I thought I would appreciate being home this Christmas after traveling to Colorado for a ski vacation last year during the holidays. I was wrong. I missed the mountains. Don’t get me wrong — I loved decorating our tree and waking up in our house to open gifts on Christmas morning but I have to say, getting away from all the madness and holiday stresses (relatives) is a good thing! I really missed waking up each morning to the sound of ski boots crunching on the ground as people headed to the lifts. Sigh….
I do love the fresh feeling of a new year beginning…an imaginary clean slate on which we write our good intentions. I kinda like that. I know it’s hard to believe but I really do try to improve myself! This year I’m doing two projects that are year-long and will require me to “attend” – to pay attention and be present, even if being present means I’m on my computer in the comfort of my own home, participating. I have ALWAYS loved to read. As a child, nothing excited me more than my dad announcing that we were making the 40-mile trip to the nearest bookstore, Readmore Books. I realize now how small it was but when I walked in the door I was transported to a whole new world. It’s odd that I’ve never taken part in a book club but I have not & this morning, the girls on one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, announced an online book club. The first selection is The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I already had the book so that’s one reason I jumped right in. I mentioned that I was taking part in this on Facebook and before I knew it several friends were searching for copies and committing to the book club as well. I suggested we get together at a restaurant and discuss the monthly selections & that was well-received. This takes the stress of having to host the club & clean and cook & find a place for your kids to go on the evening we meet, completely away. I AM toying with the idea of hosting a final holiday get-together and using that as an impetus to actually complete the home improvement projects that I have on our agenda this year. Sometimes I have to have things to hold me accountable, don’t you?
Jumping into something like the book club is very, very out of character for me, which brings me to the second project I am taking part in. I LOVE Ali Edwards. For a few years, I worked in the scrapbook industry and although I never met her, she quickly became one of my favorite designers and I love & admire the brilliance with which she built her brand. She blogs about, well, LIFE. And she makes you realize that documenting your life while you are here is not only a responsibility but a fun thing to do and with Ali at the helm, it can become a way of life if you follow her principles. Obviously I find her very inspiring! Every year since 2007, she has done a “One Little Word” online workshop. You can read more about it by clicking the link but you just choose one word and in, Ali’s words, “You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.” Ali gives you monthly video and PDF prompts and at the end of the year you should have a journal that has helped you gain insight into how this word can work for you and change you for the better. My word for 2014 is “TRY”. In so many areas of my life, I could try harder – that’s one way I need to have this word in my life! I’m also hesitant to try new things. New foods, new hobbies, new ways to promote my business, new styles of photography, new ways of dealing with kid issues, etc. I’m reluctant to TRY. So that’s sorta what my journey is going to be about this year. Not being lazy or reluctant and giving things my all. I think it’s going to be so much fun & perhaps a little enlightening.
As far as resolutions, I prefer to do a bucket list for the year. I’m still working on it. I’ll share it as soon as I finish.
Many of my friends have started this new year by saying final goodbyes to the people they love the most, so as 2014 begins, I wish you good luck, much faith and happiness & someone to lean on when things get tough.