December 31: Looking Forward #ThinkKit

December 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM | Posted in Anna is my step-daughter., Bill is my husband., What's up? | 1 Comment
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I thought today’s prompt would be for a list of resolutions. I guess it could be, huh?

What are you looking forward to the most about the next 365 days?

I suppose I could list all of the things that have been spinning around in my head that I’d like to get done, make habits, etc. Those seem like straight-up resolutions, though, and I’d like to go a different way for this. I’d like this to be more dreamy and less practical. More nebulous and less concrete. More fluid and less specific.

I am most looking forward to new experiences. When I think about events that I enjoy and people with whom I’ve had stimulating conversations, so many times it’s something or someone new. There is comfort in knowing the things that bring me joy, yes, but I just adore the excitement of taking in a fresh experience, learning new things, and meeting new people. It gives me a buzz.

I’ll give you three new challenges for next year that I can think of now:

I have been itching to get away from buying gifts (for other adults) for Christmas for a few years now with little to no luck. My father won’t hear of it; he finally stopped sending stuff but he still sends money. A highlight of the holidays for my mother-in-law is the ceremony of opening gifts; not only must gifts be exchanged but preferably a minimum quantity of items to be unwrapped in the presence of others. When I proposed not exchanging gifts with my sister-in-law, she said we didn’t have to buy her anything but she’d still give gifts to us. COME ON, PEOPLE. I made exceptions for Anna and my niece (i.e., of course we’d still get gifts for them) but the adults still won’t agree. Gah. This year I floated the idea of taking a family vacation next year instead of buying gifts between the three of us and Anna was totally into it. Success! So now I am super excited about planning a trip for Bill, Anna, Taylor*, and myself to wrap up 2014.

*Assuming her mother is on board. It’s a safe assumption.

This summer will mark the twentieth anniversary of my graduating high school. I have been asking the head of the alumni committee to see if anyone is planning a reunion and, um, it looks like it might be me. I hadn’t expected that to be the case but no one else seems to be doing it and, struck by an unexpected bout of some serious nostalgia, I think it’s a task I should embrace. There are some wrinkles: I am not on Facebook (which is how so many people seem to keep in touch); I do not live in or near the city in which I graduated (Philly); and I only keep in touch with a tiny percentage of my classmates (3 of 69). I can’t decide if I am excited or terrified by the prospect of leading the charge of a high school reunion but I am definitely happy about potentially seeing so many faces from the past (and their families) in my hometown.

I am declaring 2014 Year of the Purge. I know it might not sound lofty to discuss discarding things but to me it’s a long-held dream. I come from a background of packrats and it has been a hard habit to shake. I mean, I might need these things. These things are practical to save. Right? NOPE. I’ll just stack this stuff and keep it here for a short time, until I find a better place for it. Right? NOPE. I can’t describe the relief I feel when I imagine surroundings that have empty horizontal surfaces. Wide open spaces. (We won’t get into calming colors and free of dog fur. Baby steps.) Coming home from a trip abroad or an anticipated reunion to a tidy, clutter-free home? That’s a new experience I anticipate with glee.

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  1. […] 2. The kinds of tasks and events that would make my life (and that of my family) even better are achievable and, frankly, not that hard. Read more. Do fun things together. Get rid of shit. […]


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