Tuesday, January 03, 2006

a fresh layer of snow

Isn't it interesting that the turn of a calendar can make everything seem possible? People wouldn't make resolutions if they didn't genuinely think, even for a little while, that they would be capable of achieving them. What is it about a new year that infuses this kind of optimism?

It snowed on New Year's Day, just enough to add to the illusion that the world was pretty and full of possibilities. Enough to cover the unappealing bits and to smooth out the rough patches. Enough to give light and shimmer and hope where it was dark and dull.

Although I long ago stopped making the universal kind of resolutions, I admit that I do spend more time thinking at the December/January junction. It's a dedicated contemplation of the future, tinged with a review of the past. It often makes me cry. This year, it is accompanied by a visit to my old friend, the Goals List.

Comprised of three sections, the Goals List is a pie-in-the-sky enumeration of the things I'd like to achieve within the next year, five years, and 20 years. Spend more time helping my parents. Go on more dates with my husband. Learn to speak Spanish. Vacation in Europe. It smacks of resolution but it's more like the foundation of a plan. Regular reviews of the Goals List provide motivation and reminder, realization of the importance of any individual goal (and subsequent removal or revision of goals), and validation when a goal is achieved. The past few years, no such list existed. I accomplished things, but haphazardly and on the fly.

This year, I decide which snow to shovel, where to make snow angels, and how high to build snowmen. This year, I'm taking advantage of the new snow.

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