The first week of this shiny, sparkly new year has already flown by! I was eager and anxious to sit down earlier this week to do what I do every year…reflect on the year gone by, begin the process of setting goals for the coming months, consider my successes and failures and how to be a better me going forward. Being the list maker that I am, I relish this task every year…what a perfect, orderly way to evaluate my life: make a list and either check off a completed task (success!) or don’t (failure!). Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
But every year this ritual seems less straightforward. The quality of my life and who I am as a person becomes increasingly difficult to quantify with that sort of succinct ticking off of tasks. My goals each year become less definite, harder to evaluate. I want to be a better friend and wife and daughter and sister. But listing the number of phone calls I made or birthday gifts I sent somehow doesn’t translate into whether or not I was a supportive listener or made those people I love so much feel valued and important to me. Looking at my income or how many weddings I shot or how many prints I sold fails to convey to me whether or not my clients felt that I understood what was important to them, that I was invested in their lives, or whether or not I captured their love in a way that was meaningful to them.
Every year around this time, certain questions seem to hang in the air…am I happy? Am I living a good life? Am I contributing to the lives of others and the community around me? Am I working toward goals that truly reflect what I want and value or am I caught up in what I think I am supposed to want or supposed to work toward? At the end of my life, what do I want to look back and see? What will really have mattered?
So my goals are ever murkier as I move into this new year…
I want to take care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually so that I have the energy and patience and health to do all of the other things I dream of.
I want to take part in my food system…whether I grow a pot of tomatoes on my porch or spend a little more time digging in the dirt, I want to participate in at least some part of what feeds me and connect with the process with a sense of deep gratitude.
I want to travel…last year’s experiences in El Salvador and Haiti brought my desire to connect to people from other places to the forefront of my consciousness and getting out into the world has shifted way up the list of priorities!
I want to learn and create and be a dynamic and open person.
I want to be happy and make those around me happy as well…vague, I know, but I think most of us have some sense of what makes us feel like we are living well. For me it means time…time with Justin, primarily. Time to go for a run in the woods and feel, if just for a moment, like a gazelle jumping over roots and rocks. Time to hop in the car and check out a new place. Time to read dorky books. Time to learn to draw. Or speak French. Or have hotly debated conversations about the causes of the French Revolution over a beautiful meal and a glass (or three!) of wine. Time to build a table. Or can tomatoes. Or snuggle my fluffy dog.
I am so, so grateful for the life I have and for the incredible people that are a part of it. As I look back on 2012 and forward to 2013, I do so with a heart brimming with thanks…it’s a tremendous privilege to have the opportunity over and over again to do things better and differently and with another year of experience behind me to learn from!
So here’s to 2013!!
I have Jennie & Rebekah’s maternity session as well as the Leveille family coming at you next week! Have a wonderful weekend!!