So it’s 2015. I was in bed and asleep by 9pm last night (although midnight fireworks did briefly wake me up). I decided the new year was going to come whether or not I was awake at midnight to usher it in and I needed a good night’s sleep.
Can I be honest? I hate New Year’s Eve. At least as an adult, they almost uniformly end up being a tremendous let down, although it was fun banging on pots and pans at midnight when I was a kid. Anne Lamott tweeted something today that summed things up for me:
Another word for New Year's Day is "Thursday." It is okay to breathe.
— ANNE LAMOTT (@ANNELAMOTT) January 1, 2015
So on Thursday morning I got up and I went for a run.
The last few days I haven’t been feeling the best, so I put absolutely no expectations on the run. I just wanted to get outside. And I ran (full disclosure: I walked part of it) the slowest 6.5 miles of my life, no exaggeration. But it was sunny and cool and the snow-covered Huachuca mountains were there in the distance and it felt important to start 2015 off doing something I wanted to keep on doing throughout the year: running.
I am still all over the place in terms of running goals. I know I want to run 1000 miles by the end of the year (only 993.5 more to go!) I’m doing weekly track workouts on Tuesdays with Sierra Running and I know that is going to help me get faster (hello, 8:10 mile this past Tuesday. Where did you come from?) I’ve got a few races on my radar, everything from 5Ks to half marathons. I have a few friends and relatives that I’d love to run races with this year (Susan, Danielle, and Portia, I’m looking at you). But mostly? I just want to love running.
I’m a fan of Krista Tippett’s wonderful podcast, On Being. Last week on her blog Parker Palmer wrote a post about “5 Questions for Crossing the Threshold.” (Spoiler: he meant the threshold for the new year, not death). I’ve been thinking about these five questions a lot over the past few days. My typical New Year’s “tradition” is to make a handful of resolutions that never, ever stick, usually because they are big and lofty and just not realistic (re-learn all of the French I forgot; learn to watercolor paint; learn to really play the banjo–you see where I’m going with this). So rather than think about specific things that I want to do in 2015, I am thinking about his five questions:
- How can I let go of my need for fixed answers in favor of aliveness?
- What is my next challenge in daring to be human?
- How can I open myself to the beauty of nature and human nature?
- Who or what do I need to learn to love next? And next? And next?
- What is the new creation that wants to be born in and through me?
There are all kinds of things I want to work on this year, but instead of making a list that I know I will never keep, I am going to think about these five questions. Being alive, human, open to beauty and love, and figuring out what new creation awaits…that’s what I’m looking ahead to in 2015. If I can learn french, painting, and banjo into the bargain, so much the better, but I’m not putting any expectations on things.
But one thing that I am definitely going to do is another #project365. I did this for the first time last year–took a picture each day for the entire year (if we’re connected on Flickr, check out my album, or you can see everything since late May on my Tumblr.) I can’t tell you how cool it is to scroll back through those pictures and remember some of the individual moments that made up my year.
So tell me: how do you greet the new year? What are your plans?