happy new year, 13 for 13


Every year, at the start of a new year, I do a list of resolutions (you can see last year's list here). I see the flaw in the plan of a 12 for 12 or a 13 for 13...this list could get pretty long, people! We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Anyhoo, here's my list for the upcoming year, such as it is.

1. Read more for education, not just comfort

2. Commit to exercise

3. Be both a more adventurous and a less adventurous cook

4. Push myself as a photographer (a 365, maybe?)

5. Reach out to friends more

6. Be a less fearful traveler

7. Be better at follow-through

8. Value myself more, both as a person and as a professional

9. Develop a schedule and stick to it

10. Love people in the way that they need to be loved

11. Continue to add glamour to my life

12. Create some order out of my personal chaos

13. Be a better wife, mother, friend, writer and photographer

Last year, I didn't say much about my resolutions, and I'm not sure I should this year. Number two is because I've had Move my Body on the list for years, and I've always done just enough to meet the resolution obligation. Now I want to do more. Number ten is a paraphrase from a conversation I had with my neighbor Sara about how she was spending the holidays. It seemed like a good idea to love people in the way that they need, not the way that I need. I'm primarliy a comfort reader, and I'd like to push myself a bit. Stretch my boundaries. That's where number one comes in. I don't mean deep literature, that too is a kind of comfort reading for me; I want to learn things. Any suggestions? I'd love some. Regarding number seven? Well, see number four.

I had a word for last year and it was leap. At first when I looked back, I felt I hadn't lived up. I was pretty okay with that because a lot of things got in my way. After some thought, I realized that I did leap. I leapt a lot. Just not in the ways I expected or even wanted to. But I did some things that were good and right. Good and right for me and our family, at least. So is there a word for this year? I don't know. Leap, again, maybe. Reach. Don't hesitate.

I'm always reminded of Rilke's Archaic Torso of Apollo at times like these, list-making times, times of new beginnings. His last stanza goes like this,

would not, from all the borders of itself,

burst like a star: for here there is no place

that does not see you. You must change your life.

Isn't that how we all feel, here, on New Year's Day?