping myself mid-rationalization of something or other I was thinking I “need” to buy. Ski clothing, for example. Laura and Karen, I am going to borrow from you this year if I may, and then buy my clothes at the end of the season when things go on sale, or when I’ve saved up and actually have the money. I almost ordered a new laptop today so that I can still work when I am in Forestville, but I realized that if I thought about it a new laptop really isn’t essential. I am also exploring the possibility of using my house as an investment, an asset, to help me pay off my debt. I have a housemate beginning next week through May, but after that I am considering renting a smaller, cheaper place for me and renting out my whole house for income. I have significant debt from the divorce, starting the business and making little or no income most of last year. Paying off that debt has become my priority so that I can begin saving and building wealth. I emailed my CPA that I would like her to help me create a budget and financial plan. I realize that it’s time for me to call in some expert assistance. I feel very empowered and optimistic.
As for making more money, my partners and I have begun the process of formalizing our partnership into a LLC. The process has required us to answer a lot of questions about how we will work together in the future and has been an incredibly beneficial exercise. John put together a spreadsheet showing that I brought in the most money last year—only 55% of which came from group projects, the rest from individual work I ran through the business. Also interesting was that I secured 47% of our new business. In other words, I did the most for the business and benefited the least. It feels good to have my value established and accepted after a frustrating round of conversations suggesting that I didn’t deserve an equal share since writing takes me fewer hours. We have lots of work to finish up these next two months. They are going to be hectic, but I’m excited about being busy and productive. Our pipeline is the truly exciting part, and it’s full of leads that we did little or nothing to procure. Our name seems to be out there.