Tomorrow We Will Run Faster

Something is terribly wrong. I woke up this morning, a Sunday, at 6am. I had no planes to catch, no people to pick up at the airport, no mountains to slide down half on my skis, half on my bottom. In fact, I had no place to be at all. I could, quite rightly, have stayed snuggled up under the duvet, a cat curled like a comma in the crook of my arm, for another two hours, maybe three; sleeping in on the weekend is one of my most cherished pleasures. But my brain would have none of it: you're up! it said, you're awake! Let's get productive! Out of bed, coffee on, I think those baseboards might need a bit of a polish if you're looking for something to do.

What is it about the new year that frogmarches us towards improvement, that picks us up by the scruff of the neck and says You! Better! Now!, that has us joining gyms and giving up carbs and clearing out closets? This will be my year, we say, and this time it'll be different. Everyone likes a do-over. Everybody likes a clean slate.

I wrote my goals for last year in the back of my planner the day after I got it. Some, I was pleasantly surprised to find as I scanned them in the waning hours of 2010, I had actually managed to meet ("buy a house," "make a wedding video," "find a job that makes me happy"), and some I blatantly hadn't ("start working on a book manuscript," "go to India.")  Some were trickier. "Eat at a new restaurant in San Francisco each month" probably couldn't, in good conscience, be checked off, unless we were counting different locations of In-N-Out. "Get a pitch accepted and an assignment given by a national magazine" could, but only technically: I wrote a travel story for Town & Country last March, but it was killed at the last minute. Generously, I let myself check it off on a loophole: the pitch was accepted, after all, the assignment was given.  No-one said anything about it having to be published.

I had a good year, last year. Scratch that, I had a great year. I went to London and Paris and Barbados and Argentina and Chile and Oklahoma and Montana and New York and Las Vegas. Twice, I slept in lay-flat beds thirty thousand feet above the ocean. I bought a house. I changed jobs. I got a promotion. I celebrated a year of marriage. I renovated a kitchen. I saw my parents every month. I grew my hair. I picked up my French again. It was a great year, 2010, a year of firsts. It was a year of a newnesses.

But now we're into the second week of the next one and there's perfectionism again, butting her head into everyone's business, forcing us to draw up new lists, better lists: this year I will be awesome. I'm charging towards the same sort of self-improvement I charge towards every January, enrolling myself in a mental boot camp where for the first few weeks of the year, the drill seargant (me) shouts at the lily-livered pansy (also me), yelling things like:

* Solve something every day!

* Do something new in the San Francisco area every month!

* Renovate a bathroom!

* Read fifty books this year!

* Go to bed when you're tired instead of pissing about on the Internet!

* Go to India!

* Start working on a book manuscript!

(Hey, you've got to be consistent. Try again, fail again, fail better.)

So what are you doing in 2011? And if you haven't decided yet, may I suggest "solve something every day"? I made that one up to make myself feel resourceful and independent, and damn if it hasn't worked wonders so far. Hair dye stain on a hardwood floor, for example? A dab of nail polish remover, my friend. Boom, you're welcome, solved that one myself today. Hello, 2011.

Filed Under:
Anna K
Jan 10, 2011

Write more to my friends and family. Cards, letters, filled with swirling handwriting and tales and stories. I have become what I swore I wouldn't, an emailer and a texter, and NOTHING gives me as much pleasure as sitting down with a cup of tea to write to my friends.

Totally with you on gonig to bed when you're tired. The Internet can wait. And it's certainly not worth bullfrog eyes and a drowsy brain!

Jan 10, 2011

Why is it so hard to go to bed when I'm tired instead of pissing around on the internet? How much will I really miss on Facebook by not going to sleep for another hour? (Answer: not much.)

Jan 10, 2011

I love the idea of solve something every day! Especially burning questions like "will my husband like polenta?" According to last night's dinner: NO. (And since one of my resolutions was to cook more interesting dinners, I think I may be facing an uphill battle.)
Other resolutions for 2011 include losing my post-baby-breastfeeding-I-can-eat-anything-I-want weight. Unlike most folks, I didn't gain much during pregnancy and dropped what I had right after my little porker was born. Then the doctor told me I had to consume even MORE calories for breastfeeding than I had for pregnancy.

And then I started using heavy cream as a substitute for milk.


Jan 10, 2011

Trying to learn German so I don't feel embarrassed when I visit my friends who live there. Using my bike and piano more. Getting my fledgling business off the ground. Showing my new husband how much I appreciate him, every day. And finally, finally doing a forward roll on the trapeze.

