2015 marks a very special year for me.
It’s the first time I’ve gone through January 1st without thinking about entering a new year.
This is the first time, since I was old enough to know the difference, I have accidentally passed through the new year without considering my resolutions, without reflecting on the year before, without regretting, without wishing. I also woke up at 6:30 in the morning and I can tell you that hasn’t happened on a New Years Day in a long time.
January 1, 2015 passed like any other of the 364 days before it.
THERE ARE SOME NEW YEARS’ THAT I’VE WOKEN UP RELIEVED. RELIEVED THE YEAR BEFORE WAS FINALLY OVER.
Like 2006. I’d lost three friends, one to suicide, one to a motorcycle accident and one to health problems. I attended two other funerals to support friends. I’d lost a man I’d considered as a father for 15 years to scandal and deception. Last but not least, I’d been in my first relationship… and ended it twelve days before Christmas. I didn’t even get a pear tree. 2007 was a welcome distraction.
THERE ARE SOME YEARS THAT I WISHED WOULDN'T HAVE HAD TO END.
2012 was one of those. I’d been married to my best friend for a year and a half and we were starting an adventure. We flew to Namibia, Africa on January 21. When I told my friend we were going to Namibia, she laughed. I must be joking. She’d heard about Namibia in a TV show and in her mind I had just told her I was going to Timbuktu. I shook my head. No, my mother-in-law has been living there over three years, it used to be part of South Africa, but they gained independence about 20 years ago. Oh... :)
J and I discovered a side of ourselves and each other while we were there, then we came back to America with very little direction. So we took a road trip we’d always dreamed of. We stayed with our best friends in the world for a few weeks. More time than the four of us had ever gotten to spend together before…them being doctors. Then we took an epic trip up the east coast. Got to visit DC and Long Island before J found a job in Jersey. At the end of 2012 I thought our adventure had ended. 2013 was looking bleak.
J of course never leaves me wanting adventure, but when 2014 started I just kept thinking, if we want to have a family, we’re going to have to find a way to settle down without losing our adventure. I had never been so ready to start living.
I started working out…more specifically, running. I had never run before, not on my own free will. I also started a blog. This blog. It’s changed a few times over this year, but the purpose has been the same. Just do something small. It may have seemed like I was yelling it at you. JUST DO SOMETHING SMALL!!! But my ears had shut so much hope out it was just a whisper to me. You can do this. Nope, not that big, just something small. It was a reminder that I needed to keep going. If you keep taking one small step you WILL get there.
I no longer think I’m stuck—being who I was, doing what I was. Now I know that a collection of bites, a collection of small steps is all it takes to change who I am. Which means I don't look at conquering the year in front of me, I just do the one small thing that's right in front of me.
At the end of 2014 I posted a few of my goals for the last seven weeks of the year. I think this really was what made a difference. Instead of starting 2015 with a bunch of forgotten resolutions from last January, I started a new year with goals already crossed off.
Here’s my list, bold I finished.
1. Read Start, Packing Light and The Fault In Our Stars
2. Run four times every week.
3. Mail out Christmas cards!
4. Complete NaNoWriMo!
5. Complete the "Sister's Squat/Ab Challenge".
6. Get my new website up and running!
I didn't finish them all. That’s why they were goals. I have excuses, but that's not what matters. What matters is: I took aim at something. Six times, too. Some times I got a bulls-eye, some I hit the target at least, and some fell so short I was still standing there with the arrow in my hand at the end of the year. Did I mention I also hit the bulls-eye? Crazy.