Well, here we are.
Right now it’s Sunday evening but I probably won’t post this until Monday morning. To me, Monday morning feels like the true and appropriate beginning of all things new. After two weeks of holidays (with thanks to my ever fabulous employer for the generosity) I’ve spent virtually my whole day cleaning, organization and preparing to assimilate myself back into real life tomorrow (or today, as it so happens to be). With everything squared away and the final hours of both my holidays and the festive season as a whole ticking away, it only seemed appropriate to sit down and reflect on everything these past couple of weeks have been.
I can’t deny it, guys: I have a difficult time with the end of things.
I had so much fun preparing for Christmas this year. I embraced everything about the season. I was that obnoxious person who started her shopping weeks in advance and busted out the music and decorations as early as I could. All I wanted to do was get wrapped up in the festive season and, believe me, I did.
The first week of our holidays (Luc also had the pleasure of a full two weeks off) was completely devoted to friends and family. Between the two of us we managed to spend a lot of really great quality time with many of our closest friends (I’ll pause here to send my thanks to the good people that were involved with Operation Red Nose this year here in Quinte. It’s such a wonderful service and its volunteers made sure that our festive get-togethers stayed happy and accident-free by getting everyone home safely. And to those that shared their stories with us, we are especially grateful ). Normally the holidays tend to be so busy that it’s often difficult for many of us to coordinate schedules so I was as happy with the way things worked out as I was with the amount of time we were all able to spend with each other.
As for Christmas itself, we had four different celebrations between the 24th and 28th in order to accommodate both of our families. This doesn’t include one extended family Christmas dinner earlier in the month or the fact that this was the first year that I didn’t wake up on Christmas morning in the company of my family or another. It was just Luc and I this year and, I have to say, the whole thing made me feel like a real adult.
Speaking of Christmas firsts and feeling like an adult, this was also the first year that I’ve hosted my family for dinner. It was decided quite suddenly and I think I accepted before I really had the chance to think about what I was getting myself into. My apartment is small and my skills in the kitchen are virtually non-existent. Still, between Luc and I we managed to pull together an evening that was memorable for all of the right reasons.
Thinking back on it I can’t help but feel that once you’ve hosted a Christmas you’ve pretty much earned your adulthood stripes.
But only pretty much.
2013 was rung in in the most classic of fashions: surrounded by good people, food, drink and lots of noise.
Still, while I’m generally very big on the ceremony of ushering in a new year and jumping into it with gusto, I have to be honest – until today, I’ve pretty much ignored 2013 all together (while still successfully managing to write the proper date whenever necessary. High five, subconscious!) I think I was just trying to ignore the fact that a new year meant that my holidays were almost over and that it was time to start anew when I hadn’t given said fresh start any real consideration. I hadn’t even given any thought to my new year’s resolutions (and if you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know what a big deal that is for me).
But the tree and decorations all came down on Friday and it’s time to face the facts: the holidays are over and a new year is waiting. It’s time to shake off the dream-like haze of the last two weeks and spring back into real life.
So, resolutions. Let’s start with a review:
Looking back at last year, aka The Year of Better Living, I think I did pretty well. I managed to accomplish a lot of things that contributed to making the way I live my life, well, better. While the theme encompassed a lot of little things, I had three core resolutions (aka “the three Fs”) that I tried to focus on: Fitness, Finances, and French. Of those three, I kicked ass on fitness and finances. I’m still running, with the Tinker Bell Half Marathon less than two weeks away (EEEEK!) and I managed to get a lot of personal debt paid down (I even came out of the holidays in the black). Where I failed pretty hard was with my goal to learn French. I started with the best of intentions but with two jobs and all of the other projects I took on, setting aside the time needed to study just didn’t make it on my list of priorities.
As for 2013, I’ve decided to set some specific goals beyond continuing what I’ve already accomplished in 2012. I’ve also decided to give the year a theme.
- Learn French for real this time (which is to say, be able to have a conversation by this time next year).
- Run in the Quinte West Healthy Half (Spring – 10km or half), Midsummer Night’s Run (Summer – 30km) and County Marathon (Autumn – full marathon) races.
- Take part in the 50 Book Pledge and either complete the challenge or at least beat my 2012 “record” (I only made it to 19…)
- Try cooking/baking/preparing at least one new meal every week (in life I tend to be a “grazer”. It’s the bachelorette way! Don’t judge me!)
- Keep a tidier apartment (What? I’m lazy! GIVE ME A BREAK!)
- Weed sweets and fast food from my diet (except for special occasions because I still want to, y’know, enjoy life.)
- Pay off my car before summer (I’M SO CLOSE.)
- Blog twice a week (dun, dun, DUUUUNNNN.)
And for the theme, I’m choosing to go with:
Worry less and try your best.
It’s cool, I’ll give you a moment to get over the cheesiness of that statement.
Seriously though, when I reflect on 2012 and all of the truly wonderful things that happened and that I accomplished, I can always pinpoint distinct memories of apprehension and self-doubt. It didn’t seem to matter what it was or how hard I worked, I was always second guessing myself and worrying myself sick over things that were often outside of my control or even totally non-issues.
And you know what?
Nothing about that mindset is helpful. It’s toxic and eats away at your confidence. So this year I’m choosing to get over it. Period.
All I can do is try my best. The rest will be what it will be.
No matter what you celebrate or observe, I hope the festive season was great to you. I’m looking forward to sharing 2013 more openly and courageously with you. Here’s to a brave New Year!
What about you? How did you handle the end of the holidays and beginning of 2013? Did you make any resolutions this year? Tell me about it in the comments!