Note: Like the title/theme of this post implies, I wrote it yesterday in order to post on Epiphany. Unfortunately wordpress issues kept me from doing this. I figure, in the spirit of the post, better late than never…
Halls have been decked and feasts consumed. Now it is time to settle (warmly) into the season of reflection, resolution and reformation. I started 2011 off with a sniffle and a cough (damn New Year’s cold) and even procrastinated making my resolutions until today. I had what I thought was a great excuse: January 6th is Epiphany and, although I am not at all a religious person, it seems apt to start working on all those healthier/happier goals on a day with such a motivating name.
Over the course of the last four months, during which I have been conspicuously absent from this space, I have had my share of epiphanies. Most were trivial (celeriac is actually tasty when smothered in cream and cheese), and some were just plain obvious (paradise on Earth = the Maldives). Like everyone else, as 2010 was drawing to a close, I did my share reflecting on where I had been in the last year, what I had done and where I hoped I was going. In that moment I did have a true epiphany: I am in love with my life and its potential and I want to actually live that way in 2011.
Overly optimistic? Sure. Lacking in discernable goals that can be broken down into workable steps to facilitate achievement? Absolutely. Yet, in doing some of that reflecting, I realized I have hardened since moving to Paris. A sarcastic cynicism settled in, my ‘eternal’ optimism has taken a sabbatical and the tendency to complain (something I have previously derided as characteristically French) became second nature. I even excused it to others, saying that it was just part of growing up. Today, looking forward to this year (possibly my last in Paris), I refuse to believe that. And, I apologize to anyone who had to hear me spout that drivel.
A good friend recently explained his life philosophy to me: to be happy. Not in a selfish, short-term, ‘immediate gratification’ sort of way, but using happiness as the yardstick by which to make life decisions. Seems so simple, right? I think I may have even laughed. Yet, when I sit down to think quietly, trying to put aside long held career goals and arbitrary expectations from family, friends and myself just to pinpoint what set of circumstances would make me truly happy, I struggle a little.
So, this is my resolution for 2011: to discover what makes me happy. I have all kinds of ways I am hoping to reconnect with myself; nourishing my mind (a job that I am still really excited about and, of course, returning to the blog), my heart (enjoying the company of friends and loved ones, here and abroad), my body (the obligatory gym membership has been bought and my panier has been renewed), my eyes (still so much to see of Paris and the world), and my hands (a growing list of cooking and knitting projects). My lists, once started, always get a bit out of control and this one is no exception. Yet, I think if I do 25% of what I have considered, I will rediscover my spirit as well.
To the few of you I know are still reading, Happy 2011! All of my best to you and yours. I am looking forward to sharing the next year with you.
(Photos included are some of my favorites from 2010. Except for the obvious Paris shot, care to guess the locations of the others?)