Happy Years, Old and New

White collection

I used to have major beef with New Years. Like, hide in bed, pretend it's not happening, refuse to come out 'til it's over beef. (Also my approach to birthdays, but that's another story for another time.) You see, I have a habit of dwelling on the past. It's a character trait that serves me well as a writer, since I'm able to recall events and emotions and describe them in great detail. But it doesn't help me much when I'm trying to move on from trying personal experiences, now does it? 

Kumquat tree

And indeed, that was the trouble. Previous December 31's found me mulling on everything I hadn't accomplished in the past twelve months rather than concentrating on the opportunities contained in the coming year. But then again, I'd wonder, why should we so 'fast away the old year' pass? Because hell. I put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and yes, joy into that year. So for 2012, I decided that before I turn my attention to the future, I'd indulge my tendency to dwell. But I'd only let myself focus on the joy.     

New year's sunrise

Here's a smidgeon of the joy, of what I did accomplish. I watched a school of dolphins jump through the waves from a dinghy in the Santa Barbara Harbor. I hugged a redwood tree for the first time. I learned how to check the oil in my car. I signed a lease on an apartment–only my name is on there, no one else's. I made a budget spreadsheet to be sure I could afford said apartment. I turned 30. I started reading poetry again. I started writing poetry again. I had dinner with friends and we laughed so hard that the sound of our laughter made us laugh even harder. I did the splits on a stage at the Target 50th Anniversary party in New York (no one saw. But I did it.) 

So now before ahead, to what we want to do in 2013—and believe me, I have my list—tell me your accomplishments. Dwell in the joy of 2012 just a little longer, won't you?

Photo credits: Me. I spent yesterday taking photos around the house. Calming and meditative.

  • http://www.besottedblog.com Miss B.

    Congrats young lady! You accomplished quite a lot, so now we need to talk about one day soon having fun and re-designing your blog, no? It’s like getting a new pair shoes. I am sure 2013 will be filled to the brim with excitement + adventure.

  • IvetteS

    What a great way to look at the year…my big thing…growing my own pumpkin patch. Although, no pumpkins came in, I’m happy I made the time to harvest a little section in my garden. Maybe in 2013 I’ll actually get pumpkins!

  • http://www.glittersgold.com Emily

    I like the way you think! In 2012, I saw a movie alone. An “accomplishment?” No. But something I needed to do to prove to myself that it’s really not that big a deal? Yes. And it felt good.
    Cheers to 2013!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Such a lovely post, Anne. I’m all about starting fresh, and resetting and eating healthy and focusing on the New Year, but I also like to look back. Each passing year doesn’t have to be locked away behind a door…I think it’s nice to reminisce, but I agree that it’s best to dwell on the good, not the bad. Here’s to a great 2013! And more poetry reading/writing!

  • http://www.tomorrowtodayblog.com rita

    congrats on your first solo apartment! such an amazing feeling. you have done so much this year, you should be joyous when you think back!
    i have also been dwelling in 2012 – so much happened i’m reluctant to just let it go! i got married, traveled a ton, became an aunt for the 2nd and 3rd time, finished my MBA and got successfully involved with a cause i believe in (marriage equality)… 2013 is a blank slate which is equally exciting and terrifying! happy new year!

  • http://mauishopgirl.com Tania

    I’m a dweller too and I also write so I think you have something there. Everything I see now causes me to think about something in the past, then I want to write about it.
    I love that you include and appreciate new experiences in your things that happened this year like being a redwood tree hugger 😉
    For me, I learned to use my dslr and furthermore it was in manual! I’m bowing now thank you very much.
    Happy new year, congrats on an abode for one.

  • Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, Interiors

    Kudos yo you, Anne!
    Great post…I am getting back to designing. I am so
    grateful for the Boston Globe and what they stood up for and believed in …I know in someway I made a difference this year. Which I will continue to do. ox, maureen

  • Mussy

    Hmmm. 2012 joy? I graduated law school. Got my first real career full time job. Turned 30. And learned to make the best pancakes known to human kind! Congrats on your accomplishments this year Anne!

  • http://thepetitkitchen.com/ Freddi

    I LOVE this post, it’s very inspiring, can’t beat a bit of personal growth to spur you on!

  • http://Noshwithjosh.com Josh

    Meeting some phenomenal, inspiring new people.