I have always loved a fresh start. Perhaps a remnant from my forever life as a dieter, I look forward to every New Year’s Day as a way to begin anew. I think about 2012 and the only thing that comes to mind is…how hard it was emotionally. Just how unbearably heavy it felt most of the way through. And though I can only really consider myself lucky– I traveled! I wrote a book! I’m alive! Frosting exists!– I still found myself floundering. Much of the heaviness had to do with having moved back to the east coast from Seattle after ending a seven year relationship–a marriage it had seemed. I felt I’d lost my life’s partner and my best friend. But it also had to do with writing a very vulnerable, very often painful memoir that forced me to really reconcile much of my past. Spending so much time inside my own head was unsettling.
The end of 2012 brings closure to a hard year for many, many people–certainly not just for me. It feels incredibly insensitive to even share my own struggle in this post when I consider all the pain that millions have suffered as recently as Newtown. Millions hurt more than me. Millions. But for the sake of honesty, I share.
I have decided that 2013 will bring with it some lightness. Some freshness. Whether or not it will actually bring these things is inconsequential when I know how hopeful I am. Because I’ve imposed all sorts of good vibes on the year ahead. I am overrun with positivity.
The key, I think, is believing that we can do better. That we can be better. That if we want to make a new start badly enough, we can. We will. This year, as a way of reflecting on the past and knowing how I want to change in 2013, I made a two-column list. The first column held all of the ways in which the past year went well, and the second column held all the ways it was challenging. When I finished, I took a long look at each. I smiled looking at the positive parts of last year. Then, focusing on the column of things that were challenging, I tried to surmise what could have gone differently to have made them less difficult. One example? Last year I worked exclusively by myself at home, writing, and all the while, I dealt with overwhelming feelings of loneliness and often boredom. In 2013, I hope to find work that draws me away from home to a social environment.
Other goals? I’m going to continue writing even when I think writing is the pits, I’m going to continue blogging and cook often enough that I can share more recipes, I’m going to meditate and practice mindfulness, I’m going to call my friends more- because I’m so, so terrible at keeping in touch, and I’m going to read more books.
I’d love to know: How was 2012 for you? Are you looking forward to starting over? Do you have any goals?