Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fresh and Shiny

I was planning to write my obligatory New Year's post tomorrow, but since I have the day off alone today, and tomorrow my husband also has the day off, I think I have a better chance of getting it written today.

Last night we went out to dinner at Street, a funky newish restaurant run by a Top Chef Masters contestant.  The food was great, but the space was very small, so they'd put half their seating in an inner courtyard.  This is probably very comfortable most of the year, but last night there was a rowdy little windstorm kicking up.  Not only was it very chilly, but the umbrellas overhead thrashed around so violently a few times that I was kind of hoping one of us would get clocked in the head by the attached metal gutter and we'd get our meal for free.  (Not really.)  It made for an interesting dinner.

I guess the windstorm swept all the clouds away, though, because this morning, this is what I see out my window:

My poor little tree actually has blossoms on it right now.  It is so confused.

I love bright, peaceful mornings like these.  I usually don't get up before 7:30-8, but I wish I were more of a morning person, because I love the fresh, clean stillness of the early day.  It feels like anything is possible with the whole entire day spread ahead of you, ripe for action.  

This is how I feel about the new year.  January is one of my favorite months, partly because I love the calm after the holiday madness, but mostly because it has that same feeling of promise as the morning, with the whole year waiting ahead of you, tantalizing you.  

Some people think New Year's resolutions are a foolish promises you can't keep, for "people who believe in fairies and happy endings" (*cough* Betsy Lerner *cough*), but I love making them.  I don't think of them like, Starting January 1st, I am going to become a brand new person who does X, Y and Z.  I think of them as challenges to myself, benchmarks to strive for, and reminders of the person I want to be.  

I don't expect to succeed 100%, because I am realistic, and I know that things get in the way.  Problems crop up, disasters happen, change pushes us in different directions.  My old friend procrastination pokes his head in the door far too frequently. But I do find it helpful to set expectations for myself, and maybe put some kind of framework in place to help my goals along, like the calendar I set up last year that pushed me to finish my first draft.  

I'm not going to spell my resolutions out for you, but one of them is always about the gym (like every other person on the planet making resolutions).  One of them is about my writing.  Here's an easy one--I'd like to visit my family more often.

And this year, I think one of them is going to be about trying to get up earlier every day and take advantage of these glorious mornings.

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