Monday, January 3, 2011

Six Impossible Things

Post by Jenny

It’s the New Year, and the blogosphere is teeming with resolutions. In 2010, so much—well, let’s call it ‘debris’—hit the fan that we’re all ready for a clean, fresh start. And I think this national January pastime of resolution-making is particularly compelling for writers. Starting a new project, completing an old one, editing, querying, classes, conferences—we have no shortage of goal-worthy pursuits. (Read Brooke's and Trai's recent posts for a resolution kick-start.)

I usually make resolutions. This year, however, I’m trying something different, inspired by Tim Burton’s reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. Early in the movie, when Alice remarks to her stick-in-the-mud potential fiancĂ©e that she wonders what it would be like to fly, he asks her why she would spend time thinking of such an impossible thing. She can’t imagine why she wouldnt and tells him that her late father sometimes believed in six impossible things even before breakfast.

Near the end of the movie, as Alice battles the ferocious Jabberwocky, she gathers her courage by reminding herself to believe in six impossible things. “One: there’s a potion that can make you shrink. Two: and a cake that can make you grow. Three: animals can talk. Four: cats can disappear. Five: there’s a place called Wonderland. Six: I can slay the Jabberwocky.”

Of course, she does slay the beast. Then she returns to tell the dull Seamus that she won’t marry him. Instead, she embarks on an exciting new business adventure with her father’s friend.

Inspired by Alice’s moxie, I’ve decided that instead of making resolutions this year, I will believe in six impossible things every day before breakfast. For example:

1. Chocolate can make me thin;
2. I can win a million dollars just by using my Discover Card;
3. My kitchen can stay clean for longer than five minutes;
4. I can master time management;
5. With the right shampoo, my hair can look like Jennifer Aniston’s; and
6. I can vanquish the dreaded slush pile like my own personal Jabberwocky.

My rational mind knows that the odds of these things happening might not be in my favor—and probably a kajillion-to-one for #2—but there’s something very liberating about giving myself permission to be open to the idea that anything can happen. As Alice’s father says, “The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible.”

What impossible things will you believe in this year?


Julie Hedlund said...

I believe that I will really get ALL the laundry done and all the socks will match up.

I believe I will have time leftover at the end of every day to read for one hour before bed.

Name: Luana Krause said...

Jenny, your list is inspiring. Dream the Impossible Dream!

Jenny said...

Julie, keeping up with laundry and reading is impossible, I agree.

Thanks, Luana! You, too!

Patricia Stoltey said...

This is such a good post I'm going to link to it from my Wednesday Scramble this week!

In addition to your dreams about chocolate and hair, I will dream -- Carbs will suddenly stop tasting so good, I'll have an agent by May 1st, and days will miraculously contain 26 hours instead of 24. What fun!

Jenny said...

Thanks, Pat!

Good luck with your agent hunt. (Two extra hours a day would come in very handy for that!)

Meg said...

GREAT...what a inspiration you have taken from that MOVIE which everyone is see just for FUN...this show how observative, analytic, and optimist you are from those type of folks who get BEST from WASTE also...thanks for sharing this.
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Natasha Wing said...

I believe that I will find an editor who won't change a word of my manuscript.

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