another zodiac’s come around

calvin and hobbes

It’s hard to believe I’m staring at December’s back as it goes racing out the door, throwing me a rude gesture and cackling.  Although I feel like that’s how most years have ended, so I’m not really sure why I’m surprised.

2013 has been an interesting year.  As those of you who know me personally know (you know), it’s been a challenging few years up here in Chicago.  There have been a lot of changes, a lot of excitement, a lot of work, and a smidgeon of personal growth.  While this year has definitely been better than the previous couple of years — not that it had to try very hard to be — it still posed its fair share of difficulties to go along with the few mind-blowingly awesome bits.  Looking at it from the other side, I see a world of difference between now and this time last year.  I feel it’s a change for the better.  I feel like things will continue to improve.  That’s a pretty rad feeling to have.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes this year.  I made more the year before.  I’ve done some things I am not proud of.  But I had a lot more of those in 2012, too.  I’ve had some rough days.  These rough days were, for the most part, far better than the rough days I saw the year before.  It might not look like a lot of improvement, but it feels monumental.  I look at myself now and say, ‘It’s okay, kid.  You’re learning.  You’re moving.  You’re growing.  And you are wearing one kickass purple cardigan.’

That alone is so much better than where I was this time last year, and not just because of this seriously kickass purple cardigan that I may have been texting everyone about last night.

I usually reserve my resolutions for my birthday, since that’s the point in time when my actual new year begins.  A few more get added during Rosh Hashanah after I’ve had a month and a half to realize all the incredibly stupid stuff I’ve already screwed up on.  But looking at everything right now and realizing all of the things I’ve been able to do and all of the things I would still like to accomplish, I’d like to add a few more.  And I think that’s something to celebrate.

My Resolutions for 2014

  • Read more books.
  • Take more walks.
  • Drink more coffee.
  • Really lock down that whole who vs. whom thing.
  • Write.  Write as often as possible.  Write good things.  Write bad things.  Learn the difference.
  • Let other people read the things I write.
  • Finish that afghan for Lisa.  Because, seriously, three Christmases and two birthdays is FAR TOO MANY holidays to owe an afghan to someone you consider a good friend.  Get it together, Kiri.
  • Be good to people as much as possible, especially myself.
  • Say no when I need to.  And remember to add a ‘thank you’ at the end.
  • Listen.
  • Write some more.

There are so many people much smarter than I, or at least much more articulate, so I’m going to let one of them sign off this, my last post of 2013.  I feel like it’s a good way to start off following this new list:  reading and listening to Mr. Neil Gaiman:

I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return.  And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.

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