I truly love December. I love anticipating the first snow – which transforms the bleak landscape into a winter wonderland. I love the festive celebrations and spiritual truths surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. And I love the peaceful rest that comes between Christmas and New Year’s. It is a time for me to reflect on the previous year by fondly remembering the highlights, as well as evaluating some necessary resolutions for the months ahead. It is this anticipation of wiping the slate clean that energizes me – and usually causes me to take on more than I can handle.
The old saying “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” not only pertains to the dining table, but in all aspects of my life. I immediately start to think of a new exercise routine and how I can easily fit thirty minutes of aerobic activity into my daily life. And as long as I am at it, I could also add ten minutes of calisthenics before a quick shower. Of course, the stress level in my life warrants some attention, so some deep breathing and beginning yoga classes would be in order. Now I know many of you already follow this kind of healthy regimen and probably more. But this goal is too lofty for me and I know if I attempt to incorporate all this change into my life at once – I will fail before I even start.
But this year I would like to do something different. I would like to finish what I start. I hope to reacquaint myself with the treadmill – perhaps 20-30 minutes four or five days a week. Slow and steady wins the race, right? That will be the focus of 2012 and perhaps in 2013 I can add another exercise routine to the mix.
But eating and exercise are not the only areas of my life where I tend to overextend. I often manage to transform a relaxing pastime into a stressful event. I am enamored by color (probably because my own personal outlook of the world is so black and white – but that is the subject of another post). And while I really do not enjoy sewing – I love the patterns of quilt fabrics. I have already purchased material for holiday table runners (both Thanksgiving and Christmas, neither one made so far) – matching placemats and napkins – a girly quilt for Brynn consisting of bright pinks, greens, and whites – and a sudoku lap quilt for myself made with nine different batik patterns of varying shades of green and purple. I even spontaneously joined a quilt block-of-the-month group because the choices in patterns were either Jane Austen – Laura Ingalls Wilder – or Agatha Christie. How could I resist? That was in September. I have yet to take those pieces out of the packaging and have been too embarrassed to pick up the other three months.
In 2012 I would like to complete one of these projects – just to say that I actually quilted. I am tempted to declare that project will be the sudoku quilt, but it may end up being the 10 minute table runner (which took me three hours to make — but hey, who’s counting).
And then there is the photography interest that has yet to get off the ground. I have read numerous books on the subject and purchased several of them for my own personal library. I have taken a couple of online classes to help me develop my own creative eye – and yet I have taken very few photographs. There is fear lurking in there somewhere. Fear of what? I have no idea. But I would like 2012 to be the year that I actually get out of my head with photography and go out and actually take some pictures. I have no expectation of the quality of these photos – just that they represent my perspective of the world. Perhaps I will be inspired to write an essay or two from the pictures I take – or perhaps I will decide to scrapbook a few of them in a personal album. But those goals are secondary. I just want to feel comfortable behind the camera. I want to learn to document my life in pictures.
And then there is the realm of books. Since starting a book blog, my personal library has grown exponentially. I have not read a novel in nearly a year – and yet I continue to browse (and sometimes purchase) more. My most recent purchase was the entire series of the Harry Potter books in hard back for $40! And here is what I have learned about myself. The more choice I have …. the more paralyzed I become at making a decision. When my personal library was small, I was a voracious reader – but would rarely buy one book without having read one from my own personal shelves. Now that I have so many to choose from, I find it difficult to select just one to read for fear that there is another one that I might like better. It is a mental illness, I am sure.
So in 2012 I have decided not to join any reading challenges (as tempting as many of them sound). Well, at least I did make that proclamation until I caught up on the posts of A Novel Challenge. But even then I plan to only sign up for two challenges that I fully intend to complete. But that will be the subject of a separate post.
I have already rambled long enough here, but hopefully you understand my predicament. I do not want my energy and sense of anticipation to wane after January – but I want it to continue throughout 2012. I want to start new projects – and I want to actually complete them. I want to set goals for my life – but I want them to be manageable so that lifetime benefits can be realized. I have much that I want to pursue in the years ahead – but I need to learn to pace myself so that I can actually enjoy life itself.