I hope everyone had a nice Christmas or at the very least are enjoying their precious time off.
I always get a little depressed after Christmas because December is such a positive time of the year for me. I love the anticipation. The lights. The family dinners. And then once the gifts are unwrapped, it kind of feels like we have an entire year until we get to enjoy that all again.
Normally, I make the usual New Years resolution to lose weight, but this year I'm over that. Mostly, I want to feel a sense of anticipation and joy that goes year round, not just the first 24 days of December.
I also want to be braver, in all kinds of ways. I keep thinking about this woman I saw in Italy this past summer. T and I were sunning ourselves on the beach, enjoying the view of Mt. Vesuvius, when a woman and her two boys came paddling around the nearby cliff in a paddle-boat. They tied the boat to a buoy and went snorkeling. The woman spoke Italian, but her two young boys answered her and spoke to each other in English with American accents. I suspect they were visiting their mother's family for the summer break.
I just remember being struck by how confident she looked. She didn't look supremely happy or anything, she just seemed very secure. She wanted to take her kids snorkeling, so she rented a paddle boat and paddled it quite far from the town. Her kids followed her example completely. They looked completely comfortable diving into that clear water and all of them were clearly have a great time exploring the aquatic flora and fauna of the Mediterranean.
Eventually, they got tired of that spot and pulled themselves back into the little boat and paddled on, still going in the opposite direction of the town.
I want to be like that woman. I want to share fun experiences with my family without getting bogged down by nervousness or details that can seem insurmountable but are really nothing at all (i.e. renting boats).
I also want her body confidence. This woman was beautiful because she was enjoying herself. She wasn't rail thin, but she looked so comfortable swimming with her boys, wearing a bikini with no cover-up. Nothing. She didn't appear to give a damn whether anyone was watching her or not. She was in the moment, let's put it that way.
That's all I want from this upcoming year. I want to look back and say I had fun and relaxed into things that may have initially made me uncomfortable.
Part of that means taking more risks. Come July, my funding runs out. I don't know what I'll do then, but I do know that this year I'm going to focus more on my writing than I ever have allowed myself to do before. I'm making this my priority. If I want to be a writer, then that's the goal I'm going to pursue. I'm not going to dither about day-jobs. I'll figure that out, but I'm not going to waste another ounce of emotional currency on it. I will make money. I trust that I can.
And I know I'll get some writing published. I know it. I know I can do it. I can visualize my novel, written in full form. I can see a finished first draft of my chemistry book. It's fully achievable on my part. But I have to make it the priority.
The last thing I want to work on this year is my marriage. It's so important to me that T and I figure this out. I know we can. We're still best friends, there's no reason that our respective neuroses HAVE to get in the way. We each can work on ourselves. There's all sorts of things I'm doing to help myself (therapy, mediation, exercise, writing) and meanwhile I trust that my husband is doing the same. We'll get there, and I think the first step is to prioritize spending time together. This means more camping trips on the weekends, more time spent enjoying (and making) good art, and more time exercising together. We love doing these things, we just need to focus on them more than we had been doing in the past few months.
So those are my goals for 2016:
-Be joyful and brave.
-Focus on writing.
-Work on the marriage.
What are yours?