We’re, like, what – almost a week and a half into 2016? And I’m just now getting around to putting my resolutions down on paper. The holidays feel too rushed and cluttered for true reflection, so I usually don’t get down to really “feeling” the new year until about a week in. So here we are.
What do you want for your blank slate of 2016?
Who do you want to be, starting today?
What do you want to cultivate now, so that when you’re old and gray, you’ll be satisfied and happy?
These are the questions I ask myself at the beginning of each year, for at least the last handful of years. My past 7 years (almost to the day!) have been largely tumultuous and untethered, full of breaking open and breaking down. Maybe I broke a mirror in late 2008? Who knows. All I know is that anything that’s happening to you now is happening because it’s necessary for your soul’s evolution…and honey, my soul done some evolving these past years. It seems like the evolving is softening or slowing down and 2016 is looking pretty sweet, and I’m mighty fine with that.
So here are the things I’m gonna work on this year. What about you?
1. Do more stuff that scares me. In 2015, I went surfing for the first time, certain I would be swallowed by the sea. Sure, my California friends laugh at this, but when you’re born and raised in the land-locked Midwest, this seems totally plausible. I didn’t die, and in fact, walked away from the experience feeling one of the best natural highs I’ve ever felt in my life. WHAT SHOULD I DO NEXT?!
2. Get out of the country. It’s been SERIOUSLY too long since I’ve been abroad. But where? There literally isn’t anywhere in the world – given the right circumstances, i.e. no blazing civil war – that I wouldn’t want to visit. But since 2016 is also about me harnessing my finances, I probably can’t quite schedule my Bucket List Trip to Antarctica. (Number one on the bucket list! I’ll do it! Just probably not this year…) Mexico? The Motherland? (That means central and northern Europe.) Suggestions?
3. Then again, I need to see more of the U.S. For someone who feels most alive when she’s traveling, there’s an ALARMING number of awesome places I’ve never truly seen. For example, while I’ve whisked through NYC, I’ve never done NYC like a proper tourist. (And seeing a Broadway play is on the bucket list.) And New Orleans has been singing its song to me for quite a while. I also took a solo roadtrip down Route 1 last spring – which prompted me to start this blog – and I feel really pulled to either repeat the route again, or roadtrip somewhere else.
4. Career development. I love freelancing and working in so many different areas – teaching, writing, education administration, social media, communications, fitness, dance – but I’d also love to “settle down” with an organization (um, why does this feel like an OKCupid profile?) and focus all my time in just one position. But not just any job: as an artist at heart, I need to work for an organization where I’m contributing to the greater good. Oh, and benefits would be sweet. The 2016 job search is on!
5. Take better care of my body. I wanna be like this lady when I’m 70 (who moonwalks in from the left). So I’m taking dance classes at the local community college, studying and teaching barre, samba-ing when I can, and eating as cleanly as my wallet allows. A big discovery last year was that I adore cooking my own food from scratch (but cooking for others gives me hives!) I wanna be even stronger and healthier in 2016. BRING IT. I’ve also decided that in my retirement, I’d like to 1) be a KILLER flamenco dancer and 2) be a KILLER banjo player. So I need to start on those, too.
6. Appreciate the good folks. I’m surrounded by some great and wonderful people – both family and friends. And I’m committed to appreciating and really being with them when I have the opportunity. The flipside of this is letting go of all the rest. Cuz ain’t nobody got time for that.
I feel like there are about a thousand more things I could add here: finding time to be more present each day, creative projects that I want to bring to fruition, buy a house, get a dog, backpack across Europe, find the Holy Grail. You know, the little stuff.
What about you? What do you want for this year?