Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite singer/songwriter is Canadian wünderkind Carolyn Arends. And, even though she is pursuing a Master's in Theology, she still manages to write very good and thoughtful songs and essays. She has not gone Theron Ware yet, and I pray that she manages to complete her studies unscathed by the sad disillusion that overcomes so many who grapple with the deep from these shallows. If anyone can dissect the butterfly's wing and not destroy the beauty, it's Carolyn. But, I'll feel better when she's achieved her goals and gets back to the business of answering Art with art.
That said, one of her most well-known songs from the 1990's is "New Year's Day." That song's been playing in a loop in my thoughts today, as it does every December 31. So, while my main resolution will accord with the song's chorus (namely, to make every day New Year's Day), I still would like to offer up a list of goals for 2013. Maybe, by penning them in such a public forum, I'll actually keep one or two this year.
1. To get my finances in better shape. I need an overhaul in my operating system. The time is now.
2. To sell my car and go forward on two wheels or two feet. I hate to drive; I'm not good at driving; and my car mostly sits and takes up 1/2 of the garage. I could easily survive, nay, thrive without a car, and so I will.
3. Finish my first novel. Doesn't matter if it ever gets published or even read by anyone outside of my family and friends. I just have to finish it so that I can . . .
4. . . . Go to bicycle mechanic trade school! I promised Jason and Flicka that I would not go until I had finished my book; but, oh how I long to learn this trade! I have always enjoyed working with my hands -- and, knowing what I know now, wish I had gone to trade school years ago instead of college. It's time for a second act in my life, and that act will involve fixing bikes. Yay!
5. Plant a better vegetable garden. My half-hearted attempts these past couple of years were lame and depressing. This year, I want to do it right -- which means putting in a bit more effort in learning about growing veggies in the Northwest. Thankfully, there is just the book for neophytes like me: Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades.
6. Run the Seattle Half Marathon in under 2 hours. Or, maybe, the Seattle Marathon in under 4! My real goal is to run a marathon by the time I turn 40, so I have another year and slightly more than a half to do that. But, who knows? This running thing has taken off for me -- and I love setting and achieving new goals!
7. Do a triathlon. Just a small one. Maybe the sprint that takes place at Lake Meridian.
8. Write an advanced German curriculum for Sadie. She'll finish up Second Year Elementary German this year. I want to introduce her to more complexity than her online course has provided. So, I bought a couple years' worth of high school German textbooks and will develop a curriculum based off of them. Viel Spaß mit Deutsch!
Here are a couple of things I'm looking forward to in 2013 (which I think will end up being, overall, another fairly miserable year -- not to be a gloom-and-doomer, but rather a realist):
1. Our trip to London in March! Jason's been hoarding Hilton Honors points for years -- and now he's blowing a whole stack of them on our first family adventure off the North American continent. We're non-revving, too, which means that, even with the crapulence of the American dollar, we ought to have a few pennies left to enjoy 10 days in the Land o' Literature. This is Sadie's big birthday extravaganza, so we'll be heading to the Warner Bros. Studio in London to see where they filmed the Harry Potter movies. Because he loves me, Jason is also allowing for at least one day trip outside the city to an Austen-oriented outpost. Ought I to choose Bath or Chawton? And how fun it will be to visit the replica Globe Theatre and get a sense of the Bard's world!
2. We're getting a dog! Sadie finally wore Jason down. I used to be against getting a dog, too, until I started running. Seeing all the happy people with their canine companions jogging jauntily about made me rather lonely in my solitary slogging. So, I changed my mind first -- provided we get a pup with long enough legs to keep up with me for miles at a time. Then Jason, realizing that everything has gone to hell anyway so why should he stave off any longer the particular ring of perdition that dog-ownership would be, at last affirmed that he, too, would not be opposed to welcoming a four-legged member into the family. When we get back from London, we will pursue this goal seriously.
3. Spending time with my friend Flicka. I don't know when I will spend time with her and her absolutely amazing family. I just know that I will. So, I'm looking forward to it.
4. Teaching Sunday School. Out of all the good things in my life (and there are too many to count), teaching the munchkies on Sundays is one of the very sweetest. Here is the latest example: In the middle of preschool worship yesterday, little Sawyer (age about 3) sidles up to me and whispers, "I was wondering if maybe you would like a hug." I whispered back, "I always want a hug." And so, small arms were promptly placed about my neck with a hearty squeeze. Don't tell me that anything this world has to offer is better than hanging out with children. Sarah Smith of Golders Green and Jesus both knew it well.
Happy 2013, everyone! I hope that this year brings you unexpected joys and manifold blessings! And may God help us all.