What is it about a new year that makes us reflective? Endings, whether real or imagined, help us make sense of what came before, neatly tidying the inherent randomness of life into coherent wholes. Smarter people than I have written about this elsewhere. Endings force us to look where we stand and to reflect on the path that brought us here. Through the lens of an end, we can evaluate the success of our actions and commit to do better, if we’re not happy.
In the early days of 2015, in the interest of making myself more accountable, I used this space to pledge personal goals around being active, creating, reading, and writing. And accountable I shall be, for it’s with a sense of 2015’s end that I can begin 2016 with a better sense of myself.
The Year That Was
This past year, I hiked more, taking advantage of my proximity to the Niagara Escarpment to spend a couple days (though not consecutive) on the Bruce Trail. I also made a few trips to hike around the Scarborough Bluffs and the Don Valley. I didn’t make running a part of my routine again, resuming it only in fits and starts.
I didn’t expand my knitting skills as I’d hoped either, but I’m less disappointed about that than I am about not running much.
In 2015, I read more books than I did in 2014, which was the ultimate goal behind my pledge to read at least a chapter per week. I also read more books than I did in 2013.
I did well with my writing resolution until April, when things became especially busy at work and the physical and creative fatigue from doing the things I must do overtook my ability to keep doing many of the things I want to do.
I realize now, at the end of 2015, after over 30 years of receiving this advice from my mother, I should be making what I want to do a “must,” because my own happiness needs to be more of a priority. I realize that the more I move, make, read and write, the happier I am.
The Year That Shall Be
My list of wants this year — and that’s what they are more than resolutions — are, I think, as modest and achievable as last year’s. Many of them are even variations or small improvements upon last year’s goals.
In 2016, I want
- to spend more time moving outside, whether that be hiking, running, or walking.
- to expand beyond my repertoire of quick breads and learn to bake yeasted loaves.
- to upgrade my bar skills by mixing my way through the Death & Co cocktail book, a Christmas present from my husband.
- to read more. I’ll keep my manageable, chapter-per-week goal, but if I’m really honest with myself, I’d like to try to read two books per month, including the five walking/hiking/outdoors-related titles on my bookshelves (How to Connect with Nature by Tristan Gooley; Mindfulness and The Art of Urban Living, The Art of Mindful Silence, and The Art of Mindful Walking, all by Adam Ford; and Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman).
- to write, for fun, more frequently. And that means reviving this blog — for real this time.
Welcome, 2016. I look forward to seeing where you’ll take me!