Sometimes we know the best thing to do, but fail to do it. New Year’s resolutions are often like that. We make resolutions because we know it would be better for us to lose weight, or get fit, or spend more time with our children. The problem is that a resolution is generally easier to break than it is to keep.
~ Peter Singer
Most years I make some sort of New Year’s resolutions. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment. I don’t succeed at most of my resolutions. It’s the challenges I present myself with during other parts of the year that work for me. The challenges are easier to stick with, I think, because they evolve out of a strong need or desire, whereas my resolutions are things I think I ought to be doing. Generally speaking, those resolutions are also things a lot of other people think they should be doing. Get fit, lose weight, run a marathon, take better care of myself, eat healthful foods, etc.
This year I am not making resolutions. I am busy with my Wellness challenge, and it is enough for now. I exercise, I have established a regular yoga and meditation practice, I get outside for long walks, and my diet is mostly made up of Good Stuff (whole foods). I’m following the 80% method which means sticking with the plan 80% of the time. The other 20% is for travel and treats and other indulgences.
At the beginning of the year our local newspaper ran an article about 15 Things to Do (in the area) this year. Most of those 15 things were events and/or festivals occurring in the area throughout the year. Reading the article reminded me of when M and I were living in Sabbaticalville (West Chester, PA). Because we knew we’d be there for a short period of time (nine months), we made a list of things we wanted to see or do while we were in the area. We managed to see or do nearly everything on the list, making it a very good year of seeing, doing, participating, and learning.
The article and the reminder of our sabbatical almost-year have inspired me to make my own list of 15 things I would like to do this year. Here they are, in no particular order, although some may be time sensitive.
1. Spend a night, or at least part of a night, outdoors watching the stars. We have an incredible, free from light pollution, view of the night sky here on the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, and I don’t take advantage of it nearly as much as I ought to. While I’d like to resolve that I’ll get outside X times per week to look at the stars, spending one night outdoors is less resolution-like, and will allow me to get to know the nighttime here a little better. Anything else is a bonus.
2. Go to VegFest in Rehoboth Beach. M and I talked about going last year, but didn’t make it. I’m not sure why. We might have been traveling at the time or had guests here at the ranch.
3. Take a walk on the boardwalk in Ocean City. We’ve only done that once or twice since moving here. To be honest, I prefer going to Assateague Island. It’s less crowded, less touristy, and more about the beach, the ocean, and nature. But there is something playful and fun about boardwalks at the beach, and it’s time to get out there and explore.
4. Sign up for the CSA again. I’m still trying to use up all those orange vegetables from last year. Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squashes were so abundant that we’ll probably be eating them until spring when it will be time to sign up. That’s not a bad thing when you can space them out. (By the way, this Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili is a great way to use up some sweet potatoes, and it is awesome. I could live on this stuff, that’s how good it is. I did alter the recipe a tad by using canned chipotles with some adobo sauce instead of the ground chipotle powder. If you’re going to do that, be careful. It can get pretty spicy if you add too much. The best way to tone it down is to remove the seeds from the chipotles.)
5. Spend a day, or half a day at least, sitting in the woods, waiting to see what comes along.
6. Spend a day, or half a day at least, sitting on the dock, waiting to see what comes along.
7. Listen to live music. Go to a concert, a festival, or some other event that involves live music.
8. Enter some photos in the Art in Nature Photo Festival again. Last year was a chance to get my feet wet and learn a little something about the process. Let’s make it fun this year, and enter something I like rather than something I think the judges might like.
9. Go to D.C. while the cherry trees are in bloom.
10. Watch a parade. Live and in person, of course. Not on television. There are plenty of festivals throughout the year that include a parade of some sort.
11. Go on a group bike ride. There are short bike rides around here that would be suitable for someone at my level. (I haven’t been on my bike since… I don’t know. Sometime during last summer, I guess, so my level is pretty low right now.)
12. Learn to kayak! We have so many water trails around here to explore. I’m missing out on a lot by not getting in the water.
13. Visit Trap Pond State Park in Delaware. Not only are there bald cypress trees, I can learn to kayak there. I’d prefer to learn in a large pond where I don’t have to worry about tides and currents. Win-win.
14. Reestablish a morning writing habit. I know. This sounds like a resolution. Okay, it IS a resolution. But it’s for a good cause. I spend most of my day alone and words build up inside, and poor M has to listen to me babble for the longest time when he comes home in the evening. When I was in the habit of writing Morning Pages, I didn’t babble so much. Not that M seems to mind my babbling, but it would be nice to give the man a break.
15. See at least one film at a theater. We have our own little theater here at the ranch and a subscription to Netflix, but it’s so much more fun to see a movie at a theater. I thought about adding “go to a film festival,” but that’s easier said than done around here. Everything is so Far Away.
That should do it. I’m setting only one requirement: have fun. Be playful, be creative, and just enjoy. If I do all or most of these things, great. If I only do one or two, that’s also great.
Do you have any fun plans for the year? If so, leave a note in the comments. I’d love to hear all about them.
Thanks for visiting on this foggy, rainy Monday. I don’t think we’ll see the sun set today, but we could go out to the front porch and watch the Great Blue Heron and the Fish Crows. I’ve been watching them this afternoon. There are five crows and one heron, all fishing from the lagoon as the ice melts. The heron caught a really big fish. It took him a while to get it down. I think some of the fish may have been frozen in the ice, and that’s what is making the fishing so fine out there today. Every now and then the heron chases the crows away, but they don’t stay gone for long. Whatever they’re eating, they’re enjoying it.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
Today’s joys: Watching the heron and the crows; the fog rolling off the lagoon and creek; relaxing on a rainy day; spending some time writing this morning; a seagull walking around on the icy surface of the lagoon.