6.5 down, 993.5 to go

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:

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:

  1. How can I let go of my need for fixed answers in favor of aliveness?
  2. What is my next challenge in daring to be human?
  3. How can I open myself to the beauty of nature and human nature?
  4. Who or what do I need to learn to love next? And next? And next?
  5. 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?