Happy New Year!

I can’t believe its a new year already. 2014 seemed to fly by, and here we are, once again looking back on one year and ahead to the next. It’s a natural time to reflect—on the good, the bad, and what we’ve learned and experienced in the last 365 days. And it’s a time to begin making positive changes in our lives.

2014 was a great year in many ways. There were a lot of changes. We moved from the cabin to the apartment in back of the shop for a couple months while Evan and I were both injured and then finally to the house that he bought in August. We’ve been slowly making it a home. I changed jobs, leaving my gig at Penn State in favor of something a little closer to home and non-academically-affiliated (I was still feeling a little burnt out from school), ending up at Boxer’s Cafe, an awesome place our friends own. I drifted apart from some people and grew closer to others. I became much less committed to running due to knee issues and much more committed to biking. Over the past few months I’ve grown so much as a mountain biker, and that progress has made riding in more technical and difficult areas exponentially more fun. I’ve become so much more a part of a tight-knit group of really wonderful people who love to ride. Recently, we’ve grown our animal family, adding a flock of chickens who, to our delight, are already producing fresh eggs.

It’s been a good year, but I’m also ready to mentally restart. I feel like I’ve been going through a quarter-life crisis of sorts. I needed a period of time to catch my breath after finishing school and then my travels to Japan, and 2014 was the year to do so. Now, I am yearning for adventure again, and feeling the need to continue moving forward, to once again pursue my dreams with a vigor and confidence that’s been lacking lately. I need to make some changes for the better, and now is as good a time as any. 2015 is going to be the best year yet, I’ll make sure of it.

Here are a few of my “resolutions,” so to speak:

1. Stress less. I worry too much. I worry about what people think, I worry that I’m not good enough, I worry about things that are probably not going to happen, and it’s having an unhealthy impact on my mental and physical well-being. New rule: If I can’t change it, don’t sweat it. If I can change it, begin taking the steps necessary to do so. 

2. Ride more. Because riding bikes makes me happy in a way that not much else does. I’d like to start bike commuting more often, and a goal for this year is to get in at least one bikepacking/touring trip.

3. Learn how to work on bikes. Right now, I can do basic things, but I’m not confident enough in my abilities to feel comfortable going on multi-day trips alone or taking others out in remote areas—two things I’d like to do more of.

4. No more “I can’t.” When it comes to things I really want to do, I’m not allowed to say those words. Period. If there is a will, there is a way. I need to exercise my will, because I’m probably not as incapable as I think I am.

5. Yoga. I want to get into the routine of a regular practice. It’s enjoyable, relaxing, and beneficial to recovery after workouts and relieving aches and pains (I know I must be getting older—I’m getting more of these).

6. Slackline. Evan got us one for Christmas. Right now, I can’t even get up onto it without falling off, but I will, and I think it’ll be a lot of fun to master. And, I’ll have killer balance, something that I’m definitely lacking at the moment.

7. Learn to sew. I got a sewing machine for free from a friend of mine; now all I need to do is learn how to use it! Not only is sewing an incredibly useful skill in everyday life (I have lots of clothes with holes in them), I also want to try to make my own custom frame bags, especially for the tandem touring bike that Evan and I acquired this year.

I am sure I will add more things to this list, but it’s a good start.

Here are just a few great moments from 2014…

A very cold commute across the ice of Raystown to work one morning.
A very cold commute across the ice of Raystown to work one morning in February. Definitely a memorable day.
Kayak sledding behind out cabin.
Kayak sledding behind our cabin. This is the fulfillment of a lifetime dream.
Ev and I went through a lot of really rough times this past year...but we also got through them and I think we're better than ever.
Ev and I went through a lot of really rough times this past year…but we also got through them and we’re better than ever.
Moving into our new house. Dinah is just as happy as we are about all the new-found space.
Moving into our new house. Dinah is just as happy as we are about all the new-found space.
After a hiatus of several months, Wednesday night rides were reinstated.
After a hiatus of several months, Wednesday night rides were reinstated.
Bouldering in Martin Gap. Something else I'd like to do more of in 2015.
Bouldering in Martin Gap. Something else I’d like to do more of in 2015.
One of my best friends, Carissa, got into mountain biking, and it's been great to get to ride with her.
One of my best friends, Carissa, got into mountain biking, and it’s been great to get to ride with her.
A couple of our hens.
A couple of our hens.
Ringing in 2015 with a bonfire and good people.
Ringing in 2015 the right way with good people and a bonfire under the brilliant moon and stars.

Happy New Year! May yours be filled with happiness and adventure! 

One Reply to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Another great post with good pictures and really good resolutions. I worry as well but I always refer to Matthew 6:25-34. Good words of comfort in worrisome times. Keep up the good work in 2015 Helena.

    Like

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