Oh, 2013! If you were a person, I would give you a high five because I am so happy to see you. I’m actually really surprised at my joy in welcoming the new year because usually January 1st feels like another day. This year is different. Last year was so hard that my head and my heart agreed that we all needed a fresh start. 2013 is a good excuse to declare the start of something new and happy.
In 2012, my word for the year was devotion. For 2013, my word is finish, which will make sense when you see what my biggest projects of the year are. But I also want 2013 to be a year of fun and happiness, with some lighthearted projects to balance out my more serious pursuits. I’m not really making resolutions here—I already feel like I’m a work in progress, with resolutions to be kinder, more loving, more forgiving, more present. I am always striving to maintain a healthy balance, to make my ambition sustainable with my need for time to relax, reflect, drink some wine, and have fun. So while I’ve sort of ditched the idea of resolutions, I love the idea of setting intentions for the new year. Without further ado, here is my list.
* Finish. My two big projects for the year are my first-author paper and my first marathon. My boss and I literally just discussed the paper, and we agree that I’m really close to wrapping up my current project into a manuscript. We’re waiting for the news about the grant we submitted last month, but for now, it’s full speed ahead toward the finish line on my story. I’m estimating that I have about two solid months of experimental work to complete, and
maybe hopefully I can start writing the paper while I’m working on those experiments.
The second project is 26.2 miles long and five months of training: a marathon! I am equal parts excited and apprehensive about this. The plan is to run a full marathon in October. After some deliberation, I have settled on the Detroit Marathon. I’ll be writing about my marathon experience over at Feels Like Flying, so feel free to pop in over there if you want to hear more. Right now, I’m training for a half-marathon in March—I ran ~7 miles this morning, and it was glorious. I love winter in Texas.
* Explore. This one is a more lighthearted goal. Like many young women, I was inspired by Eat, Pray, Love, and the country that resonated the most with me from that book was Italy. I don’t really care if it’s cliché—we all do lots of things that are cliché. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth doing. This year I’d like to learn some Italian and practice my Italian cooking. I don’t have a plan for my language lessons yet, but for the cooking, I’m thinking of getting my paws on one of Marcella Hazan’s books. (I should have asked Santa to bring me one! Shoot.)
The other topic I want to explore is Vincent Van Gogh and his beautiful paintings. I have always had a soft spot for Van Gogh. His work makes me feel happy and peaceful. I want to read a Van Gogh biography. I also want to buy this print, which reminds me of the neighborhood in which I grew up. Something about those tall trees…
* Sparkle and glitter. I tend to be a “get the basics done” person. I don’t always embrace the little things that add something special to an occasion. This year I want to make more of an effort to do small, special things. For example, last week I wore eyeshadow two times! It was a record-setting week. But I had a funny moment in the morning where I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, You look perfectly lovely without any makeup. And I still believe that—I am a minimalist at heart, despite my chronic overpacking for travel.
“Sparkle and glitter” is me giving myself permission for more than just the basics. I’m not entirely sure what this will mean over the course of a year. But I’m excited to see where this idea takes me. Maybe mimosas after the marathon? Or some sparkly shoes? Some new furniture for my patio so I can properly enjoy Texas in the springtime? I’m open to suggestions for this category!
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So that’s that: three themes for the new year. I hope your 2013 is off to a great start, too!
PS Photo credit goes to my niece Lydia, who took that photo accidentally while she was playing around with my camera.