If you’re reading this, then lucky you: you’re still here! Despite 2012’s apocalyptic claims, we managed to pass from 2011 to the calendar’s next page without pause. Funny that: time didn’t stop! (Has it ever? Oh no, a slippery slope to existential crisis.)
That said, a ‘new year’ often brings with it ideas of personal ‘resolutions.’ To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of said resolutions. A diet? A renewed commitment to the gym? A promise to be a better wife? What now? Aren’t those things we should be doing on a daily basis? Not to sound curmudgeonly, but I’d hope each DAY is a new YEAR for us, so to speak, and we don’t need to flip the calendar to pretend (most of us for only a week or so) that we’ll be more committed, healthier, and kinder individuals.
So, nevertheless, here we are with new numbers to date on our bank checks, in our letters (do we still write letters?), and on our correspondences: 2012. New years come with needs for lists too. What did I do in 2011? How long should the list be? What to highlight? In our lists, we pen the stories of how we want our lives to be remembered:
1. For starters, I got married. Twice. No, that didn’t sound right – but the civil ceremony was a small, family-only event in New Hampshire while the real party took place with a group of 77 friends and family in Dominical, Costa Rica. We ended the night in the pool. In our wedding clothing. Surrounded by our wet, drunk friends. Holding beer bottles. The water was warm… but I’m not pointing fingers (or maybe I am: Kucz…).
2. I finished re-writing my novel, Empire of Glass, and signed with a literary agent who I’ve had on my radar since 2005 (hurrah!). I’m still re-writing said novel.
3. I turned 31 (gasp!). The world didn’t end. I bought anti-wrinkle face cream to prepare.
4. I hosted my Chinese father in the US for the first time. His visit proved that he still loves ketchup and that it’s never too late to leave one’s homeland (in fact, he was such a fascinated, inquisitive traveler that even going to the US Post Office was a treat!).
5. I accepted, and then subsequently turned down, a ‘dream’ TV job in China.
6. I decided to make less lists in life. Then I made this one. Oops.
What lessons are there, then, for 2012? This is supposed to be a blog about travel, about adventures, and yet what I continually find myself returning to is the idea that travel isn’t always about physically moving from one place to another. Sometime it’s as simple as stopping the car off the side of the road to watch the Pacific’s dolphins chasing perch. Or taking a different route on the walk home. Or going to a new sports bar to watch the Pats game. Or choosing to stay home for the holidays rather than move to China (okay, that’s just me). Travel, to me, is about paying attention, changing the routine, making difficult/unexpected choices. Travel requires, by its very definition, a process of change or movement. So, for 2012, I’ve made the anti-resolution resolution to live in a state of flux while maintaining a commitment to those things/ideas/people that have consistently been of utmost importance to me. We don’t know if tomorrow, or the next day, or December 21, 2012 will bring the apocalypse. All we know is that we’re here now (and, if you’re like me, you wonder about/are in wonderment every day regarding the meaning of this existence).
And, a final request: from now on, please try to experience your moments without constantly needing to document them (I know, lame advice coming from the Social Network-crazed blogger). But seriously, folks. We need to put down the smart phones and cameras and iPads and computers (and etc.) to truly see what is around us. Until we do so, travel will only be a means of documenting our lives, not a means of living them.
Case in point – New York’s NYE this year: