If It’s 2010, I Must Be…


(Ha! Thought you were going to get an age there, didn’t you?!) No, you get determined, which I’ll talk about in just a little bit. First, I feel like mulling about the actual year.

2010. It’s really an incredible number to have attached to a year, I think. My son, even though he was born in the last millenium, has no conscious memory of any 19xx year.* His life is the 20xx’s and always will be. And yet, for me, that all still feels so recent.

I feel like I’ve settled into this century well. The turn of this century has been good to me; I met my husband and started building my family, my serious commitment to my writing career, and my life as the person I truly wanted to be, all in the 1990s. And the last decade has brought me increased health, happiness, friendships, and self-understanding–all with a huge dose of luck that I am incredibly grateful for.

So what about the coming year? What about 2010? Well, here are my thoughts.

Laura Purdie Salas sets a theme for herself every year. She says she failed on her last year’s one, but I think just stating it as a wish, as a recognition of a need is a success in itself. (Really, Laura!) Because the first step in getting what we want, what we need for our growth, is seeing what that need is. And writing down this want, stating it out loud or writing it out, reminds us that it’s important.

So I’m going to borrow the theme idea from Laura this year. And my theme is determination. 

When I picture that word, as an image, I see a backbone. A strong spine, helping me walk through this life I’m creating, helping me sit straight in my writing chair, helping me balance the marketing for The Writing & Critique Group Survival Guide, the writing for my YA historical, the revision for my picture book. I see the spine staying with the exercise and healthy eating I’m finally bringing back to myself, supporting me through the transition of watching my son move into High School, and giving me the flexibility to spend happy time with my family and friends.

In the past, in the 19xx’s, it was too easy for me to sit on one accomplishment, to let time pass without looking for the next. It was too much of a pattern for me to worry about the future, rather than stride forward to meet it, even to impact it. I’ve changed this about myself in the last 20 years, and I am determined to stay on this path. I am determined to watch for and take new turnings as they come along, even to get out my bulldozer and start shoving dirt out of the way for a new road, if that’s what I decide I need to do.

What do you do with the new year? Do you set goals? Do you visualize dreams? Do you pick a theme? And what does this solid, rounded number 2010 make you think about?

Happy New Year to everyone, and may it be an incredible one!

*Of course, when my son read this, he says he DOES have a memory of the 1900s. He can see a big 1999, in bright yellow construction paper, probably on the room of his preschool classroom. Okay, fine. But I swear I’m right about everything else in this post!


  1. Shawna says:

    LOL! One of my children (the fourth) was born 11/00. It amazed me, at the time, that she’d never lived in the 20th century.

    I love the idea of a theme and I’m stealing yours! At first I thought a good theme was survival, but no, I want to do more than survive. Then I considered success, but success take more than my effort, there is some of that luck needed too. So, as the greatest compliment is imitation (right?) I’m just stealing determination.

    I am determined to live each day to the best of my ability and with an eye on an ultimate goal!

    Thanks Becky for an awesome post!


    • beckylevine says:

      Steal away! I think 2009 was your survival year, and you did! Time to give yourself what you need beyond that. And success is way too indefinable, even when we think we know what it will be. Enjoy the determination!


  2. vikk says:

    How funny. Part of my action plan setting involves coming up with a one-word theme. Determination is a great theme word. Love the whole spine application, too. Enjoyed your blog.


    • beckylevine says:


      Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the post–I’ll be curious to hear what your one-word theme is for the year. 🙂


  3. Kelly Fineman says:

    Happy New Year, Becky!

    Last year I went with Yoda’s “Do or do not. There is no try.” I’m not yet decided on what this year’s theme is, and will cast about for a guiding quote, I think.


    • beckylevine says:

      Oh, Kelly, I do like that one. I hadn’t thought of getting a quote…may have to mull on this! Happy New Year back to you. 🙂


  4. I like the idea of a theme for the year. I’ll have to think of one for myself…


  5. Picked the following bit of wisdom up at my niece’s FB page.

    “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” Clementine Paddleford

    Pretty good, huh? Seems you’ve been fairly determined so far. I know you can keep it up!


  6. claudine says:

    Enjoyed your post, Becky. Count me as one who love how you’ve given the backbone visual to make it real.
    “Determination.” Yeah! Good one.
    I love the wonderful ending, partially because of the laugh it gave me, and partially because I’m so happy for you that your son reads your “stuff”. How great is that???


    • beckylevine says:

      Well, he reads it up on request. But I’ll take that! I think I needed an image for this theme–unusual for me, but the concreteness may help! Happy New Year!


  7. laurasalas says:

    Hey, Becky–Great theme! You seem very determined to me already, but I do love this:

    I am determined to watch for and take new turnings as they come along, even to get out my bulldozer and start shoving dirt out of the way for a new road, if that’s what I decide I need to do.

    I love that feeling of your being proactive on behalf of the things you want/need!

    Happy 2010!


  8. Amy G. says:

    This is wonderful. Love your “determined” spine — more power to you! And how sweet that your son reads your blog. 🙂


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