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…