In writing the piece about my intention for the new year being one of reclamation, I found myself thinking more about what it is I truly value. What it is that lights me up, you know?
Travel and exploration, yes. Going somewhere new as a stranger and doing my best to fit in and do as the locals do is always fun for me. Going somewhere to rest and recharge is huge; I haven’t really found that place around here yet, but I’m working on it. Going somewhere familiar and soaking up the comfort of “home” is also one of my favorite things. Road trips, weekend trips, even just trying new places and things here in town. I’d like to challenge myself to do that once a week, if possible – at least for the local stuff, and at least one road trip and one bigger trip each semester I’m in school.
Learning and education, absolutely. I’ve got a stack of books, ever-growing, that I fully intend to read this year. The Undercover Economist, for one. Between the World and Me, for another. The new Jenny Lawson, the old Howard Zinn, and so many more. Plus, school starts up in a few weeks, so I’ll be reading up on the DSM-5 as well as another social work-focused text. So much information to seek out and absorb; it’s daunting, but appealing just the same.
Food, food, food, and more food. But eating WELL, and healthfully. I’m starting to get excited about the suggestion posed some time back by Michael Pollan: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. I want to find recipes for vegetables/plants that will have me looking forward to dinner, something that’ll tide me over but still be healthy and varied and exquisite. I think it’s possible. For instance, when I was out in Portland recently, I had a dish with beets and cilantro that was just outstanding and I’d like to recreate that. The thought of eating seasonally and locally again also sounds good to me, although the produce in TN isn’t nearly as abundant or varied as it was back in OR/CA… anyway. Something to dig into.
There’s more, of course. But what it all comes down to, what I realized the other day and have been sitting with long enough for it to believe it to be valued: I want to live a life that takes my breath away. I want to see things, do things, go places, eat food, drink wines, tell stories, try the new, and read, watch, and experience breathtaking things. I realize, of course, this isn’t a sustainable thing, nor would it happen all the time, or even a lot. But the more I can do to live a breathtaking life, I believe the better off I’ll be, and the better I’ll feel at the end of it all.
So here’s hoping the end is a long ways off, and here’s to many more breathtaking moments, until then.