Back to life, back to reality.

Happy 2011!

I hope you are all getting back into the swing of life after the holidays. Mondays are a slap in the face under normal circumstances, but they’re so much worse after two weeks of travel and time off. I’m pretty sure I’m already re-exhausted.

Did you all have a fun New Year’s Eve? I have to state that I am usually no fan of that holiday — I’ve literally done everything you can think of to “celebrate,” from throwing a party at my house to paying $300 to stand in a loud, crowded NYC club, to dining out, to sitting on my couch (or even sleeping). It’s always a little bit of a letdown. This year I rang in 2011 with good friends, lots of cheer and a few bottles of wine and champagne — a perfect night, and the best NYE in quite awhile. 2011 sounds like an odd year, and it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but I survived my flight home on 1/1/11 in seat 11A, so I took that as a positive harbinger of things to come.

As a carryover of my resistance to NYE, I never made resolutions. Heck, I didn’t plan to keep them, so why set myself up for failure? But a new year brings a fresh start, or at least we’d like to believe it does. In 2010 I developed my culinary bucket list and experienced a few thought-provoking events that made me reevaluate my life and goals. So during downtime in the airport and on my flights this weekend, I actually wrote a real bucket list and some resolutions for 2011. I’ll share some of them with you, since peer pressure might be key to my success. I’m not especially disciplined or goal-oriented, so I tried to be specific and realistic:

  • Finish school. If all goes according to plan, I’ll wrap up this business school ordeal in December … Then what will I do with myself? (I suppose that’s a problem for 2012.)
  • Practice yoga at least two times a week. Or anything else resembling exercise, since I walk half as much as I did in the city and my bones are getting creaky. Twice a week I can (probably) handle. Otherwise I would laugh in the face of generic statements like “lose weight” or “exercise more.”
  • Do more things that scare me. I am usually a decently adventurous person and open to new situations. But I tend towards introversion, and I don’t love entering social events where I don’t know anyone. This year I have the opportunity to travel to a few unsafe, foreign cities on a far-away continent, and no one I know has signed on for the trip. But I’ve already submitted my deposit, so there’s no going back. And I’m feeling excited about it rather than nervous or unsure. Progress.
  • Launch my dad’s website. Dad and I have been talking for more than a year about a new venture, and I think this is the year we’ll get it up and running. Stay tuned.
  • Entertain more/finish work on my house. These are two separate resolutions, but linked in my mind. I’ve got a list of to-dos in my house, to make me feel more sane and the house more complete and lived in. If I manage that, I will be more open to entertaining. I’m not very practiced at hosting, but cooking for others (and not having to leave my house) would be worth it.
  • Give up sugar for one week per month. If you can’t tell, I adore sugar. I like to bake, I like dessert, I work with women who also like to bake, and I wouldn’t mind a sweet tea IV. But I know it doesn’t do a body good, and I’ve cut out sugar for nearly a month before without harming anyone around me. This is one little goal I think I could manage. If I survive, perhaps I’ll keep going.
  • Expand my garden. I loved tending to my tiny garden in 2010, and I have grand plans to grow a few more vegetables this year. I was too late in 2010 and some of my tomatoes never fully developed, so I’ll need to start seedlings soon. I also got my first heirloom seed catalog, which I feel might be the start of a new obsession. Brace yourselves.
  • Visit friends. Poor M. Somehow she’s still speaking to me even though I’ve been promising for two years to come visit. With school and such, I just can’t seem to plan it. But now that I know I can fly in for less than a tank of gas costs, 2011 will be our year. I also have friends on my list in Portland, Ore., and my crew in NYC. I haven’t forgotten you!
  • Send Christmas (and birthday) cards. I always try to herald birthdays, because that’s the only day of the year that can be all about you. (Well, unless you’re a twin.) Even if it’s by text, I try never to forget them, and I keep a list of birthdays in my pocket calendar to help me remember. With school winding down, I hope I can be more on top of actually mailing birthday cards (on time, even). I’d also like to send Christmas cards, of which I haven’t been capable for several years. I’ll have final exams right around the end of December, but I’m going to aim to have my act together as early as possible.
  • Just be. I’m tired by the little voices in my head (wait, you don’t have those?) telling me to Go! and Do! I know I’m an over-thinker, which leads to daydreaming and endless analysis of “what would happen if …” or “what would that be like?” [See commentary after first entry, "Finish school"] Sometimes it exhausts me … and I know deep down that I don’t really need to know right now. I need to just be and see what comes. That just might be the hardest resolution to keep.

So there’s the gist of my goals for 2011. I hope you’ll hold me accountable as the year marches on.

How about you — did you make any resolutions this year?

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    1. Thanks, Lillian! Good luck with your list too. Sometimes it’s nice to sit and ponder the wildest things you could imagine accomplishing in a year. If you need, I will cheer you on!

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