21 Jan

I am not a fan of making resolutions at New Year’s.  Maybe it is because I think that the new year should either be the solstice, or my birthday. Or maybe it is because it just seems like kind of a fake holiday – I mean, who says that it should be a 365 day year?  What marks December 31st as the end of the year?  Or maybe it is just because I am not a joiner – so I’ve never liked doing what everyone else is doing.

Or maybe I was just hung over and didn’t feel like reflecting – since it would surely be all about not being as unhealthy as I felt in that moment.

In either case, I didn’t take time to reflect or make resolutions.  Not that there isn’t plenty I could start doing differently, but instead, I decided to wait until my birthday to start thinking about where I have been and where I am going.

In reflecting on my year – thinking about where I have come from – I started re-read the post I wrote on  my 37th birthday.  I could feel the joy in my words, the magic of adventure, the wonder of possibility.  I remember that sunrise – seeing fitz roy – being in the Andes, in Patagonia.  fulfill my dreams.  checking off the bucket list.  happy 37.

fitz roy

Over the course of this past year I have:

  • Traveled to 4 different countries
  • Took a risk by moving to a city I never imagined living in
  • Climbed a few mountains
  • Landed a pretty great job that fulfills my goals to help make the world a better place
  • Spent time with old friends, made a few new ones
  • Laughed, a lot (and cried some too)

And a whole lot more.  It was a year of transitions (but more coming on that soon in another post).

So, here I am.  38.  A year later, living life in one place, more than a backpack to carry my stuff, more than 2 shirts to choose from.  More stuff, more responsibilities, more…everything.  At the same time – less.  Less adventure, less freedom, less beauty and wonder in the every day.

welcoming 38 in with mostly open arms
(even if they are crossed…..)

Last year, I started a practice of writing the 37, or 38 as the case is this year, things that I am grateful for.  Last year, the list was easy to write — the beauty in front of me, the joy surrounding me, the freedom I felt.

This year…..  it feels a bit more of a stretch.  The world doesn’t feel as open and joyous as it did while on the road.  Not that there isn’t plenty for me to be grateful for, it just takes a bit more searching.  I’m not checking off the bucket-list (Shit, living in NYC wasn’t even on my bucket-list! ), I am not surrounded by beautiful mountains and sitting in plazas eating popcorn and talking to locals.

Instead, I am rushing from place to place, riding the subway, working long hours, and not getting the kind of time I use to have to sit and reflect and think about where I’ve been and where I’m going.  I am sitting in a hotel room, preparing for a training.  I am riding the bus, working on a curriculum unit.  I am sitting in front of my computer, answering emails.

And so — my goal for this year is to slow down.  To remember to hold onto that freedom I felt while traveling.  To remember to find what I am grateful for.  To not get sucked up into the world of working and dedicating everything to my work (again), even if it is important, good work.  To hold onto the confidence and assuredness I gained from being on the road.

So, I am starting that practice by writing my list of 38 things I am grateful for.  I am up to #22 – taking the time each day in the next week to reflect, think and push myself to be in the moment.  Because, no matter what or where I am, there’s so much to be grateful for.

4 Responses to “38.”

  1. bzalto at 6:36 pm #

    Life is always a tradeoff, but is important to know what you want to trade off. Some of us find it and some of us don’t.

  2. It’s a beautiful post Aurora. Happy birthday. I worry about how I will maintain my sense of freedom and wonder when I go back to “normal” life, but that is all part of the challenge I suppose. Will you publish your list?

  3. Dana at 7:09 pm #

    I’m inspired! I’ll be 36 in three weeks (eek, when did that happen?!) and perhaps I’ll write my own gratitute list, too. I’m aggressively saving for some extended travel and sometimes I feel deprived and cranky. I think such a list would be just what I need. 🙂

    • planetaurora at 7:16 pm #

      Yes, of course the older we get, the longer these lists get. But a good reminder of all the great things that are happening every single day!

      On Sun, Jan 27, 2013 at 2:09 PM, planetaurora

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