Jacqueline Whitmore, www.etiquetteexpert.com

I’m stealing. There: I said it. This blog post idea is 100% filched (with permission) from my lovely friend, Jacqueline Whitmore, pictured here. She is an etiquette expert, spiritual seeker, dog mom, and woman with the best eyelashes I know of. If you’d like to get to know her better, check out her appearance on my podcast a few months back: “Social Graces and Business Class With Jacqueline Whitmore.”

Jacqueline did a post on her site, EtiquetteExpert.com, detailing her top twenty-three “dreams and desires” for 2023. Dreams and desires are so much more motivational than resolutions. Since we’re in the romantic month of February now, I’ve shifted the focus from New Year’s to falling in love with the life I’ve got. So, please join me in this delicious act of larceny so I can share my aspirations with you, perhaps sparking your own tantalizing twenty-three. I’ve worded mine as affirmations.

My 23 Dreams and Desires for a Totally Lovable 2023

  1. Age Like a Yogi is picked up by its perfect publisher and I spend three blissful hours every day writing.
  2. I understand my husband, William, more. I better support what’s important to him and we have more fun than ever.
  3. I get to see my daughter once a season, either here in NYC or in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where she and her husband are performing for another year. With both Adair (my daughter) and Sian (my stepdaughter), there’s more talking, more laughing, more confiding, more fun. (I love my stepson and son-in-law, too, but this D&D is about girl time.)
  4. Rupert (our newly adopted dog) comes out of his shell from having spent his whole life up until two months ago in a hoarding situation. We go to the park, ride the subway, and spend hours at the Black Lab Cafe (dog friendly coffee place on the Upper West Side).
  5. The word gets out that Main Street Vegan Academy in its low-cost and easy-to-access live Zoom iteration is even better than it was in person in NYC. The program sells itself and I can focus on keeping the curriculum and presenter roster top-notch, and providing best-ever support and follow-up for graduates.
  6. I expect things to be right in the end and know that if they’re not right, it’s not the end.
  7. Ryder’s Law, banning the cruel horse carriage trade in New York City, passes, and horsedrawn
    I’m with NYC City Councilmember Robert Holden, who proposed Ryder’s Law

    carriages are replaced by charming electric horseless carriages. I do all I can to be part of this ongoing effort.

  8. I live a markedly simpler life. I clearly see the excesses and redundancies and easily let them go.
  9. I am in bed with the lights off by 10 every night. I sleep well and am eager to jump
    into the day ahead at 6 every morning.
  10. While I get up early, my laptop sleeps in. I might quickly check my phone to see if anything is “urgent” (like I’m an ER doc, right?), but the computer stays unopened until after spiritual practice, ayurvedic practices and shower, dog walk, exercise, and breakfast.
  11. I become more of a pigeon whisperer, understanding Thunder and helping him have his best living-with-humans pigeon life.
  12. I love living in our apartment and taking care of it.
  13. I find my place in the social media world, letting go of the accounts that seem senseless and building up my YouTube channel, where I think I might actually be able to do some good. (If you’d like to subscribe — thank you! — it’s www.youtube.com/VictoriaMoranNYC.)
  14. My life is nourished with analog touches: more unscheduled phone conversations, more cards and notes on paper with stamps, more movies in theaters and plays with living actors.
  15. I show up at the JCC for a workout class of some sort every twenty-four hours, and I get up from desk work every fifty-five minutes to move around.
  16. My work life is much more self-determined, with my own to-do list taking precedence over requests from others. Most of my day is spent writing, speaking, teaching, making videos, or doing interviews. Almost none of my time is eaten up by technical and clerical details which can be delegated, done in abbreviated fashion, or ignored altogether.
  17. I live cozy and comfy and treat myself really well. I hug Rupert a lot. I take hot baths. I go for reflexology.
  18. With more time and less stress, I rediscover cooking.
  19. I’ve simplified my wardrobe, so everything in my closet makes me feel like me.
  20. I leave more voicemail messages. This brings me more of a feeling of connection and I seldom find myself typing into my phone or using voice-typing and having to go back and correct mistakes.
  21. I’m fully onboard with the Dana K. White organizing principles: dishes done every night, dishwasher emptied every morning, 5-minute pickups throughout the day, putting everything in the place where you’d intuitively look for it.
  22. My big animal rights push for the year comes together seamlessly as I raise the $100,000 remaining for the development budget for Miss Liberty, the screenplay my husband and I wrote for a family feature film about a cow who escapes from a slaughterhouse. Then I am able to largely turn this project over to the production team and watch the progress go from development to production to release.
  23. I have my priorities straight: Spiritual connection. Health. Family. Animals/Veganism. Using my gift (words). Friends. Home. Helping where I can, lightening up otherwise

I intend to record these Dreams & Desires and play them to myself before I go to sleep — and maybe in the morning, too. Wanna come up with your 23 and join me? The process is very self-revealing. I recommend it (and thanks, Jacqueline).

Victoria Moran is an author, speaker, host of the Victoria Moran Podcast: Meetings With Remarkable Women, and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, training Vegan Lifestyle Coaches & Educators since 2012.

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