Well, well, well! Here we are at the dawn of another new year. Like most people, I took time this past week to think about 2013. And I can say (with some surprise; it’s amazing what a little reflection will help you realize) that it was one of my best years in recent memory. Sparing you the minute details, I think the most fitting phrase to describe my 2013 is open door. Sometimes the open door served to let out; other times, the open door served to let in.
And it was good.
So far, the word that best sums up my feelings about the new year is curiosity. In the mild sluggishness of my mind that always descends after Christmas, when I return to my quiet apartment after being surrounded by the sensory-stimulating bliss of family, questions drift about. How will my marathon training go? How will my first-ever European vacation (a trip to France in May, woohoo!) go? What new friends will I make this year? And the most pressing question: what in the world will happen this season on Downton Abbey?
Maybe when the jet lag wears off or my coffee kicks in a little more, I’ll feel that ol’ New Year’s burst of enthusiasm, but for now, I’m content with curiosity. Curiosity paves the way for action and exploration, but leaves room (kind of like putting a pretty median in the street) for some careful consideration. I don’t think grand, dramatic resolutions do that. Grand resolutions are more like superhighways with no median whatsoever.
At work, at the end of each year I have to complete one of those dreaded Performance Evaluations. Frankly, I would rather go to the dentist, optometrist, and gynecologist all in one day than tackle a Performance Evaluation. But it’s mandatory, and believe it or not, I’ve found that one portion of it can actually be applied to reflections about the past year and thoughts for the upcoming one. It’s called “Start, Stop, Continue.” It’s pretty self-explanatory. My “Start, Stop, Continue” for 2013/2014 goes like this:
START: Going to church on a regular basis again. I pray and I have faith, but actually attending Mass provides affirmation and comfort that are mighty difficult to find at home, at yoga, on a run, or anywhere else.
STOP: Trying to earn my own inner Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on a daily basis, for pete’s sake. Also STOP thinking that I should look like the Runner’s World cover girls. Perfection is dull, not to mention exhausting.
CONTINUE: That “open door” metaphor I mentioned earlier. I want to continue to open myself to let out what I don’t need, and open myself even wider to let in what I do.
I don’t expect that I’ll be accomplishing all of those overnight. Or over a week, or a month. But in my curiosity about the new year, as I wonder about events to come and start proceeding forward, I’ll have those things to consider. I’ll have those pretty medians in the street to guide me, graciously.
What would your “Start, Stop, Continue” look like?