End of one year… Beginning of another

We blinked and all of a sudden it is 2016! The end of 2015 wrapped up in such a whirlwind. We spent NYE in France with a group of very welcoming, very fun-loving folks…followed that up with several days in Lucerne…then trekked to Munich to stay with cousins…and ended our time in Europe with one, single day in Paris. I feel like my brain and body hasn’t stopped moving in 10 days. It was a overwhelming, wonderful, magical trip. However, sitting here on my sofa, listening to music, drinking tea feels pretty equally enchanting. Home is so much sweeter after being gone for a spell, isn’t it?

But enough about the trip (for now!). It’s a new year, practically middle of the first month of the year already, and I have a good list brewing.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I do… and I don’t. I love the concept of starting off a year fresh and thinking about goals and intentions. Any excuse to make a list is good for me. On the other hand, any day of the year, any moment of the day is just a good time as any to work to positively enhance your life. So, understanding that focusing on resolutions at the start of a new calendar year is arbitrary at best, here is what I’m hoping for 2016:

  1. More reading (duh). Here is where I admit I fell short of my goal in 2015. Yes, I read what I initially set out to read: 24 books. It was a meager goal, but I needed to start small in order to build some good reading momentum. Once I knew I’d hit 24, I picked a new goal: 31 books. If I would have read 31 books, it would have been one more than the most books I’ve ever read in a year, which I accomplished in 2009. I completed book #30 just before our Europe trip and assumed (incorrectly) that I’d be able to read a book while traveling. That just did not happen. I won’t bemoan this… I read 30 books in 2015! I’m happy with that. But, for 2016, I’d like to read 35 books. To do this, I want to continue making good use of my library, read some books that have been living on my bookshelf, ignored for years, and listen to more audio books.
  2. More music. This may seem silly, but… I sometimes forget I can turn on music. In college I was, like most other college students, snobbily obsessed about the music I listened to and heavily curated my itunes collection. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more disconnected with music and artists/bands. I’d like for that to change in 2016. We’ve recently become Amazon Prime members, and I plan on using the Prime Music app on my laptop and phone to stay more connected to music.
  3. Simplify. Josh and I are on a mission to de-clutter. We are tired of our piles of stuff that we keep in the garage and in closets, storing them for some unknown moment of possibly needing said items. Aside from bike equipment, our camping items, and a few other odds and ends, we need to get the rest of the stuff OUT of our house. You know how when you move you kind of thoughtlessly pack up all your stuff and move it to the next place? Josh and I have a few years of that under our belts and we have items in boxes that have just moved from one place to another over the years… things we haven’t touched in years. As in, they stay in the box we packed them up in, untouched, unneeded. It somehow feels like we’ll just be able to breathe better if we get rid of all this stuff.
  4. Support local. We love our town. We love what it offers and how it is growing. Supporting local means continuing to shop and eat local, but I would also like to dig in and support local organizations. A few that I particularly love: Capital Area District Libraries and our local NPR affiliate, WKAR. I’d also love to connect to organizations like Refugee Development Center.
  5. BIKE! More biking. Less driving. This can be hard in the winter in the midwest, but after our Europe trip where EVERYONE either walks or bikes, I am now more in tune with how frustrating driving is, not to mention it’s not great for the environment. Today was my first day driving since December 30 and… it wasn’t fun. Traffic was bad, drivers were distracted, I encountered a bad accident, and I just generally felt like my blood pressure was a bit higher than normal. Also, Josh and I are scheming and dreaming up our next bike touring trip. We are thinking about a bike trip in Canada.
  6. Become. That’s the word I want to focus on this year. A bit cheesy, yes, but I feel like 2016 has the potential to be a transformative year. I’m actually starting a new position at work that comes with learning new skills and stretching myself professionally. I’m nervous… but mostly excited for this new opportunity. I enlisted the help of google to help further define what this word means to mean this year. To become means, simply, to begin to be. The possibilities are endless.

Well, I think that about covers it! 2015 came to a chaotic and wonderful close. I feel like I’m walking through a wide-open door to the unknown of 2016, and I feel ready for the adventure.

Happy January…Happy 2016…Happy, happy!

End of one year… Beginning of another

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