Jan 10, 2011

ooh, the "New Year, New Me" pressure! I think that everyone must get it. I had a great 2010, as well, but I'm looking forward to making 2011 just as great, if not better!!!

For me this year, I want to write as much as possible, because I'm in a job that offers me NO creativity in my every day life, and I've learned that being creative and finding things that inspire me is something that I need on a regular basis.

Yoga/Pilates - I feel SO good when I practice regularly, but I fell off the wagon after my wedding in May, got back on for a bit before my honeymoon in Paris in September, and promptly fell back off upon my return. Oops.

Minor house improvements (renovate a bathroom!) so we can sell the thing and move into a proper home that gives us more space and that feels more like "home" to both me and my husband.

Learn French.

Expand my cooking-at-home repitoir, and try to cook more without recipes (I know I can do it, I'm just a little scared).

De-clutter - there are so many things that I have in my life, both physical and not, that I don't need. As far as the physical things (clothes I don't wear any longer, ten million blankets that we don't use) there others who need them more, so it's time to fill the donation box and take it down the street to the thrift store!

There are others, I'm sure. I like the idea of writing them down in the back of a planner. I think that would work for me as a daily-or-so reminder of what I'd like to do for the year.

hip hip gin gin
Jan 10, 2011

I've got lots on the resolutions list ( finally cut blunt bangs, send more handwritten mail, stop sleeping in old sweats and get proper pajamas, etc.) but I think "go to bed when you are tired instead of pissing about on the internet" is going to be added to the very top! Totally dead on my feet today because, even though I was exhausted, I pissed about on the net until 12:30. Wasn't even looking at anything particularly interesting is the sad bit. In fact I think a bit less computer and a bit more real life in general is in order for 2011.

Thespian Libby
Jan 10, 2011

"Going to bed when I'm tired" is something I have to master. When I was a tee-nincey child, I was terrified that I was going to "miss" something if I went to bed at a reasonable hour. After all - the most fabulous things happen after midnight! Sadly, I've not been able to get over that idea, so each day I drag myself sleepily into the office. And no, nine times out of ten NOTHING fabulous happened the night before! (Oh hell. Who am I kidding. Ten times out of ten....)

Jan 10, 2011

My 2011 looks busy. So busy I want to go to sleep and wake up in 2012 when it's all been done for me. :) On the agenda: sell our house, buy a new house in the mountains, set up a completely new life several hours away, complete my 30 before 30 list, manage to lose that 15 lbs I've been talking about for 5 years, etc., etc...but I think I need to start simple. "Solve something everyday" is a nice one, as is "go to bed when tired." Maybe just by doing those two, the rest will fall into place?

Jan 10, 2011

I actually made a detailed list of resolutions, broken down by theme months. I have a spreadsheet and everything. Either I'm going to be running the world by 2012 or I'm going to fail spectacularly trying.

Jan 10, 2011

Ris, you sound like my kind of girl.

Jan 10, 2011

Jeez, am I the only one who goes to bed when they are tired? Apparently so. As long as my DVR is working, I am pleased as punch to crawl into our super comfy bed and turn out the light whenever I feel like it. Everything else can wait till the next day!

I have numerous things to accomplish this year and am trying to tackle 2 a month or so. My favorites are donate platelets every month (not cuz I enjoy it but cuz I think its important) and make pasta from scratch. Most of mine center around "be a better person and loosen up." Isn't that what we all strive for?

Good luck!

Jan 10, 2011

My only child left for college last fall...the time I have on my hands for list making is insane. Not sure yet about time for getting to-do lists done but we will see. Here's to 2011!

Amy --- Just A Titch
Jan 10, 2011

This year, instead of just making a list, I made actual plans with steps to get there, and that felt amazing. I feel much more in control, and if there's one thing I like, it's CONTROL. And accomplishing things.

Locusts and Wild Honey
Jan 10, 2011

To rediscover who I am and find a way to make that girl happy.

Jan 10, 2011

Floss every day. Two weeks in I'm at about a 20% success rate but am confident that will improve as I get in the habit.

Jan 10, 2011

To sell 12 pieces of my artwork!

Jan 10, 2011

I have but one resolution for 2011: I'm going to learn how to build a pivot table in Excel. I'm soaring so high I might risk being burned by the sun, I know...

