We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential. – Ellen Goodman
A couple of days ago, that seems like forever ago (it was last year after all), I reflected back on 2010 and now it is time to think ahead to 2011. We are only 3 days in to the new year and I feel almost refreshed and renewed, with a plan for kick starting the new year as soon as I return home on Wednesday. There are just a few things I want to write down now so I can remember them in December. Sure, I suppose you could call them resolutions, but they are more just a loose plan. These ideas are just a way to guide my life in the coming year, to remind myself what I really believe is important.
So I’m going to take the idea from that quote above by journalist Ellen Goodman. This is not about finding flaws, but finding potential. What do I have the potential to do in 2011?
1. Enjoy food. Let’s face it, resolving to lose weight or exercise is too easy to say and too hard to maintain. And let’s face one other fact – I love food. I love to eat, and I love to cook, and I love to go out to eat. What I need is more of a balance. I need to enjoy my food and I need to be okay with the food decisions I make. I want to eat less meat (but not give it up) and really enjoy in-season vegetables. I want to have an intimate relationship with my food. I’m going to be driving a lot and commuting this semester and I need to be excited about the food I have to take with me in my lunch box (that will be my lunch, dinner and breakfast box – I might need to invest in a cooler).
2. Enjoy movement. Before I left for Spain and while I was in Spain, I was actively trying to exercise. Since I got back, a series of colds and laziness has derailed that. I noticed a huge difference in both my mood and the way I felt physically. I’ve gotten sick more and I’ve just felt unbalanced. I need to get back into exercising regularly, especially now that I know it’s something I really miss in my life when I’m not doing it.
3. Enjoy the world. I loved traveling to Spain this year, but I don’t know that I’m going to be able to do a big trip like that again for a while. So what can I do to check my travel bug for a while? Read more world literature. I will be attempting to read a book from every country in the world. This is a lifelong goal, not just for this year. There are plenty of countries I’ve never visited through literature – and why wouldn’t I?
4. Enjoy the past. I told myself I was going to read more classics last year and I did not. I still want to do this, so I will be making more of an effort to do so in 2011.
5. Enjoy art. Memory recently mentioned on Twitter that she was going to be reading a graphic novel a week. I decided to jump on this bandwagon, along with Vasilly. It’s unofficial and not a commitment so much as an opportunity. Especially when I will be in the middle of school, mostly reading novels for class, this will be a welcome relief.
6. Enjoy the books I own. I own too many books that I’m not reading. My goal is to balance this equation. For every library book I read, I want to read 2 books that I own. For every review copy? Three. If I don’t desperately love the book, I want to pass books on to new readers when I finish, either through my half.com store, through IRL friends or through passing them on to blog readers.
7. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life. I believe there is beauty everywhere and joy can be found in the smallest daily things. This Christmas season was stressful and I’m happy to have it behind me. I want to leave as many stresses as I can behind me and get rid of some of my anxieties. Life is too short to be anxious and stressed out all the time. Everything will be okay.
8. Enjoy the things I already enjoy. What I mean by this is not to forget everything about my life that is already amazing. Like all the people in my life that I love. How lucky I am in so many ways. Remembering, always, that the good outweighs the bad, as long as you let it.
9. Enjoy saving. I’m going to try and set aside at least $50 a week into a savings account, possibly more if I have it. I can smile to myself when I realize that means I will have almost $3000 in savings to start 2012.
10. Enjoy creativity. I want to do all the little creative things that made my 2010 that much better. I want to continue to crochet, especially by finishing my granny squares blanket, and learn to knit more than just one stitch. I want to write more and hopefully that will become a reality.
11. Enjoy diversity. I have never been a one-kind-of-book reader. I like YA, I like literary fiction, I like comics, I like MG fiction, I like poetry, I like short stories. If it is made of words, you can guarantee that I like some manifestation of it, somewhere. The key is finding a balance here, as well. I did a good job of this last year and want to continue. People of all colors, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, nationalities, political persuasions and beliefs should be featured in what I read and I hope in2011 they will be.
12. Enjoy change. Isn’t this always the hardest one? Like last year, 2011 will be filled with changes. It’s just that time in my life, right? Even though there’s a lot of uncertainty about where 2011 will take me, I just need to embrace those changes and look forward to the exciting things they will bring to my life.
So happy 2011 everyone, I’m thrilled that 2010 is behind me and I am looking forward to everything 2011 will bring me!