I’m not a person who usually makes new year’s resolutions, and, true to form, I didn’t make any this January. But every so often I feel drawn to add something new to my repertoire. Though I adore my life exactly as it is, a little voice or an invisible hand in the small of my back sometimes nudges me to seek for more, to learn a new thing, to avoid the rut, to set an intention. To say YES to new possibilities.
Since the start of the new year, here’s what’s new with me:
I am a morning person, and am usually up and at it by 5:30 or 6:00 am to walk or read, but during the cold and dark winter months of December, January, and part of February, I lingered under the covers longer than usual. I was staying in bed until (gasp!) 7:00 or 7:30 am, and felt like I was missing out on the best part of the day. And so one day, just like that, I decided I was going to start getting up at the crack of dawn again, and walk or go to the gym. No more lazing about. And it is SO worth it.
In addition to my almost daily walks, I set an intention last fall to take a planned photo walk at least once a month to a new place or to use a new technique along the way. Whether I’m exploring abandoned buildings, taking photos with just one app or lens, documenting a local March for Our Lives event, or hiking with a friend, it feels good to set a photography intention like this.
In order to make sure I have motivation to walk or exercise each day, it helps to have a little something to listen to. I enjoy audio books and music, but in the last few months I’ve become a dedicated podcast listener. It makes 45 minutes on the treadmill or an hour on the street go by so much faster, and I find that I’m often listening while I’m cooking or cleaning, too. I’m still trying to find a podcast to rival the amazing S*Town — such a hard act to follow.
Some of my co-workers like to do jigsaw puzzles, and it reminded me that I used to be a puzzle person too. I have a few antique puzzles that belonged to my great uncle — I did them back in the 1970s and then tucked them away. And when my kids (now in their 20s) were little, we often had a puzzle going. But recently I’ve started to do puzzles again, and have been searching for antique wooden puzzles online. At work we trade puzzles with each other, and are even thinking about starting a puzzle lending library. The puzzles are a challenge, but more than anything I find that doing a puzzle can be very meditative. I feel like I’m building brain cells while also letting go of the electronic world.
Finally, there’s reading. I am a passionate reader, and being a librarian I have access to endless (and often overwhelming) numbers of books. I am normally a book “taster” — I’ll read a little bit of a book to see if I like it, and if I don’t I’ll move on to the next one. (I know this will appall those of you who must-finish-a-book-no-matter-what, but I got over that rule a long time ago.) And yet, somehow these past three months I’ve been reading more than ever and finishing every book (well…except for one.) I’ve loved them all (except that for one) and can’t wait to move on to the next title. I feel like I’m devouring books in all the right ways.
So what’s new with you? What have you said YES to lately?
See you soon.