I have JL Peridot here today for our Weekly At Vivi’s, and she’s talking about a whole lot more than a New Year Resolution.
JL Peridot writes sexy, cosmopolitan love stories with scifi and retrofuture vibes. In her spare time, she watches movies, plays Dungeons & Dragons, and consumes wholesome memes on Twitter. With the help of supportive friends, a loving partner, two bossy cats and a well-used music subscription, she writes and writes in her sunny, sea-girt, Australian home.
A Life-changing Resolution
by JL Peridot
You don’t need to wait for the new year to make a resolution. The most successful one I ever made came out of nowhere. No new year, no pressure, just a bone-deep, gutfeel inkling that it was time for a change.
Things weren’t that bad at the time… or were they? On paper, everything looked hunky-dory. My job paid well. My partner and I were committed. Annual Christmas photos showed everyone smiling. Even still, somehow, for some reason, I was dying inside.
These days, people tend to roll their eyes when Marie Kondo’s name comes up. After years doing the rounds—plus a Netflix special—her life-changing magic is fully decked out with its fair share of skeptics, smartass comments and enough cultural othering to make you cringe, even if it does spark some joy. But at the time, her book struck a nerve. Her method struck a chord. Something about it just made sense, and I was determined to find out what.
I gutted my belongings immediately. Clothes, books, komono—bags and bags of things were thanked and sent on their way. And when it was over, I sat in my shell of a home and realised… I had to keep going. Because, why stop at material possessions when life is about so much more?
The KonMari method is just quirky enough to seem like a joke. But beneath the animistic thank yous and origami-esque approach to your underwear drawer, lies a deeply spiritual practice centred on self-awareness.
Our possessions come into our lives via so many trajectories. And we hold onto them for so many reasons. They’re souvenirs of our experiences, reminders of the bonds with share others. But what happens when we’re ready to grow from those experiences, disconnect with the people they remind us of?
My job didn’t spark joy. The friends around me didn’t spark joy. The way I was living didn’t spark joy. So I gutted all that too. Left my safe, secure full-time job and leapt into part-time work thinking this was the way of the future. WRONG! A few months in, my line manager fed me some useless corporate bullshit at me—that definitely didn’t spark joy. I was out of work, for weeks in fact, but still… it felt so right.
I realised then that my life had been a dogpile of shoulds and expectations. You should study this thing because you’re good at it. You should go for that job because it’s what you studied. You should choose this company because it’s a step up. And onward we went.
As I regarded every stage, every decision, I asked myself if it sparked joy. I don’t blame anyone for the choices I made. I’m grateful for all the encouragement and advice people gave me over the years. They were gifts. And like with all gifts, love is experienced in the moment of giving and receiving. Some gifts last longer; others hold you back.
Nature dictates change. There’s a season for everything. The KonMari method gave me permission to let go of my past. It gave me a guideline for curating my home, my career, my relationships and my sense of self around what made me happy, irrespective of what other (well-meaning, but ultimately subjective) people decided on my behalf.
When all those gifts were gone, I found myself at the bottom of the pile, clutching the one thing I really wanted to do: write. So, I started writing. You know, my first gig paid four dollars. It was a slap in the face, and yet, I knew this was the journey for me. I kept going and didn’t look back. I got a new part-time job as a writer for a creative-not-corporate company. My second novella came out last year.
I KM’ed my friendships, new and old, and now feel more safe and supported than ever. I KM’ed my relationship, working through things with my partner, and now we’re stronger than we’ve ever been.
When I started tidying up my home, I never would have guessed that first step would land me here. All I knew was that I couldn’t stand things carrying on the way they were. I’m glad I didn’t attach my life-changing resolution to some arbitrary date, and even gladder I didn’t balk at the first few setbacks. Oh, I was scared, of course. But committing to a joyful life meant embracing this crazy ride with white-hot enthusiasm, daring to find people who loved me the way I needed to be loved, and learning to lean on them instead of hiding behind possessions and memories that belonged to a different me.
So, now I ask you—what’s the change you want to make? And when are you gonna start?
Img via Daria Shevtsova
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She taking with her her latest story, It Starts With A Kiss. It released in September in the Space Fiction Romance genre.
Celeste is a talented engineer who doesn’t realize her job’s going nowhere fast. She’s a little naïve. She’ll cut code and solder cables forever as long as Owen’s around. Owen, on the other hand, knows exactly how badly things suck—he just doesn’t care. Sure, his skills aren’t what they used to be, but they’re still better than what Halcyon Aries deserves.
Then it happens. The company’s toxic management team finally cross the line. As both techies race to upgrade the station and to free the team from their oppressive contracts, they come to learn that life—and love—can only ever be what you make it.
Strap in for a steamy office romance in space, because sometimes It Starts With a Kiss!
He took a step back. The doorway framed her like a painting, one that moved as she thumbed through the lot. She did have a wicked body. Not lithe and busty like the Blythe clones, or voluptuous like Tahnee, but petite with substance. A body he could handle without breaking.
“Aha!” She extricated a small black shirt and shoved the mass back into his hands. In the dim light, her triumphant smile lit up the corridor. “Thank you. I was not looking forward to going all the way back there.”
Something stirred down below. Owen shifted closer to the wall, angling away from the light in her room. He held the bundle of clothes in front of him with a casual posture.
“You’re welcome.” He flashed her a smile of his own. “Not that you deserve it after abandoning me back there!”
“Yeah, sorry about that.” Celeste leaned back against the door frame. “I’d had enough. That’s our Elle, though.”
The light moved across her body now. She stood not just as a silhouette, but a curvy and strong looking body, bathed in a soft orange glow; good enough to grab, good enough to bite. Was it true—was she really into him? What would she say if he invited her to his room?
He rubbed the back of his neck. “I was just joshing. Elle was out of line. I should have said something—”
Celly waved it off. “You tried. Don’t worry about it. That’s just her. She’s been on my arse all week too. It doesn’t bother me anymore.”
But it did. He saw it in her tense brow, though she smiled and shrugged. Owen waited. It looked like she might say something else, maybe invite him in to stay the night.
He’d say yes, of course. It had been months since he’d been with anyone. It wouldn’t be a fuck and forget either. They worked together. They were friends. It could be fun. Maybe fun that could happen again after. Wouldn’t that make things a little more interesting around here?