On New Year’s Eve, I thought it would be fun for the family to come up with some New Year’s resolutions, which I would then duly record in my calendar book so that when 2013 rolled around, we could see how well we all did. Yes, I know that New Year’s resolutions have a bad reputation. How easy it is to disregard them after a month or so and to keep making the same resolutions year after year. (I have certainly been guilty of this.)
But another way to think of them is as “challenges,” which, if approached with the right spirit, can add zest and excitement to our lives. I do realize that if approached with the wrong crack-the-whip spirit, challenges can drive us crazy, too. But this is the new year, so it is perfectly appropriate to view challenges in an optimistic light. And if we fall short, well, there’s always next year.
I’m not going to share the family’s challenges, but I will share mine. I came up with three, but there are a couple more that are simmering, and if all goes well, then who knows? Perhaps I’ll tackle them as well.
First and foremost is to finish Maya and the Book of Everything, the children’s novel I have been working on for the past three years. As I am truly coming down the homestretch, I made a really, really optimistic resolution to finish the first draft of Maya by the end of February. Definitely a poke to get going.
Second is to reach my goal weight by the end of the year. Since May, I’ve lost 40 pounds, and I’d like to lose another 40 pounds or so. I’ll soon be writing more about this in upcoming posts.
I got the idea for my third challenge from my friend Jill Lectka. She wants to bike up the Winthrop Street hill starting from downtown Hallowell. It might be wrong to call this hill the mother of all hills, but it is very long and very steep, and it would take a fair amount of training to be able to pedal to the top of this hill. Somehow, though, when Jill mentioned she wanted to bike up this hill, I couldn’t get the notion out of my head and found I wanted to bike up that hill as well.
Lucky me! I live in Winthrop, where there are hills galore, and some very challenging ones, too. Perhaps not quite as challenging as the Winthrop Street hill, but challenging enough for plenty of training opportunities.
Another resolution, but not recorded: Bike and walk more; ride in the car less. This can be difficult, especially in the winter and especially with a daughter and son-in-law living in South Portland and another daughter living in New York City. We will visit them. That is a given. But perhaps we can cut down on local driving to make up for an occasional trip to South Portland and to New York. This one will take quite a bit of planning as well as keeping track of mileage. But each and every one of us is responsible for our carbon output, and, as the saying goes, talk is cheap. It is time for me to put words into action.
A longer-term goal, perhaps when Maya is finished, is to publish a cookbook for family and friends. Over the years, I have come up with some good recipes, especially for soup. Unfortunately, I am also a rather disorganized cook, and these recipes are scattered everywhere—in cookbooks as scribbled additions, in folders, on this blog, and sometimes even I don’t know where to find them. And though I am somewhat ashamed to admit this, I don’t always correctly translate my own scribbles. Anyway, it seems to me that the cookbook would not only be a nice legacy but also a way for me to become more organized, a goal and a challenge that I am always working on.