2013: Here’s to love

Love at midnight
Love at midnight

You blink and you miss it… 2012 is gone, and a new year is here. When I look at what others are saying about 2012, I notice a lot of things like “Good riddance,” and “2012 wasn’t good.” There were some moments in 2012 that weren’t particularly happy or positive, but what year has ever been only good things? The bad and the sad come with the good, this we know. For every destructive storm, there are people that show up to help out, together. For every person that left us too soon, there is a welcome addition to a family. It doesn’t mean that these moments of pain are replaced or easier to bear, but it’s a reminder that life can bring just as much joy as we let it, despite hard times.

So how do we start 2013 with an eye towards joy and fortune? How do we make sure that we’re loving as hard as we can, and living as hard as we can? In the past, my resolutions have been themed around mantras like “No Excuses” and bringing more happy into my life. This year, it’s all about love. Not just in the romantic sense, but in every sense of the word. What do I mean? Here’s a taste:

  • Love my current friends in the way that they deserve, and love making new friends.
  • Love my family for all that they are, no matter our past, no matter our differences. Love every moment I have with them.
  • Love my job and my team, and change paths if I don’t feel it.
  • Love my city and all that it has to offer.
  • Love the places I travel to, and the people I travel with.
  • Love my hobbies and passions, and if they don’t make me happy, find something new to love.
  • Love myself — my flaws, my successes, my failures, my quirks, my body, my dreams, my growth.
  • Love what the future holds, wherever it brings me, whatever I may do — and know that it will all fall into place.
  • Fall in love and be loved back.

And what are some other folks resolving to do? A sampling from those who answered my question on Facebook and Twitter below; add yours in the comments!

-spending/focusing more of my time and money on experiences than material things.

My sister adopted a policy of only making fun, achievable, non-self-pounitive resolutions, like “get more manicures.”

-Maybe I should try picking one thing, just ONE THING, throwing all my energy and brainpower behind it, and then letting the other chips fall where they may. So, to that end, my goal for 2013 (the year, not coincidentally, I turn 30) is to get published. Be it a short story in a journal, or a magazine article, or an agent signing, anything will count. The aim is to be fearless and take the next huge step toward my writing dreams.

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Jenna’s Chillin’ New Year’s Eve

The title doesn’t have the same ring as Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve does it? Oh well…I’m perfectly fine with that, because instead of standing in freezing cold, rainy Times Square, I’m snug in my bed at my parents’ house in Cincinnati, with my heating blanket on, knowing that right above me sleeping are my wonderful Mom & Dad and two adorable corgis.

I’ve been lacking in my posts in the last couple of weeks while at home, but it’s only fitting to do a year-end post. Because I love lists, part of the post is a compilation of some of 2009’s best moments. See that later. First, a little reflection…

2009 began with a bang with President Obama taking office. February marked two years since I moved to DC, and March brought my 1-year anniversary at my job.  April was three years with my boyfriend, and August was one year in my studio apartment. November was the big 25th birthday, and I will remember this Christmas as probably the last time I will get to spend a full two weeks around the holidays at home. That’s a lot of occasions, celebrations and memories.

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End of year musings

Yes, it’s been awhile since I wrote – but I’m sure my few and loyal readers (all 2 of you) haven’t missed me that much. I’m not sure I even have an excuse for not writing. Sure work has been busy, and yes, it’s the holidays, blah blah…but mostly I’ve been lazy. So there you have it!

On to bigger and better things though- the year is almost over! Insert phrase that we all say every time this year: “I can’t believe it went so fast!”

But seriously. A LOT has happened this past year. A quick rundown on my end: new job, new apartment…and another new iPod.  From my past posts, you’ve seen that I’ve really enjoyed my job switch this year. It’s been a fabulous 10 months so far. I work with a great team on some amazing issues, and it’s just been really invigorating all around. It’s really interesting to see how a job change can give you a fresh outlook on life, and how much stress and negativity just washes away.

But that wasn’t all. I also moved into a place of my own, which I LOVE. I know some people still like having roommates to hang out with and it saves money, etc, but I really don’t think I could have it any better than I do now. I have a great studio in a great area, and I am just fine with coming home to my place and my things and my mess (I actually don’t really have messes, because I’m a neat freak). I can watch my shows and cook in my kitchen and all that other fun stuff that comes with living alone. And again, it’s amazing what stresses are lifted when you’re not dealing with a living situation you’re unhappy in.

Conclusion: life is good.

In addition to all this, I’ve recently started corresponding with some family members that for many years were not in my life, thanks to all kinds of drama and bad times when I was younger. It’s a huge step for me, because for awhile, I said I just wouldn’t deal with it anymore and I didn’t need it. Now, it’s not that I need it, but I feel I can finally move past the bad stuff and get some closure. I will never go back to how things were 10 years ago, but it’s something that I need to do to be at peace with things. More importantly, because I have great parents, a boyfriend and friends who care about me, I don’t need much to come out of this – it’s just my little thing that I’m doing so that the what if’s won’t be running around in my head anymore. It’s a long process though, so I know that I may still have some moments where I’m struggling and wondering “what’s next?” But I won’t allow myself to get hurt anymore because I do have the control. My dad always tells me that – that I have control over how I react to something, and he’s right. It’s in my power to figure out how I will or will not respond to something.

I think this really translates into all of the stuff that’s been happening in my life this year and that continues to happen. If I have a friend who isn’t really being a good friend or if I’m unhappy about something at work- it’s up to me to decide how it will affect me and what I will do, if anything, about it. I can either say, “ok, it is what it is” and step away from it, or I can try to figure it out – but it doesn’t have to stress me out. That’s something I continually work on. That there are some things out of my control, but that it’s in my control to realize and accept this. Deep, but not really. Quite simple- it’s just a matter of applying it to daily life.

Personal stuff aside, it’s been amazing being in DC for all of the pre-election and post-election excitement. It was one of the best nights of my life to be at a bar in Dupont Circle with friends during the returns, and to run on the streets screaming and hugging people out of pure happiness at the change that is coming. Yes, I just said that! I’m really excited to be here for the inauguration and the upcoming couple of years – what a great place to be in for all of this!

I think this is enough for now. Does anyone have any thoughts about their 2008?

Who is excited to go home for the holidays? I am! Here is a preview of my trip home:

-corgis
-movies
-pot pie
-finally seeing The Nutcracker Ballet!
-watching A Muppet Christmas Carol
-Law & Order marathons