Happy 2013!

AU0A7743 AU0A7645 AU0A7626 AU0A7547 AU0A7481 AU0A7462 AU0A7447 AU0A7381 AU0A7364 AU0A7330 AU0A7251I have just finished ringing in the new year.  For some folks, the new year comes as a surprise.  They were expecting the world to end on the 21st or there-abouts.  We were all supposed to be done before we had the chance to ring in the new year of 2013.

It’s my sincere hope that all those who thought the world was truly coming to an end will feel welcomed and included in the new “off-the-grid” year.  After all, I don’t care if you thought the world would end of not.  I only care if we can peacefully co-exist together.  You were wrong this time, but, who knows, you might be right next time.  I don’t wish to point the finger at you and ask if your mother was ugly.

On the flip side, I don’t want to miss out on toasting the new year, either.

I’m happy that the ball dropped and the new year came in just as it has for many decades now.  While the end of the planet might have been more dramatic, rolling over to a new year with a new lease on life seems a whole lot more promising to me.

Now, if only I could stay awake late enough to write something really meaningful about us  . . .

Since that doesn’t seem to be an option, here are some really cool fireworks shots that might help fill the gap when it comes to ringing in the new year:

Ringing in the New Year

 

For 41 years, I lived in one place.  Even when I went other places for weeks or months at a time, it was always temporary and I knew I would be returning home to Columbus.  There are certain things that happen when you always return to the same place for 41 years.

First, you make friends.  This happens through the natural course of life, although most of my current friends are people I met through work or a networking effect of those I met through work.  Over 41 years, I ended up with an eclectic group of friends who honor me by at least acting like they enjoy our company.

A second thing that happens is a place becomes familiar.  You hear about an event one year and think “Oh, we should try that next year.”

Between learning about the annual events and having friends who invite us to do things and/or have parties, we never really had to put much thought into New Year’s Eve.  We stumbled across something we wanted to do as a couple, were invited to do something with other couples, or were invited to someone’s party.

Now, as a couple with no dogs, no children, activities that mainly take us out of town, and home offices, it’s suddenly very difficult to meet friends.

The strangeness of being without geographically close friends stuck home when we found ourselves with no plans for New Year’s Eve.  I realize in retrospect that I have simply gotten lazy when it comes to planning New Year’s Eve.  I have taken it for granted that something will fall into our laps without considering how that could possibly happen in a new place.

Figuring that New Year’s would take care of itself, I didn’t bother to make any definitive plans.  Then, New Year’s was upon us.  Interestingly, it did take care of itself.  We decided to walk across the bridge to downtown and return to a restaurant we hadn’t been to since a visit to Chattanooga before we moved here, back in March.  I was skeptical that they would have any tables open, but it turns out that they had several tables for two available.  Apparently going out as a twosome is not that popular on New Year’s Eve.

We had an amazing dinner and shared a great bottle of wine.  After talking and laughing our way through four courses, we walked out feeling reconnected and ready to face a new year together.  However, it was only 9:00PM.

So, we went to the new Sherlock Holmes movie to keep us up until midnight.  It turns out I’m much older than I thought–I was nodding off in the first 10 minutes.

After the movie, we walked to the center of the Market St bridge by midnight.  We stood on the bridge and kissed at midnight and watched fireworks in at least 5 different directions as we made our way home.  So what if we were home by 12:15AM?

The Anti-Resolution Path to Resolutions

Every year I struggle to not set New Year’s resolutions.  Every year, I tell myself that I am not going to set myself up for failure one more time.  And then, every year, I find myself excited and motivated about some crazy goal (or, more likely, 14 or 15 crazy goals) that somehow managed to slip into my consciousness without me acknowledging they’re new year’s resolutions at all.

This year, I am going to head myself off at the pass.  I’m going to set a few, simple resolutions.

First, let’s talk some more about being judgmental.  I’m no expert, but it seems like the path to being a bitter and lonely person is to make your way through the world by clinging to small thoughts, thinking the worst of others, jumping to uninformed and unfair conclusions, and summarizing others whole characters based on what may be a few isolated events.

Since “Don’t be judgmental” doesn’t work so well as a resolution–it’s oh, so hard to focus on not doing something–I will instead:

  1. Notice when I am being judgmental
  2. Correct myself in my phrasing or thinking to make it non-judgmental.

For example, if I hear myself saying, “He’s an idiot.”  I will correct myself to say, “In this particular instance, his idea doesn’t work so well.”  This gives me a positive action to take instead of something to worry about avoiding.  After all, if there’s one important lesson I’ve learned from hang gliding, it’s that when we fixate on what we want to avoid, we end up right in the middle of the puddle.

Second, I want to revisit the idea of coming up with great gift ideas for my loved ones.  Since trying to come up with ideas for everyone might be a bit too much to expect, my resolution is to come up with great gift ideas for the 2 most difficult people I buy gifts for:  my nephew and my husband.  The rules for this resolution are that the gifts must be within the price range I normally spend for Christmas, but can be purchased and given at any time.  The gifts must be received and agreed upon to be great gift ideas by both my nephew and my husband for my resolution to be achieved.

Finally, since I like a list to have at least three items in it, I resolve to eat more fruits and vegetables.  I am a bit disappointed that I need this resolution–eating lots of fruits and vegetables had become a way of life for me some time ago.  However, since I find myself eating fewer and fewer fruits and vegetables, I resolve to eat enough fruits and vegetables to average 3 or more servings per day.  By fruits and vegetables, I mean raw or steamed, unprocessed foods.  French fries are not a vegetable.

Three resolutions.  We shall see if even that is too much.