that was the year that was

I feel like I skipped a year and now I am back to visiting the US and various libraries and guestrooms with backpack or travel bag. I missed it. I am freshly back (well not even home yet but holed up in Westport watching it rain) from a long trip to see Jim’s parents outside of Phoenix and a short trip to New York City to give a talk and see some friends.

Highlights included a musical instrument museum, a drive out at night in the desert, a few easy train trips, an AirBnB place that was jessamyn-perfect (sort of unusual), a fun meetup, a great dinner (lentil flour donuts!) and cracking some kids up trying to explain to them what a Jiffy Lube was.

My year-end reading list is also online over at as well as links to my talks and some info about the conference that I was at. I started the year with inbox zero but that’s been creeping up not because I’m not on top of things but more because my inbox is my to do list and there are some things that need to stay on that list until I get all the way home. There is probably a better way to manage this than I am currently managing it.

The word for the early part of this year is hygge (one of those non-translateable ones, read up on it, you’ll be glad you did). “You know, the thing you have to understand about the Danes is that we believe that when you’re moving, your soul doesn’t catch up with you until you stop for half an hour.” and hygge is about that slow down and catch up part.

wrap-up: it was fine!

2013 could have been a better year. My personal year went pretty okay–I did less traveling, I went places I liked, I hung out with people who delighted me and saw a lot of friends–but it was tough for some other people I care a lot about. I wrote out my libraries list and was pleased with it. I will work on my reading list real soon now. I didn’t keep track of my guestroom list last year for some reason. I’ll probably get on that again. My exercise routine has become standard so while I can tell how many time I visited the gym last year (78), I’m not sure how far I biked or swam or fast-walked. This is okay with me. I spent maybe a third to a quarter of my time in Westport and that seemed about right. Jim and I rang in the new year with neighborhood friends (I dressed up, more pics here) and then went out to a poutine and chicken parm breakfast in Barre the next morning. We would have tanked the day early by having Oreo pancakes and bacon but they were out of Vermont maple syrup AND bacon by the time we got there so this was probably a good thing.

My resolution this year, if I have one, is to keep on keeping on as much as possible and to work on “not getting wrapped around the axle” so much, to quote a phrase my father used to like. That is, I’m sure there will be ups and downs to this year, like every year and I’m sure I’ll have my share of annoying travel, bad nights of sleep, and interpersonal conflicts. But those only have to last as long as they last and not live on in my head as some sort of personal instant replays that I carry with me and go over and over. Not living within my own stress or finding ways to dissociate stressful things from the rest of what’s going on in my generally enjoyable brain is my goal. This is in keeping with my time-taking resolution last year. Keeping fewer lists, keeping less track, less score. That went okay. Happy 2014 to those who celebrate that sort of thing.