My New Year’s Resolution in 1997 was “to keep better track of what the heck was going on in my life 1) so I could remember myself and 2) so I would have something to tell the jillions of people that ask me what’s been going on lately.” That’s when and why I started this blog. I’ve updated it pretty faithfully for the last ten years. I decided to take a month off in August/September 2001 for the Virgo Month of Leisure, opting instead to blog by postcard. That turned out to be a really weird month.
This blog has seen me get divorced, buy a house, throw a bunch of parties, get by with cheap or free rent, become a librarian, get blogger-famous, date hippies, protest the WTO, land in the hospital, go to Burning Man, fall for a future law student, travel the US, move to Vermont, start new blogs, make new friends, add thousands of photos to Flickr, make the papers, and send and receive hundreds of postcards. It’s finding me now in a big house, on the side of an icy road in Vermont, drinking coffee, wearing a wool hat and a wool sweater wondering what the next ten years will be like.
The last six to nine months have been particularly up and down. While the end of my long-term relationship was a big deal in this sort of “I had a PLAN and now I don’t, wtf?!” way, being in a deteriorating relationship for a few months prior to that was what was more damaging and harder to get over. My Mom’s lung cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment a few months later (doc says all clear for now, I can almost not type that for fear of jinxing it) was one of the more personally difficult things I’ve gone through as an adult, partly because I didn’t write much about it here or talk to many people about it. I don’t really have a “smiles everyone” approach to adversity, but I find public hand-wringing distasteful personally, so I don’t do it much here. It’s something I need to do a little work on.
My professional life has done nothing but continue to be awesome which has been a nice solid bedrock underneath all the rest of this. Getting shoved into a familiar-yet-new living situation (same house, same place, just me) has been constantly fascinating to me. I feel very lucky to enjoy the inner workings of my own head, because I spend a lot of time in there. This work and travel year brought me new friendships and closer friendships with a lot of my existing friends. My travel schedule helped that to happen. Out of the 50+ places I stayed last year about a third of them were with people who I’d never stayed with before, a third were hotels and a third were family and existing friends. I feel like I have the plane/hotel thing down now, I did not feel that way at the beginning of the year. I’ve enjoyed having the last month or so to just be home and reconnect with my routine.
This was also the first year I had any sort of a fitness routine, which I mentioned in the last post. Feeling in control of my health and weight has been a huge deal, I hadn’t realized how much it would be when I started. Keeping track of it has also been useful, since the organization part comes naturally and the results are obvious: I swam a ton, I lost some weight, I have been happier, I am musclier. A side effect of this has been an increase in general confidence which is a mixed blessing. I’ve always felt pretty confident but now, in my own me-driven, me-centered universe, that can border on arrogance and/or aggression. I get competitive with myself and need to keep it in check to not be competitive with other people when it’s not appropriate. On the “to do” list.
Another weird side-effect of making new plans is that since I’m not planning to move, leave my job and buy a house (G’s and my nominal post-law school plan) I find myself suddenly sort of … rich, relatively speaking. I had been saving money for a possible down payment which is now mine to do something with. Kate and I are travelling to Australia in early March which will suck up some of this, but not terribly much. I’m now in a situation where I’ve met all my short term financial goals and need to start thinking more sensibly about long-term ones. I’m going to start using Wesabe in 2007 to track my pennies, but I need to put in place a larger plan to deal with my dollars.
Other than that, my ongoing resolutions to stay well-fed, well-slept, and around things that smell good seem well within my reach. I hope this new year brings you peace and joy. I’m optimistic that mine might.
jessamyn, abada abada