Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Making up for lost time in 2014

I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on 2013. As I thought through the year and all of the incredible opportunities along the way, the once-in-a-lifetime experiences I got to have, and the immense amount of time and energy I put into professional success, I also started to think about the many things I gave up to do all that.

Learning how to bake bread and preserves fell to the wayside. Taking up barre and yoga came in fits and starts. Planting the garden ended up eight weeks late due to busy schedules. And simply being in my home – my favorite place in the world – and just sitting and enjoying a cup of tea and a book, often fell victim to endless errands, busy work or mindless tv watching.

I have no regrets about 2013. In fact, it ranks as one of the most fun and exciting years of my life. But as I look ahead to 2014, I’m determined to make it a year filled with doing the things that matter and that I’m most passionate about, and saying no to the things that take me away from doing what I love most.

Even as I write this, I feel a sense of guilt about the wonderful and very worthy things that I will say no to this year like some of my volunteering and work activities. But I also feel a sense of joy in what I will be able to accomplish by saying no to things I like to do so I can say yes to things I truly love to do.

So what are the things in 2014 I plan to focus my energy on? Here’s just a sampling:
  1. Learning the basics of food making. I want to learn how to bake bread and bake it well. I want to make preserves, learn how to make my own pies, and put up food for the winter. And, thanks to my husband’s awesome Christmas gift of an ice cream maker, I want to learn to make the best dang ice cream ever.
  2. My garden. I’m upgrading from small plots to an 8-foot by 16-foot space and am bursting with anticipation. Can spring get here any sooner, please?
  3. Building our local community. We’ve lived in our house for three years and barely know our next door neighbors, let alone anyone else in our suburb. I plan to use goals 1 and 2 to help me with this.
  4. Yoga. I absolutely adored my barre classes in 2013, but am ready to try something new. My wonderful husband is getting me started with some yoga DVDs he got me for Christmas.
  5. Living simply. Cooking more simply, cleaning more simply, shopping less, buying less, eliminating clutter, and taking as much complication out of life as possible.
What are your goals and dreams for the new year? Where will you invest your time and energy?

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