2011 ended as it began, attending GYC. And GYC is why some of these posts, though written ahead of time, were not shared until after the New Year. Finally, we’ve reached the end.
Honestly, I haven’t been that aware of the passing of the New Year over the last several years as a result of my involvement with GYC. I’m too tired to stay awake for midnight, so I’m often fast asleep in my room when the clock strikes twelve. For the turning of 2011 to 2012, I was in bed, lights off, but there was a party outside my hotel that all of Houston attended. I heard them count down from 10, sing “Auld Lang Syne,” and then fell asleep.
Though I miss spending the New Year with my family (they have a lot of New Year’s traditions), I think it’s fitting that in recent history the year has begun and ended at GYC. While I still tend to think of the calendar in terms of August to July, the passing of the year at a place where I gain spiritual nourishment brings opportunity to reflect on the last year and view the new year in the proper perspective.
This has been quite the year. I have learned much, grown, and am thankful for the experiences I’ve been through. Yet a conversation from January with my good friend Josephine comes to mine. She decided that for 2011 she wanted something different, and so she made specific goals for what she hoped to accomplish in the year of 2011.
I remember thinking that was a good idea, but looking at what was on my plate (finishing school and studying for and taking the bar), I thought life had already given me enough specific goals.
But it only got me through July! I wouldn’t say my life has been completely aimless since August, but it has definitely lacked a certain structure that I crave. I grew up in a household where my time was very disciplined from the day I was born. Being in school until May 2011 from the age of three, with only one year break during that whole time, added to my love of structure and clear expectations. So as a result, I want to not wait for the “goals” life throws at me to determine how 2012 will be. I want to have specific intentions.
Intentions. Not resolutions. I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I think they’re kind of silly, and people tend to abandon them, something I noted and encouraged to overcome at the beginning of this year.
2012, I’m intending to do twelve things. I intend to
In 2010, I worked up to being able to run a 5K. I had to miss the first 5K I signed up for after I completed the training because of a foot injury, but was able to run the Turkey Trot during Thanksgiving later that year. I had desired to increase my distance in 2011, but I let the rest of life get in the way, and I’m still hovering at just over the 5K distance as my maximum mileage during a run. I don’t want to that be the case this year. So I’m setting two specific goals in regards to this: Run a 10K in the Spring and a half-marathon in the Fall.
2. Enter New Territory.
This year I visited a whopping 24/50 of the United States. I’d been to most of them, but I was able to check off a few new ones. In 2012 I want to knock off a few more. The problem with many of the states that are left is that they are, well, randomly located throughout the country. I already visited one this year (OK Oklahoma!), but I want to stretch myself. I’ll place a goal of visiting at least two new states I’ve never been to this year (and maybe a Canadian province or two…and while I’m at it maybe a new country or two too).
Without the aforementioned structure of an academic life, my writing has become more sporadic. With my passion for it rekindled, I want to act on it. So I intend to blog, to journal, and to enter discourse on topics that are important to me.
I already have been reading more. But I want to keep it up. Next year I want to read multiple biographies and memoirs, books relevant to my work as an attorney, and Spirit of Prophecy books I have never read before. I was told that geniuses read two books a week. I think I’d like to aim for two substantial books a month.
5. Manage Time.
Like I said, I’ve grown up with lots of structure. Learning to manage my time was something I learned to do from childhood on. As I noted earlier, though, it was always within the context of something else imposing structure on my life. I want to learn how to manage and structure my time in the absence of such structure, so no matter my circumstances, I’m the master of my time.
6. Cook Congrí.
I tried to make congrí in 2011, and while it wasn’t the worst result I’ve ever had cooking, it was probably in the top three. I want to spend some time with my Lita to learn how to make authentic congrí.
7. Make Music.
My skills at the piano have diminished over the years. I want to redevelop them. And I want to become better at two things I’ve always struggled with: playing hymns and singing while I’m playing.
8. Love Networking.
This is something that I have already taken a crack at in 2011. But I need to do more and get better at it. And I need to learn to love it.
9. Advocate for Women.
The plight of women being mistreated because of their gender, the needs of women even in developed nations, has really been striking a chord with me. I want to use my skills in advocacy to help other women, and to minister to them.
This is related to #9 I suppose. And I’m not a stranger to service: I’ve gone on mission trips, donated money to relief organizations in the wake of natural disasters, and participated in other forms of community service. But I don’t think it’s regular enough, my hands aren’t getting dirty enough, and my heart isn’t aching enough for the needs of this world. I want to do more to serve.
Spending more time with my Spanish-speaking relatives has made me realize how much my Spanish has suffered over the last few years. Time to get those skills back up to date!
12. Develop New Intentions.
Why should we wait for January to make and follow through with new intentions? This isn’t just a bluff to cover the fact that I couldn’t come up with twelve (though, if I’m honest, it kind of is…). I really do want to be able to identify new intentions throughout the year and learn to incorporate them into my life as they present themselves. Always growing, that’s what I want to be doing.
Thanks for reading. Happy New Year, and many blessings as you seek to achieve your 2012 New Year’s intentions too. 🙂