I’ve been sending out New Year’s cards to friends. I waited until all the holiday stuff at Walgreens went to 75% off and then bought a set of cards that said this inside (well, that is, after I scribbled out “season” and replaced it with “year.” ha.):
I liked the sentiment of these words. It’s mid-winter and for us in Wisconsin, there is a sense of stillness and quiet. The snow creates a layer of softness that numbs sounds and movements. It feels very much like a time for reflection and planning–a storing up of energy.
I think we can create a “feeling of wonder” for the year by experiencing gratitude. This is why I enjoy thinking about all the good things and changes the last year has brought me. Here’s my list:
What 2013 Brought
- I read so many wonderful books and essays. I was a sponge this year and definitely absorbed more than I created. A list of favorites to come soon…
- I moved to the country in the summertime, where I made animal friends (especially bonded with a little lamb named Aida) and remembered how much I love photography, especially taking photos of nature and landscapes.
- I celebrated my birthday by camping at a state park (with what must have been a family reunion for mosquitoes), but enjoyed night-hiking under the moon, biking and taking in views of the Mississippi with my favorite person in the world.
- I made music. I wrote songs that helped me process the transitions from this year. I collaborated and played music with great friends. I learned a few covers, including songs from a new favorite, Sharon Van Etten and an old favorite, Daisy May.
- I had two personal essays (that were dear to my heart) published.
- Joined a gym for the first time in my life, learned how to use resistance machines and how to operate a treadmill without falling off. (Here’s a tip: don’t close your eyes)
- Found myself on a spontaneous road trip towards the north lands with old friends. We played the most giggly game of “would you rather” ever.
- Met some new, fantastic people, who I started meaningful friendships with. One of whom is the bright and magical Hannah, who does spoken word poetry and is also building a little house!
- I celebrated the wedding of two great friends, whose love and relationship is so heartwarming and inspiring, the event gave me tingly warm feelings for days after.
- A Big One: I started building a little house! I’ve learned more construction skills this year than I know what to do with. It feels amazing to know this thing is happening because of my own two hands.
- I finally gave the old ’93 Beretta to the junk yard and bought a car (almost) 10 years newer. I have so much gratitude for this new car because I can put to rest many of the insecurities and anxieties I’ve had driving the past few years.
- I learned little by little to be a bit better to myself and less self-critical.
- This year, I fully announced my veganism to family and friends. Made it to the one-year mark as such too.
- In related news, I found and mastered what are now some of my favorite vegan recipes: Vegan Nacho Cheeze (with whole potatoes and carrots), classic coconut layer cake, spicy peanut sesame noodles, and coconut curry.
- I found a love for podcasts, when I’m driving, when I’m cooking, when I’m exercising…I just love soaking up stories and information this way.
- I got a real hair cut for the first time in 8 years (10 inches gone)…and realized I love short hair.
- Lastly, I celebrated a relationship of 7 lucky years with my partner.
So many good things to be grateful for! I’m looking forward to what 2014 will bring.