After a busy holiday season with friends and family, I find myself alone once again. My daughter has returned to her home in Texas, my son is back at college in Oregon, and my husband is busy debugging code in California.
So in the quiet of post-holiday festivities, I have had a few glorious hours to think about the upcoming year and consider what dreams I will chase, behaviors I will change or habits I will encourage.
Today, in this moment, I have four areas to focus on.
1-Write more letters. I intend to write more personal correspondence. I love sending notes and cards or letters through the mail. I love choosing a stamp, decorating the envelope and feeling its weight as it drops into the mail slot. My day is suddenly brighter when I get a letter in return. So in 2014 I am making more time for snail mail and less time for Facebook. In fact, don’t be surprised if I ditch Facebook completely this year.
2-Travel more. Last year was a good year for traveling…Three months in California and one month in Europe. I love my routine as much as I love getting out of it, so this year I have planned three weeks in Hawaii, a week in Texas, and two months in California. I also want to take more local road trips. Despite growing up and living in the Northwest my entire adult life, there are many places I haven’t seen. Do you have a favorite place in this beautiful landscape we call the Northwest? If so, please share it with me.
3-Walk every day. My creative juices work best when I exercise. Many famous poets and writers had a daily walking habit and I find most of my ideas for poems come when I am outside placing one foot in front of the other. I have come to realize this activity is just as important to my writing practice as actually sitting down at my computer and beginning to write.
4-Write more poems this year. For me this means: make my writing a top priority and not something that happens after everything else is done. It means not answering the phone or a text, or reading my emails before I start writing. It seems so simple, but to be honest I am easily distracted by these things. I think my years as a school counselor (when every interruption was something you had to handle immediately) is still a part of how I go in the world. So, if I don’t pick up the phone or immediately respond to a text or email, please don’t take it personally. I am most likely writing. Just leave a message, and I promise I will get back to you.
My wish for each of us in 2014 is to create a place in which joy abides.