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01 January 2012

Mandatory New Year's Post

I hate New Year's. It's a bit like Valentine's Day. A made up holiday to give people a reason to get dressed up, go out to expensive dinners, stay up late, and act like idiots. But, what makes it better than Valentine's Day is that the next morning, everyone gets to start over from scratch again. After all, it's a new year! Time for changes, right? There are resolutions to make (and subsequently break), right? Happy New Year!

But, because I'm a good sport, I play along. I do make resolutions each January 1st, but I also make them at various other times of the year as well. I think that any changes worth making can be made at any time. And, in fact, they should be. Waiting for a special occasion to make a change in your life isn't the best strategy for success. But, because everyone else is doing it, so will I. Here goes ...

- This is going to be the Year of MaryBeth. It's the Year of the Dragon, and I think that is fitting for me this year. Chinese tradition cites the dragon as a doer who gets things done. It's also closely associated with wisdom and power. I'm focusing on me this year. I'm going to work at doing what I want and need and following my heart more. I'm going to make decisions that make me happy and fulfilled. I'm going to say "no" more often; but, at the same token, I'm going to say "yes" more often as well. I'm going to work on setting some boundaries because, let's face it, that is definitely a weak spot for me.

- Part of focusing on me is also focusing on things I love to do, namely photography. I'm going to get back into my photo-a-day routine, and, hopefully, I can go more than just a few months!

- I'm also going to continue getting fit and healthy. I made great progress last spring and have maintained that success. But, I want to kick it up a notch and keep it rolling. I can fit into my high school prom dress (it's just a little snug, but it zips completely!), and I plan to wear it out somewhere special by the end of the year. Perhaps next New Year's but hopefully before that.

- I also plan to spend next New Year's in a different time zone, and, hopefully, a different country. I haven't worked out the details on that one yet, but I've got a few months to think about it.

- And, of course, I will finish my dissertation in the coming year. Well, perhaps not finish, but be prepared to submit and defend by the spring semester 2013. That's just over a year away.

2011 has been an "eh" year. Not horrible, but certainly not amazing. I travelled a lot (New Orleans, New England, Ireland, Annapolis, Florida ...) which always makes me happy, but it also made my travel bug itch all the more. I've made some close bonds with people in my life and walked away from others. I've laughed a lot, cried a lot, and I've been angry or hurt more than I would like to be. 2012 will hopefully have a lot more laughter and a lot less anger and tears.

So, here's to 2012. Cin cin!
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