So this is the new year

Tinsel and ornament


Happy, happy 2014! Something about a fresh, sparkly year makes me feel so inspired and excited and ready. And though I’m not making official resolutions this year, I definitely enjoy the process of reflection . . . and the idea of tweaking my habits to help build a more fulfilling life.

If 2013 taught me anything, it’s that I can do much more in an average day than I once believed. Post-college life has made me a little lazy. Back when I was a student? Well, I commuted to school, took a full course load and worked at least 30 hours a week in the evenings and on weekends. In between my time at the craft or book store, I studied and wrote papers and read, read, read. It was challenging at points, but I got it done.

When I got promoted at the paper in 2009, I quit my second job at Borders and, for the first time in my adult life, found my nights were actually my own. I had time. I started reading and writing more, then really committed to this blog. I took up photography, put myself back into the dating scene, started my Etsy shop. I got hobbies, basically. I got a life.

Then I got engaged.

Last year was consumed by wedding planning. When I wasn’t working, I was typing into spreadsheets and designing invitations and searching for the perfect red shoes. I moved, then had to regroup and reorganize. And then it was Thanksgiving and Christmas and there was so much to do, and I didn’t have time to think about what was next . . . because I had presents to wrap, cookies to bake. You know completely. You understand.

But the tinsel has been swept up with the crumpled ribbons and bows. The holidays are over. We’re taking down the Christmas tree this weekend, a ritual I find both sad and refreshing. I’m sitting in our apartment with my newly-chopped-off hair (y’all, it is short!), listening to our downstairs neighbor’s rock music pour through the floor, and it’s a strange but brave new world.

And what now?

The time I spent endlessly arranging the details of Katie’s wedding and my own is now crisp and fresh and ready to be filled. Though I’m working my full-time schedule, like always, my evenings are once again my own.

I feel the possibilities, tingly and exciting.

I’m daydreaming about upping my ante with photography, getting into a light exercise routine, expanding our healthy-meal repertoire, doing some traveling. I also want to recommit to my writing and start working on the book I’ve had floating around in my brain for years, always buried and hidden under “someday.”

I want someday to be now.

Last year was filled with high highs and low lows, a year of uncertainty and deep love and change. It feels good to finally be settled, even if being settled can be unsettling, too.

But I’m going to get going. Get gutsy. Keep trying.

This will be our year.


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21 thoughts on “So this is the new year

  1. Happy New Year!

    Doesn’t it feel awesome to have so much free time ahead of you? So much possibility! I love that feeling.

    Can’t wait to hear more about the writing in 2014! xo

    PS- Thanks for sharing a link to my contest 🙂

  2. Isn’t it awesome how the new year does that to you? I’m not going to really find my energy until the kids get back into school, but I know it’s there waiting for me. They say to pick one word, a mantra maybe, for the year, and mine is strength. Strength to not let things beat me down, strength to be vigilant with my hard-headed kids, and physical strength for my body. We have just turned to a fresh new page!

    • Strength! I love that, Sandy — and I’ve been thinking about my word all morning. I think it’s going to be patience. With myself, with others, with life in general. All things in time.

  3. I love your perseverance and attitude towards life! Your writing is great, too! Congrats on your engagement and I hope 2014 is even better than 2013! Hope you get writing on that novel because I’m excited to read it! ^^

  4. I want to do some more cooking this year too. I want to come up with maybe 10-15 recipes that I know we like and I know we can cook well. Preferably one pot recipes, preferably recipes we can get done and on the table quickly, preferably healthy… tall orders!

    I’m excited to see about your haircut. I’ve had mine short-ish for a few months and am starting to really love it.

  5. Nicely written. I love the hope and excitement for 2014! It’s nice to have time and to recognize all the possibilities that you can fill that time up with. Enjoy your nights. Although you can get so much done in one night, you can also see that time fly by and quickly disappear!

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