Well its a bit late for New Year's resolutions as we are 11 days into the new year but as this is the last day of my vacation, I'm officially counting the new year as starting tomorrow.
1. Treasure every moment I have with my family. It's killing me to leave South Carolina but my father is doing better and is fairly healthy right now. So I leave with a more calm state of mind than I had in September. I'm looking forward to the big family reunion in Iowa in July.
2. More connections with friends - I really enjoyed seeing some old friends on this last trip. Talking for hours seemed like we had never NOT been in touch. It's good to connect and it reminds me that human interaction is what its all about. It's not about making money, accumulating things, or even accumulating more countries on my "Where I've Traveled" list. It's about authentic human connections that make you laugh, cry, and think.
3. Less time on the internet. I've become addicted to reading blogs. I guess its the same as when I read magazines a bunch but with blogs, there's so much information coming at you all day long that I have to do something about it. I'm going to try to limit myself to 2 hours a day.
4. Being more active. My body is aging every day and while I feel like I'm still 16, the creaking in my knees when I squat down to fix the pilot light or the aches in my shoulders after raking the yard are reminders that I'm not. I have to appreciate my body and staying active will keep me younger longer!
5. Continuing 2008's resolution to be more creative. I started a painting class in 2008 which I love. I'm going to really hunker down and work on writing. I have an idea for a novel based on my experiences in West Africa. Also, some travel stories that I never really wrote down anywhere. More photography. More cooking. More viewing of art.
6. Less toxicity in my life. I have to start ignoring all the people who make me crazy. There are toxic people and organizations in this world. They suck up your time and energy. "That which does not destroy me makes me stronger" used to be my motto but phew - I'm tired of the struggle, constantly struggling to not be destroyed. It's not a challenge anymore to deliberately face off in battle with the destructive elements of the world. I am going to minimize the things which make me crazy and maximize the things I enjoy. If this means less prestige, less status, or being more isolated, so be it. At least I'll have more energy to focus on creativity, my family, and my close friends. "Living well is the best revenge" can be my new motto.