It’s the start of a new year, a time to
dig deep and discover what I want to have happen in my life this year.
Some call these “New Year’s Resolutions.” I’ve never quite liked that term. It conjures up images of me back on a treadmill (literally as well as figuratively).
I prefer to call them my New Year’s Determinations. These are statements that
- remind me of my ability to make conscious choices
- show me I’m interested in living my life to its fullest in this next year.
- reflect how I see my life evolving over the next 12 months.
Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, they serve also, let’s face it, as a kind of generic “to do” list.
I’ve comprised such a list each New Year’s Day since 1992. Twenty-two times I made a list, and twenty-two times I “put it out into the universe” by writing it in my journal.
And then I let it go.
Over the last twenty-two years my “determinations” have run the gamut from “get out of debt” and “lose 20 pounds” to the more dramatic, “be free of perfectionism (in myself and others).” That one I’m still working on, by the way.
This is the first year my list is going out into cyberspace. And you are my witnesses.
Here are my goals (blogging and otherwise) for the coming year, in no particular order:
1. I will continue weekly blogs, on Wednesday.
I see blogging as a form of community. And to support that community, I will show up, regularly. At least once a week.
2. I will introduce guest bloggers.
My focus continues to be “cultural differences,” and all the various (and fascinating) forms they take.
This year, I’m expanding to include the stories others have about their experiences with “cultural differences.” Look for one each month, beginning January 15 with Blush author Shirley Hershey Showalter.
I’m excited to see just how my various guests will treat the topic of cultural differences. I hope you will be too.
Look for my new profile picture by August.
4. I will send out a new survey in February.
This one will focus on the specifics of the past year, what has worked, what hasn’t. My categories currently are:
- Cultural Differences
- Deleted Scenes
- Life (as a series of sometimes difficult transitions)
- Midlife Change
- Peace Corps
We’ll see which of these will continue into the new year, which will fade into oblivion, and what new ones will join us.
5. I will continue activities that bring me joy, including but not limited to:
- read and review exciting new memoirs (and some classics too), one each month
- write four hours each day, whether I want to or not!
- visit my grandchildren quarterly (and their parents too, of course)
- sing tenor with my local hospice choir — we rehearse weekly
- plant and cultivate my gardens, daily from May to September
6. I will add a few new projects that I’ve had on the back burner for too long. Among them are:
- paint my dining room and kitchen some bright new color
- clean the cluttered piles from my office
- raise pea hens (and a few pea cocks too)
7. I will sell the ever-so-quaint, Chincoteague Island, Virginia, waterfront, log house-that-got-caught-in-the-bubble. Inquiries welcome.
8. I will publish my memoir, At Home On the Kazakh Steppe.
What more can I say about that? Stay tuned.
That’s it. Eight New Year’s Determinations that point me in a particular direction for 2014.
How about you? Have you determined your 2014 goals yet? Have you let anyone else know (a little social pressure can’t hurt)? Here’s your chance.