I know, technically Allidays is celebrated the second Saturday of August, but it feels like an adaptable holiday so I’m claiming it. I aim to celebrate everyday of 2022—all days as holidays: Allidays. And now for the last post of a crazy year…

I’m still not sure what to think of 2021. I’m not sure I have any idea what to expect in this next year… but I think it will be better. The last two years taught me that I need to appreciate my moments, not rush through them on hyper-autopilot.

I think I’ve mentioned that my 26-year-old neighbor passed away unexpectedly last November. He was healthy and strong. The night before he died I heard him carousing with friends in the back yard. The next day I watched his body being wheeled into a coroner’s van. What did he regret leaving behind, I wondered… and what would I? That’s when I realized most of what I do is just clutter without much value.

I’ve had this blog going for over a decade and from the beginning my goal has always been to post everyday for no good reason—until recently. The beginning of the end starts with my post in early December, BUSY VERSUS PRODUCTIVE? GUILTY AS CHARGED. That was the end of the daily blog goal.

It turned out to be an effective change. When I wasn’t occupied brainstorming everyday about what to post, I could take time to think. I decided not to waste blog space with boring personal news which can be covered with a small news FYI on the front page.

I thought a lot about what I really wanted to share and what I read myself. Usually it’s about how to create a better story. That’s why I like working as a mentor. That’s why I like coaching and editing. Whether I wrote it or you wrote it… when it comes out excellent it’s a thrill for everyone including the readers. So that’s what I decided to write about—what I’ve learned about creating stories.

Giving myself a week to think about one idea instead of a day to think of a dozen had a positive effect. I divided that one idea into many parts. Because I can focus on the one idea, it became the topic of my next column in the Horror Writer Association newsletter and it found its way into the presentation I gave the Woodneath Writers last Monday. Less work and stress… more work done better. Epiphany!

When I worked at the Bay Beacon newspaper I was asked by a co-worker once what I do for fun. I answered without thinking: “Oh, I work.” He clarified that he meant what do I do after work. I told him nothing. When I left work at the newspaper I went home to work on my own writing. He gave me a look like I was crazy. I get it now, Mac. I was crazy.

So I end the year in a quiet and relaxed mood. I’m planning not-work things like pottery and exercise. I’d like to live forever, but if that doesn’t work out I’d like to at least leave on my own terms. I want people to remember me as someone who did great things as opposed to a lot of things. I want to savor my minutes.

So wherever you are at this moment, and whatever you celebrate… I wish you all good things. May your minutes be long and full. May your hours be rich and your days vital. May we all have a good new year.

And I’ll be back tomorr… next week. I mean year.😉

Angela Yuriko Smith

By Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is a third-generation Shimanchu-American and award-winning poet, author, and publisher with 20+ years of experience as a professional writer in nonfiction. Publisher of Space & Time magazine (est. 1966), producer of the Exercise Your Writes YouTube podcast, two-time Bram Stoker Awards® Winner, and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She shares a weekly calendar of author opportunities at authortunities.substack.com.

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