Happy New Year’s, neighbors!
I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating the end of the year of the horse and welcoming the year of the goat.
May your champagne have been crisp, your fireworks explosive, and your balls thoroughly dropped.
I spent my NYE 2K14 curled up with Michael Pollan’s Cooked. I was looking forward to a a good night’s sleep after my exhaustingly-awesome holiday travels. However, the sound of fireworks exploding in the sky sent my most hirsute house-mate into fits of hysteria. I spent my evening fighting for the covers with a cowardly canine cuddle-buddy.
Thankfully, I am currently firing on all cylinders thanks to the aid of an optimistic attitude and my favorite legal stimulant.
It’s the first day of the rest of the year. I intimated that I hope to live my life with COURAGE, HONESTY, and INTEGRITY when I was contemplating my New Year’s Revolutions.
However, as I mentioned yesterday in my New Year’s reflections, I don’t necessarily think that simply turning up a new a calendar page is a major transformational event. Wherever you go, you have to bring yourself with you. We’re writing a new date down, but we’re only a day more advanced than we were yesterday.
On the other hand, it’s always healthy to set goals. If a new solar cycle helps put you in the right frame of mind to be hopeful about accomplishing those goals than I am all for giving this day some gravitas.
My (brilliant) friend Catherine is superstitious about the new year. She believes what you do on New Years sets your trajectory for the days ahead. In her words: “However you spend your New Years is what you will be doing for the rest of the year.”
I’ve been musing on Catherine’s conviction all morning, trying to decide how it applies to my own existence. I started my New Year with pre-sunrise run.
After being plagued with injuries for the past two months, my meager mileage this morning made me optimistic. I know that I want to spend 2015 running happy, and injury free. I also know that, in order to do so, I need to make sure the rest of my life is in balance: trying to out-run my problems is not a sustainable stress-management strategy. I hope to maintain my strength training routine, eat healthfully, get enough sleep, and just generally try not to overdo everything all of the time.
After my run I mounted my bike and headed into lab to measure bacterial growth curves.
As I was dispensing media for my experiments I managed to drop an an entire canister of glass pipettes all over the floor.
As I swept up the shattered glass, Catherine’s wise words rang out as clear as a bell through my brain: “However you spend your New Years is what you will be doing for the rest of the year.” I can tell you right now that I do NOT want to spend the next 365 days alone on my hands and knees, cleaning up the latest catastrophe in an otherwise empty laboratory.
I started examining WHY I’m spending my day with nobody but Bacillus to keep me company. I came up with all of the usual reasons: “I need these data to respond to reviewers’ comments on my manuscript,” “I LIKE working hard, and I LIKE getting lots of data fast,” “If getting a Ph.D. was easy, EVERYBODY would do it,” “Once I finish up this set of experiments, I’ll settle into a more sustainable routine.” As I ran through my typical mantras in my mind I realized: I’m totally full of shit.
I blog about finding balance, moderation, and setting reasonable goals, yet approach my own existence with an “excess is never enough” attitude. I know for a fact that if some is good, more is not necessarily better. However, I cannot seem to apply my own principles to my career, my training and racing, or my life in general.
I don’t specifically have a plan, per se, to stop trying to bite off more than I can chew at every opportunity. This post is called “New Year’s REALIZATIONS.” I haven’t figured out my RESOLUTIONS yet. However, I’m going to give myself a nice, big, shiny gold star for at least identifying the problem.
For now, I’m going to finish up my experiments for the day, finish this blog post, and start to think about what OTHER things I’d like to finish during 2015. I’m sorry if this particular entry got a little negative and navel-gazy on my part. I hope that maybe my own follies and foibles can help you think about how you’d like to live in this coming year.
Let’s hear it, gentle readers: What are your New Year’s Realizations? Have you identified any areas you’d like to improve?