Each new year people pen out their wishes and dreams for themselves, their lives, their families. I see no harm in this.
I do it. But I also see perhaps more value in setting out to do certain things instead of just wish for. These things rarely make into a resolution list which is more akin to a dreaming made ink onto paper. But the doing, now there’s the thing. I try to do 1-3 things each year that force me to grow. Grow! GROW!
Recap: This year here are my main big undertakings that stretched me as a human, a mate, an animal lover, a traveler in 2012…
- I took a series of horse riding courses. This is something I had wanted to do since I was a child. My mother spoke of riding horses as a child and my cousins had horses. It left me with an empty hole… a longing. I wanted these memories too… so I took the lessons and it was wonderful, and challenging. I didn’t even care much that I was surrounded by a bunch of 7 year olds… lol. I wasn’t the only adult, by the way, just one of the very few… and they were private lessons, but you see other lessons (with seven year olds) going on.
- I finished our solo trek of the Natchez Trace. (Even if I haven’t finished blogging about it yet!) It was challenging and stirring and moving and inspiring. It made me feel much more confident with Whiskey as we faced new traveling challenges.
- I got chickens. That’s right! I got Cheeeeekiiiiins! And we couldn’t be happier. They are our pets, and are named. They live outdoors but in swank surroundings. I have had to learn some instant on the spot vet skills and had some tearful trying times but all three of our 1 day old baby birds have lived and we are very proud of each of them. Chickens are so rewarding! I can’t imagine ever not having them (unless someone comes and tells us we have to get rid of them… as many zoning ordinances do not allow for backyard fowl, even in small numbers… but let’s not think about that!).
- I hiked a BIG chunk of the Pinhoti alone. This was a HUGE undertaking for me. Much harder than I imagined. The loneliness was palpable. I had company on the first night only and then spent the rest of the week in solitude cursing along in my too tight shoes that cost me several toe nails (they weren’t tight till the feet started swelling….) But my confidence… wow I cannot tell you how much more confident of a backpacker I am now that I have camped so many nights alone in the wilderness. It was spectacular.
So onto this years goals? I have a few ideas.. we’ve got some stuff in the works as a family (shhhh… it’s a secret) and then individually I’m taking on the goal of getting a city bike and riding it to work a few times a week. This is both exciting and scary! Scary because I’ll be going home in 5 o’clock traffic. I have a few more solo trips I’d like to take backpacking… specifically to finish the entire Pinhoti trail. We’ll be gardening more… I’m working on some art pieces, and working on some poetry that I’d like to see published. I’m also going to teach myself knife throwing. I looked for classes anywhere within a days drive and couldn’t find any. And I’m talking frontier skills knife throwing. Not some pansy ninja crap- but the Take Down A Bear or Zombie at 20 Paces stuff! Yeah! Just call me FrontiersWomanGina. (Don’t worry, no beards included).
So as for Whiskey- my goals are this- to get a new bikejoring harness (his is too small and I’m worried about it hitting too high on his throat and restricting breathing… so we need a new one), to hike 2 entire sets of park trails in Alabama, and to camp at a new state park to explore.
For the farm- my goals are to plant twice as many herbs, plant at least 5 veggies, and to get in two new fruit sources this year. I hope they do better than last years blueberry bushes!
So what about you? I challenge you to think small- I sometimes only undertake ONE new skill a year. This makes it manageable and completely doable. What have you been putting off learning that you’ve always wanted to do? Pottery classes? Painting? Restoring an old vehicle? Hiking??? I challenge you to *make* time somewhere in the next year. Getting out there and learning a new skill makes us better people and grows our souls. It stretches us.
Whiskey and I wish you the best of new years!