"New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."
- Mark Twain
The past couple of years I've extended my reflecting and resolving time long past the first of January. Maybe this is attributable to my Myers-Briggs type - as an INFP I tend to get excited by the start of a project (rather than the completion of one) and the new year is like one BIG project. So I stay in the planning phase, and procrastinate moving on to the actual doing phase.
I don't know. Whatever the reason, I'm lingering in a New Year's state of mind.
This has involved tinkering with my goals (adding, deleting, adjusting, re-thinking) and creating space: removing no-longer-friends on Facebook, unsubscribing from newsletters that clutter my inbox, emptying cabinets, filling bags of stuff for Goodwill, etc. Purging, divesting, and otherwise making room for the New Year.
I've also been reviewing the past year - looking for lessons and themes, deciding what to celebrate and what needs to be grieved before I can move on from it.
This past year wasn't terrible (at all), but - because it ended with some heartache - I'm tempted to look back on it through a lens of loss. Flipping through my calendar & journal & blog has helped me paint a better (more accurate?) picture.
2011 was a year of some pretty awesome feats of bravery: I conquered a deep-seated fear and sang on a stage, in front of an audience. I fulfilled a long-time travel goal and walked 75 miles, by myself, across Spain. And I swam with sharks and barracuda in sunny St. John. Fun stuff.
In Improv terms, I completed three classes (including the highest level at my theater), worked with four different indy groups, and performed in 41 shows. (So that's where all my free time went...)
I saw some good theater (The 39 Steps), some okay theater (Anything Goes), and some hilarious theater (Improvised Shakespeare). I also saw Chita Rivera at Town Hall, attended a french-horn recital at Carnegie Hall and an accordion extravaganza in the East Village. (Note to self: see more live music in 2012! My 2011 included regrettably few concerts.)
I moved. I took up Zumba. I karaoke'd (multiple times). I went on some awful dates; I went on some great dates. I (ever-so-briefly) stalked a shoe salesman with soulful brown eyes. I spied on James Marsden on set at 30 Rock. I handed out valentines to veterans, and played bingo with seniors. And Scrabble, of course. Lots of Scrabble.
There were rough times, too: scary family stuff in the spring, sad family stuff in the summer, hard church stuff, the aforementioned heartache. Rough stuff, but looking back on it now, I'm so grateful for the friends and community who carried me through it. Really, really so, so thankful.
Mental pictures of 2011 I want to keep: Singing the Pina Colada song while riding in a jeep on St. John. Celebratory dancing with my Improv team. Staying at a friend's birthday party til dawn. Surprising myself. Hanging out with my fave toddler the day her sister was born. Leaving a lecture at JTS on a sticky summer evening, passing an old man & young boy playing chess on the sidewalk. Feeling beheld. Long walks in Harlem. Pink sunrises in Spain.
I cried a fair amount, but I also laughed a ton. There was so much beauty, in 2011. I choose to remember that.