Minus thirty not only feels cold, but it looks cold and the thought of going outside in it isn’t very appealing. So we didn’t go out. We stayed home and flopped on the sofa and baked a casserole for the morning and worked on downloading photos….and made a half-hearted attempt at New Year’s Resolutions. And then I went out for a walk….and everything changed.
The kids, my husband and even the dog (and probably the frog) all took a mid-afternoon nap so I decided to go to the library, liquor store and coffee shop. I donned all my winter gear including my beaver hat and seal skin mitts and stepped outside. It was cold – the kind of cold that makes you immediately cough and then make sure your face is covered.
And I looked around and it was beeeeeeautiful out. Absolutely beautiful. The ground was white. Houses were coated in white. The air was a pinkish blue. The sky a whitish blue marked by a crisp clean crescent moon. Everything was sharp and still and accented by the frost lining the trees (few that there are) and the rising clouds of exhaust coming from people’s heating stoves. Hmmm – that word “exhaust” isn’t a very pretty one is it. Nonetheless – it WAS pretty (still is).
And as I walked I felt inspired and energized and connected to the world and full of new cheer and I couldn’t help but think about the things I’d like to do in this New Year.
So here is my New Year’s list BEFORE going outside followed by the list created AFTER going outside:
Before Going Out:
1. Write a blog
2. Teach our kids good
3. Decide on hair length
4. Get super skinny (I considered saying fit, but figured that sounded too exhausting)
5. Run a marathon with no soreness or injuries (just read a blogher post about the dark side of marathon racing)
6. Make money
7. Play guitar (An attempt at creative goal planning)
Goals AFTER going outside:
1. Learn to tap dance well enough to “jam” with other tap dancers
2. Bake cookies for the woman at the coffee shop
3. Bake cookies for our neighbors who we don’t know very well (Ah, heck – bake cookies for ALL our neighbors and the folks at the restaurant we like to go to)
4. Write Christmas cards and thank you notes
5. Start a music group for kids and their parents
6. Sketch out some book ideas
7. Create a beautiful mosaic something with my kids
8. Sing and play the guitar with my kids all the Beatles songs
9. Learn Tai Chi
10. Blog with my son every day
11. Create a successful, creative, interesting blog
12. Host an Indian dinner night (and Thai night, German night, Italian night…)
13. Go for a one hour walk/run every morning with the kids in the Bob double stroller that is currently lodged in the icy snow
14. Eat a diet of grains and lentils and vegetables – a tasty diet of those things filled with fun, joyous cooking experiences and great recipes
15. Travel to the East coast to visit relatives
16. Read books
17. Take a great photo every day documenting my day
18. Be in the present
19. Meditate and do yoga and stretch with the kids
And my goals starting tomorrow morning when I wake up?
Ha! That’s the kicker. I haven’t a clue. And midnight is rapidly approaching.
But perhaps I have one underlying principle….regardless of the list I intend to write up, I plan to work on finding that space that allows me to feel energized, creative and caring – perhaps I’ll be doing a lot more walks at thirty below.
(Though hopefully just a good dose of outside even in warmer temperatures will do the trick)
And you? What are the things you do when you find your frame of mind shifting to one you really enjoy and embrace?