My Vision Board

The other day I noticed my vision board wedged behind the printer in my office. Although I ‘see’ it every day, I don’t really ‘see’ it. So, I stole a moment to read the inspiring cut out images and words. I created it over a year ago when I attended photographer, Mallika Malhotra’s, Dream Bigger Workshop. I did this as a way to create tangible objectives for myself in both my professional and personal life. I’m a visual person and although the vision board concept might be a bit vague for some people, it worked for me. I found meaningful quotes and pictures and I glued them to my poster. Each one truly had a place in my life.

I noticed that I achieved some of the goals I set forth and I can see a path to many more this year. I’m all about the vision board.

I won’t explain what each image or word on my vision board refers to in my life because it’s personal and I also live in fear of jinxing my dreams before they come true, but I will say that I’m happy.


My Family and Home

I’m beyond proud of my family. My children worked so hard this year academically, socially and with their extra-curricular activities. I’ve watched them find joy in many moments. Our family has also tried to slow down and spend more time together in the midst of life’s craziness. It’s meant saying ‘no’ to other things but it has been worth it.

I’m almost finished organizing my new office. I’m proud of myself for parting with things that I’ve held onto for too long. My workspace is much more relaxing and fosters a more creative environment. I was never able to write there because of the clutter and confusion. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still find me writing at coffee shops but I can do some writing in my office now.


My Writing

It’s humbling to see that hard work really is the biggest component to making things happen in my writing career. This year I attended and learned from both the ASJA and Writer’s Digest Conferences. I took Susan Shapiro’s essay class, Instant Gratification Takes Too Long (a few times) and it profoundly changed my freelance writing life. I receive valuable feedback on my novel at my weekly writing group with Jennifer Walkup at The Writer’s Circle. Additionally, I poured countless hours into writing and editing my personal essays.

It’s taken a lot of time and my family’s home cooked dinners are absent. But, I’ve published a few pieces this year that I’m proud to share. The most recent was an essay about my interfaith marriage featured in Newsday. This topic is close to my heart and few months ago our rabbi invited Jeff and me to speak during a sermon about this same topic. It felt wonderful to connect with many congregants who were able to relate on some level.

Some other favorite meaningful essays were featured in Brain, Child MagSammiches & Psych Meds and Kveller.

I poured many more countless hours into writing and editing my novel. For five years I’ve been sucked into its vortex. I now have a deadline but I’m not going to give it away here because of my superstition with jinxing things. I’ve been talking about this novel for so long that some might feel as if it’s an imaginary friend. It’s real. I promise.


My Teaching

I’m still teaching creative movement and drama at the preschool and I’ve added more hours this past year. Although fitting these extra hours into my life has been a learning curve, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I’m so fulfilled when I get a loving hug from a child or kind words from a mom. It’s also quite fun to have a niche audience that loves my silly songs and dramatics although they do leave class to pee a lot. What can I say – it’s the under five set.


My Wish

I’m thankful for those who have touched my life this year and I’m thankful for my health. My biggest wish is for my family and friends to have a positive and healthy new year. May we all achieve our personal goals, realize our blessings and create a vision board. Hey, if you need inspiration for your vision board you can try Mallika’s workshop. Happy 2017!



Holly Rizzuto Palker


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