2011: In Which We Commit To Taking 100% Responsibility

I'm blaming this one on Paula Deen.

In case you just flew in from another planet, Paula (I feel like I can call her by her first name) is the star of numerous shows on the Food Network, has her own restaurant and shop in Savannah, and is the author of a gazillion cookbooks, most of which feature lots of butter. 


Paula is the Grand Marshal of the New Year's Day Tournament of Roses parade, and as such there was an interview with her in the newspaper yesterday.  There was the usual promotional stuff,  and then something she said caught my eye.  I don't have the exact quote, but she said that she considers June 19, 1989 to be her "second birthday" because that was the day she took complete and total responsbility for her life.

That hit me like a ton of pugs.

I immediately started wondering what taking complete and total responsibility for my life would like look.  Honestly, its so big, I'm only just beginning the process.  Here's what I've come up with so far.

No more blaming. If anybody is at fault, it is me.  And I'd prefer not to think of it as fault but rather choices I've made in the past.  I can make different choices in the future.

Accepting what I want and doing it.  I mean this on a big scale (I want a novel published, so I'll quit whining about how rude the publishing industry is and send out my queries to agents) and a small scale (I want the kitchen clean so I'll quit waiting for someone else to empty the dishwasher and do it myself).

Loving what is.  (To borrow a phrase from Byron Katie.) My house is messy today because I've been trying to get some things finished before the new year.  If I really wanted a clean house, I'd stop and straighten it.  But I want to work more, so I'll love my house the way it is.

Okay, that's as far as I've gotten, though I have to say that these three actions, done as regular practices would be life-transforming.  Help me out.  Any ideas for what taking complete and total responsiblilty for our lives means? What would your writing life look like if you took complete responsibility for it? Have  you ever made a commitment like this? 

I'm doing it for all areas of my life in 2011.  Want to join me?

Oh, and by the way–Happy New Year!  As I wrote a friend on Twitter ,let's make this the best writing year yet.

Photo by Terry Wha, courtesy of Flickr, via Everystockphoto.  It is supposed to illustrate the parade theme, in case you hadn't guessed.