At one of my old jobs, whenever we sat around the conference table digging into a birthday cake, we needled the celebrant to declare what their previous year “title” had been and what they wanted the next year to be called. They would say things like The Year of Adventure, the Year of Moving On, even the Year of Nothing.
Because my birthday nicely aligns with the start of the New Year, I’ve always liked making resolutions for the New Year, both for the world and also for my new year of life.
In 2012, I turned 24 while in Cappadocia, Turkey.* I sat at a cafe perched on the top of a cliff overlooking the countryside, drinking salep while enjoying this view:
I wrote the following New Year resolution in my journal:
*After reviewing my journal, I found out I was totally mistaken about where I was on the actual 12th of January, 2012. The story about me being in Cappadocia is much more romantic but I actually did my year-reflection there on the 11th, not the 12th. After looking at my notes, turned out this was happening on my actual anniversary of birth:
Yep. MASSIVE snowstorm in central Turkey as we are trying to drive 13 students from Cappadocia to Ankara, Turkey. As we’ve inching down the road we keep passing cars that have crashed in the ditch. Eventually the driver pulls into a random gas station and says it’s too unsafe for him to finish driving. All ended up well and I still got a birthday cake, so calm down.
After the near-brush with death (or at least being stranded in Random, Turkey), I wrote down my 2012/24 Resolutions. Let’s review and determine what actually happened.
- Cleanse my body: drink more water, eat smartly, do yoga at least once a week and cardio twice a week. Run, even if it is literally just around the block. In retrospect: My bad. I try, I really do, but the whole moving-temporarily-to-another-country thing really threw me off.
- Cleanse my soul: As hard as it is for me, try to worry less. Bake more. Work to see friends and call far-away friends more. In retrospect: Still a massive worrywart and I don’t bake nearly as much as I would like, but I like to think that I’ve done a fairly good job connecting with friends despite the miles.
- Cleanse my life: Seriously go through clothes and shows and donate a chunk. Go through food and buy strategically. Shed some of the furniture. Manage my debt, my loans, my savings, and my investments. Finally, success! Turns out moving back home with your parents really helps you cull out the crap.
- Splurge sometimes! Does a trip to Southeast Asia count as a splurge?