Looking Back on 2009

How's this year been for you? What good things have happened? I've been reflecting on the progress I've made, and the setbacks I've had. ... As it turns out the very best thing that happened to me is ... YOU! Or at least this blog. ... Plus, do you guys remember a certain dude, code-named Kris Kringle?



By tomorrow, it will be New Year's Eve already?

Is it just me, or has this all happened very quickly, this 2009 thing?


1) This blog started! And I have to say--even though some weeks I wonder what in the hell I will possibly be able to say that is AT ALL interesting--this is the best job I've ever had, and just about the best job I could ever imagine having. (Not that I get paid so much, but eh, who's complaining?)

A lot of you have written in to tell me that it helps to know that I'mdealing with (or not dealing so well with?) some of the same problems and conundrums you're facing. Well, it works both ways: Knowing that YOU

are out there--reading, listening, advising, experiencing some of the same things and some very different things--is a big comfort.

The very very good news is that my wonderful Marie Claire editors have decided to renew my blog contract! So you're in for a lot more Maura. (I hope that sounds all right.) AND THIS IS GOOD NEWS THAT ALL OF YOU REALLY DESERVE THE CREDIT FOR. Because, let's face it, a blog is nothing without readers! And when the readers are as smart and sweet and discerning as all of you ... ? Well, it's nice.

2) I've made some really wonderful new friends this

Including (but not limited to) Kermie Ottawa and Harry Berkeley (both of whom I met

towards the end of 2008 but didn't really start spending time with till this year).

3) I met the Baby Fireman!

All right, I'm kidding. But unfortunately, I

remain hot for his body. Also, he is kind of awesome, even if he is way too young, and all wrong for me in a million other ways.

3) Okay, now Number Three for real: I finally realized that I needed anti-depressants (thanks to my dearest

darling Daisy Milliner and her concern for my well-being). And--even better, really--I finally

started taking them. And I started sleeping like a normal human being

again for the first time in a decade. And I stopped being sort of dangerously depressed.

Wacky as it may sound, I feel like my "real" soul--one that's a bit sunnier, a bit more optimistic--is finally getting a fighting chance to make its way through to the outer world, instead of constantly being oppressed by the truculent chemicals floating around in my system, which were made more abundant by some of the difficult life experiences I had during my childhood and adolescence.

4) A great agent agreed to take me on as a client--and to represent my novel.

5) I've gotten closer to Daisy Milliner. And she's just about the best friend I could ever imagine having. I really can't tell you how grateful I am to have found someone as smart and compassionate and supportive and savvy as she is.


1) The hair on my head is more or less 100% prematurely gray--I have

to dye it every three weeks or it looks terrible--but as it that wasn't bad

enough ... I just found a gray EYEBROW HAIR.

If this keeps up, it's really gonna cramp my style when it comes to hitting on baby firemen and other younger men.

More seriously:

2) The one thing that I really wanted this year--the thing I have been wanting for so, so long now--hasn't happened yet. My novel has yet to sell. Now, it still might--all is not lost--but

it's been very difficult to wait patiently through this very long

process, especially since there's no real end in sight.

3) As you may have noticed, I also haven't found my way to a happy, healthy romantic relationship. And it

occurs to me that maybe--just maybe--I don't really want one ...

because I'm so scared of the potential emotional turmoil. I'm scared of becoming emotionally dependent on someone for

love and affection. Losing people is hard, and sometimes I think I'm not tough enough to go through that kind of thing again.

All the same, as I indicated on Monday, I've been taking more risks in the past few weeks, and that feels pretty good.

4) Thanks to the two little disappointments listed immediately above--the fact that I still haven't sold my novel and that I still haven't found my way to a good romantic relationship--my over-arching life-view persists. And my over-arching life-view is, pretty much, that I'm not smart enough, not attractive enough, not good enough to get what I want in the world. My life-view is, basically, that I'm cursed.

Now, I know there is some evidence to the contrary. And I really have been feeling more hopeful lately. At the same time, old habits--and old thought patterns--die hard. This feeling of being cursed--condemned by the puppet-masters of fate, basically--started way back in my childhood, when my brain was still developing, when my mother died. And it became a big part of my psychological structure.

* * *

Anyway ... all of this is a prelude to our discussion of New Year's Resolutions. Shall we talk about those tomorrow? I'm still looking forward to hearing about what resolutions you guys plan to make. Do any of you have some brilliant insights about how to make good resolutions--and stick to them?

* * *

Also, guys, I'm going on a road trip today! I have an errand I need to run, that's gonna take me out to exotic New Jersey--some call it The Arm-Pit of the Nation, but I like to think of it as The (Olive) Garden State.

And guess who's coming with me? Do you guys remember Kris Kringle--the dude I drunkenly smooched at a party, only to totally botch (or so I thought) our subsequent museum date? Well, I'll have to fill you on all the intervening details sometime soon, but we've had some friendly exchanges since then--and I initiated the friendliness--and since he has the day off tomorrow, he's coming along for the turnpike adventure.



PS: If you'd like to become an official fan of the blog, you can sign up here--and I will love you all the more!



-dear Rip: I'd really like to answer your question ... but I don't think I understand? I will say that, back in the day--when I was young and foolish--I was rather unnerved by some of the Old Flame's poetic phrasings, by some of his amorous admissions. Hearing them today, I am flattered, soft-hearted, nostalgic, a bit tearful. But I don't wonder what could be between us today, even if I have wondered what might have happened had I been a somewhat different Maura Kelly--braver, more resilient--back then.

-Osu! I love your resolutions. And I love to think I might have provided a little inspiration. Also, great minds think alike: Check out this post I did back in August about things every single chick should do.

-Hello there, Miss Moneypenny. Speaking of great minds: I interviewed Gretchen Rubin a while back about how to be happy while single. Check it out here. ... Also, thank you so much for asking about the blog. I'm really happy to announce the great news.

-Edwinna: As usual, you're right. Strangely enough, speaking of Teflon, I just got some new oven mitts today that are reinforced with it--maybe they'll rub off?

-CameraShy: I guess I'm the camera-shy one myself, looking down and averting my eyes, huh?

-And Barre, I like your point about risks, I do ... although I do think being resilient and having a thick skin about these things is often easier said than done. Unless ... unless you have a lot of irons in the fire.