Another New Year

2011 was a year of many firsts for me. I got married, moved away from home, started a full time job, among many other things. 2012 was a much quieter year, though no less exciting. It has been a year of much enjoyment, complacency, and self-discovery. I was able to share my home with many friends and family members, travel the heck out of New England, and really dig in to new interests and desires.

Instead of setting new year’s resolutions, I much prefer to list goals and desires for the year. My list isn’t extensive, and most items are rather minute, but nonetheless, I think it’s always important to have such a list. I know it’ll change a handful of times throughout the year, as it always does, but I’ve got to start somewhere.

First on the list: Travel abroad.

Jacob and I have decided to finally take the plunge and make our dream of backpacking through Europe a reality. I’ve long desired to stroll the Champs-Elysees, delight in the gardens of Versailles, enjoy a pint at Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, and promenade with the locals from the Piazza del Popolo to the Spanish Steps in Rome. We may go broke doing it, but we are only young once. I have a feeling that sleeping on trains and in hostels will no longer sound so appealing a few years from now. Plus, what better time than the present? Come this summer, we will have no commitments to tie us down, and realistically, we may never be able to say that again. So, come July, we plan to pack our bags and hop the pond, spending one month traveling our way from London to Rome.

Next up: Experiment in the kitchen as much as possible.

The way that I view and consume food has changed dramatically over this past year. Thinking back on grocery lists and meal plans from when we first moved to Boston makes me cringe a bit. Long gone are the days of frozen pizza and boxed macoroni and cheese. Out with processed foods and in with the wholesome ones. One thing that I really discovered about myself this year is that I have an absolute love for cooking. This wasn’t totally shocking as I’ve always found myself at home in the kitchen, but it wasn’t until this year that I was fully able to act on and experiment with this desire and passion.

I’ve always had an interest in wholesome eating. Fresh fruits and veggies were always my thing. I’d buy organic meats when I could afford it, or I usually just wouldn’t buy meat at all. I’ve learned this year that I could probably be a vegetarian– As long as I didn’t have to give up bacon. I like meat, but I just don’t eat it all that often. Although, it’s just too good to give up altogether. The biggest change made to my diet was cutting out processed foods. Really, it was easier than one might think. Simply becoming aware of the things I was putting in my body was enough to do it.

There’s so much to discover in the kitchen. So many new flavors to try, so many combinations to uncover. I find true joy and pleasure when I am in the kitchen. Some may find it bothersome to have to come home and cook a meal after a long day at work. I find it relieving. It’s where I am really able to let go of my stresses of the day and let loose. It’s where I go to unwind.

With that said, one of my desires for the year to experiment with food as much as possible. It’s time to step out of my comfort zone a bit and dip my toes in a little deeper. As I test and play, this is where I will come to share, so be sure to keep an eye out for new recipes.

Another biggie: Figure out what I want to do in life.

I currently work full time as a nanny, and am so thankful to have a job. It pays the bills, and most days I truly enjoy what I do. Although, I find it very unfulfilling. Becoming a nanny is not what I had in mind for my career path. While perfect for this transitional stage in life, I find myself longing for something more. I am doing a bit of writing on the side, but I am not sure freelancing is the route that I want to take. My desire to work for a magazine, or some other sort of publication, still stands. My interests are broad, and I can see myself happy working in a number of mediums.  I am excited that 2013 will be the year to put my foot forward and make that happen.

A few other mentionables:

Utilize my juicer. We received an amazing juicer as a wedding gift, and it has hardly been touched! I love fruit juice, but hardly ever buy it from the store. I’ll make an occasional jar of apple or orange juice at home, but our juicer can be used for so much more. I loaded up my cart with lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and ginger yesterday at the store, so hopefully I can start concocting up some tasty juice blends this weekend.

Read 1-2 new books a month. I love reading, but have been doing a lot less of it lately. When I have been reading, I seem to keep reading things that I have already read once (or twice) before. I currently have a few new books on the agenda, but my list is pretty short. Have any recommendations?

Learn to snowboard. I know how to ski, but I decided last year that I wanted to also learn how to snowboard. So, we got to searching, found some inexpensive equipment online, and set me up. I was able to nail down the basics last season, but am really hoping to spend more time on my feet and not my face this time around. So far New England has seen a good bit of snow. Let’s hope that it decides to stick around.

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions, goals, and/or desires?

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