I didn’t really ring in 2014. I said “Happy New Year!” followed immediately by “goodnight”…at 10:30 p.m. See, I’m an old woman who needs my sleep, and my boyfriend and I hit the road before sunrise on New Year’s Day to make it to the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor (it was fantastic, despite the fact that it was 13 degrees and my team lost).
I also didn’t mark the new year with any resolutions. I thought about making resolutions for this year. Write a book. Go to the gym more consistently. Eat healthy foods. Develop a budget. You know, the usual. I thought about what 2014 will hold, and it’s going to be a doozy. I’m just starting to dig in, and the future’s still pretty hazy, but the next 12 months will most likely involve a cross-country move, a couple of very significant changes in relationship status, and the first semester of a new degree at a yet-to-be-determined institution. Lots of changes. Lots of planning. My New Year’s resolution could be don’t go insane.
Last year, in a fit of mild insanity, I did make a real, concrete resolution. I resolved to do something new every day—and mark it publicly on Tumblr. I graduated with my MA last December, and was about to start a new job as a full-time nanny, so I figured since I would be doing a lot of new things, why not be intentional about it?
It was fun.
My last post was January 22.
The thing is, though, I didn’t stop doing new things in 2013. Between working two brand new and totally different jobs (and, on the flip side of that, being out of school for the first time in…a long time), going through various stages of the discernment process, and getting to know a pretty awesome guy, I did a lot of new things in 2013. Here are just a few:
- I learned that I can successfully care for children for more than three hours at a time. I can also operate car seats, keep the peace, enforce naps, and drive a minivan like a pro.
- I also learned that I can motivate myself and stave off my procrastination reasonably enough to make a liveable income working from home, which is awesome because I can wear pajama pants as much as I want.
- I ate a pig’s face. In the form of a dish at Girl and the Goat, a deliciously splurge-worthy restaurant in Chicago.
- I drove through a car wash. Yes, I’m 25. I’ve been driving for eight years. I have also been terrified of driving into car washes, and so I made it a long time without entering one. This year, I did. I still think they’re scary.
- I set up an online savings account with a decent interest rate, and I automatically transfer money into it. I have a lot of goals, and this can help me meet them.
- I received my first paycheck for something I wrote. It was exciting and really gratifying.
- I became a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and sometimes help administer Communion at my church on Sundays.
- I visited New Haven, CT (along with the DC area and NYC, which were more exciting, but not firsts). I drank coffee on the Yale campus and had a Gilmore Girls moment.
- I shopped on Black Friday. In the past, I have spent the day after Thanksgiving watching movies and eating leftovers in my pajamas. My change in plans had a lot to do with spending the holiday with a different family this year. My first stop was a record store, because priorities.
- I became a postulant for holy orders in The Episcopal Church. Next step: seminary!
So, in one sense, I broke my New Year’s resolution before I even made it to February. But I still did a lot. So if that’s failing, I’ll be happy to fail again this year. And next year. And the year after that. Because resolutions or not, every year carries with it a grand new adventure, filled with new and exciting and sometimes scary things, and I couldn’t ask for much more.
I’m curious, though, about whomever might happen to read this, so if you’re inclined to comment below: Did you make New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, care to share? Do you have any tales of woe from past resolutions? What about success stories?
Alissa Goudswaard Anderson (’10) lives with her husband Josh in New York City, where she is earning her Master of Divinity at General Theological Seminary. Alissa enjoys private kitchen dance parties, big Midwestern thunderstorms, and perusing other peoples’ bookshelves. For more, find her online at www.episcotheque.wordpress.com or tweet her @episcotheque.