New Year 2018.

After a pretty rough November and December, 2017 ended quite nicely. I finally got around to all the cleaning and purging I normally like to do at the turn of the year. I organized the coat closet, the bathroom closet, the kitchen pantry, and the closet that houses the washer and dryer. I cleaned the floors and vacuumed and put fresh sheets on the beds. And I decluttered a bit, mostly cleaning off the counter in the kitchen where photos, papers, and miscellaneous items tend to collect. I could not have asked for a better end to the year, except perhaps that I wish I hadn’t gotten a cold. That I could have done without.

I feel like I don’t have a lot to report, but that’s my new normal. After Ironman last year, I made a decision to lay low – to race less, travel less, and just be for a while. And it’s felt right these last few months, so I’m continuing that intention into the new year.

This morning, the first of the new year, I caught up on sleep. (I didn’t sleep much December 29 or December 30 because I made the mistake of starting a puzzle that kept me up until 2:30 one night and 3:40 the next.) Then Dave and I bundled up (five layers on top and two on the bottom, with a buff, hat and gloves) and went for a 2.5 mile walk on the trails around a ball field in our community. It was 22 degrees outside, but the walk was fun. We went Dave’s walking pace rather than mine, so my heart was pounding. Then we came home, and I made us gingerbread pancakes for breakfast. It’s not often that I want to cook, but this morning pancakes sounded like fun.

Now, I get to just be the rest of the day. I get to read and write and pet the kitties and just sit. I get to drink coffee and hot chocolate. I get to wear sweats and socks and stay indoors. If I’m lucky, a friend will drop by just because. It’s a good nesting day.

It’s a good day to think about where I’ve been and where I’m going. It’s a good day to set some intentions about the coming year. I wrote down my intentions a few days ago, and last night, I shared that list with Dave. I don’t know that I’ve ever done that before. I usually write them for myself, but I wanted him to know exactly where my heart is and what I want to work towards this year. And now he does. That felt right.

The one thing I haven’t yet done is make myself a reading list for the year. I have so many books I haven’t read, and a dear friend gave me a few more for my birthday that all look really good. I’d like to keep a list of what I want to read so that I don’t end up with the lost feeling of “what’s next?” when I finish the book I’m on. Dave’s sister gave me an awesome little reading journal that I plan to fill.

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Cute, no? I love it. The look and feel of this little book represent to me much of what I’m going for this year. Slow. Simple. Thoughtful. Lasting.

I’m slowing down. I may start to sound like a bit of a dull or broken record, but I’m okay with that. In fact, I want that for a while. I want routine. I want uneventful. I want quiet. All of that feels right to me right now. All of that feels like a happy new year.

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