Jan 10, 2011

I've got a lot of things swimming in my head that I'd like to do, but the big ones we've agreed to as a family are:

1. Pay off the rest of our adoption debt. (Heyyyyy, adoption tax credit, you are looking fiiine tonight.)

2. Take our daughter to Nice.

3. Move to San Francisco (ish) (area) (though honestly, I'd prefer to live in the city if it's at all possible).

4. Begin again on adoption paperwork. Zinashi needs a sister.

I'd also like to be more organized, start meal planning each week, and clean my floors on a regular basis. Those have been on my list every year since 2007, so I'm not holding out too much hope, but will instead accept it as a victory if I move even a small step in the right direction.


I resolved to take care of ME this year. I want to recognize my own signals for Impending Meltdown, and take the appropriate steps to avoid said meltdown. I want to survive-and-thrive in this year of: a black-tie gala, my wedding, officiating one of my best friends' weddings, and I'm sure about five other things that I'm forgetting. I've been a real pain in the butt toward myself for the past year, and I want to change that.

And I'd like to make some friends here. I've lived here for almost six years, and I still can't seem to get more than three people to attend my birthday party. I think that's pretty pitiful.

Lea @TheGraciousHost
Jan 10, 2011

My main goal for 2011 is to get my own business going and stop being a slave to the 9-5.

Also to put more time and effort into my volunteer job (check out - hey see, I've started already) and start a family. Scary.

To stop re-watching my favourite TV shows and get some work done instead. Tough one.

Jan 10, 2011

My main goals are all baby-related. As in, remain healthy, have baby, survive (and enjoy) life with baby, refrain from having a stress-related breakdown when husband's extended family comes from overseas for a visit 4 months after baby is born. My secondary goals are to exercise regularly and - since we've moved 4 times in the past 3 years - to not move. Easier said than accomplished, but I'm hopeful.

Jan 10, 2011

Go to Europe and learn how to play the ukulele.

Those are meant to be goals independent of one another, but I'll happily learn to play the ukulele while in Europe should the opportunity present itself!

Jan 10, 2011

It's probably because of my English class earlier, but I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your line, "a cat curled like a comma in the crook of my arm". Great alliteration!

Jan 10, 2011

Nothing is more satisfying than transferring things from your To-Do list to your They're-Done list.

Jan 11, 2011

Seeing your parents every month.

How awesome. I'm envious!

Jan 11, 2011

At the end of last year, I bought my first fountain pen, something I'd been wanting to for a long time but frankly wasn't at the top of my priority list. It's bright pink so of course I then had to buy bright pink ink for it. I've become and emailer too, so one of my resolutions is to write more: in my journal (separate from typing on a blog), to people, or just on paper in general. As efficient as typing is, there's something so satisfying about putting ink on paper.

No, I'm not 87 years old.

Jan 11, 2011

I try to make my resolutions be mundane things that I HAVE to do eventually, like, say, LAUNDRY.

So my "weekly" resolution this week is to finish the laundry. It's sort of cheating because you see, eventually the laundry MUST be done. I don't have an everlasting supply of skivvies!

P.S. - what is a lay-flat bed 30,000 ft. above the ocean?

Melissa Oklahoma
Jan 11, 2011

right i should be going climbing into bed instead of surfing around on the internet. although a stop by your blog is always lovely.

Jan 11, 2011

Can't do new years resolutions. If every year you pledge to "run a little faster" you eventually become a little hamster running on a wheel that only you have created. Life isn't always about deadlines or crossing things off a list. (Not to rain on your parade I just don't like putting any more expectations on myself)

Jan 13, 2011

My favorite resolution this year is to figure out how to incorporate music into our daily routine. I am a person who values quiet but my toddler loves dancing so I think I need to encourage it with music. I look forward to finding some new artists and dusting off my old tired playlists from 2003.

Jan 13, 2011

a few years ago i decided that my goal for every year would be to volunteer for a worthy cause, and to treat myself to some kind of travel. both help me feel better about the universe...although this is the first year i am not sure how we'll travel or where, since we just moved to a new state. maybe i'll think of it as an extended trip.

C. Clark
Jan 15, 2011

The book manuscript(s) are done and now it's time to find an agent. Not to mention editing others. I'm also working on make necklaces for a local shoppe and I should try and make sure I update my Etsy site more often.

Jan 16, 2011

I'm not really a resolution person, they seem to set you up for failure and disappointment. But you've framed this more like a 2011 to-do list, I like that. I just have two things I need to finish in 2011 to be happy:
Finish my thesis
Start yoga again

Although, solving something every day sounds very sleuth-like and exciting!

Jan 17, 2011

Lindsay, I was trying to say "first class" without being the sort of person who talks about flying first class.

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