The tradition of celebrating the New Year at the cabin has become pretty tender to us. We love "escaping" to the quiet simplicity of nature in the wintertime. As in years past, the girls spent much of their free time being free -- playing out in the snow, building puzzles, watching old Disney flicks, playing kitchen, working on craft projects. Michael built a fire every day. I practiced new recipes.
We intended on a brief trip, but discovered a leak that required a full day's work from Michael and a long drive to the nearest town for hardware supplies, so we were stuck an extra day and night and portion of the following day. We made the most of our trek to town; I made an irreverent obstacle course of construction cones for the girls in Lowe's while Daddy hunted in the plumbing aisle, and we purchased a sled. On the winding roads back to the cabin, we stopped to snap a real live bald eagle not twenty yards from us.
We made a simple little party of New Year's Eve (note to self: next year, remember the sparkling cider and party hats/blowers), eating homemade cheese pizza while we each recorded 3 goals and 3 predictions for 2012 and reflected on the goals and predictions of previous years. This has become a routine we really look forward to.
With the three goals, I usually choose one New Year's Resolution as my focus. I keep this resolution simple, with a delicate balance of intense personal stretching and the potential that I might actually do it. I also want it to become a life habit, not just a year-long affair that gets dumped when Dick Clark's next broadcast comes back around. Last year's goal to ride in Little Red was completely thwarted because the race sold out in moments, so I'm bummed about that one, but that was out of my human control.
A few months ago, inspired to learn more from the man who married us, Elder Joe J. Christensen, I came upon one of his BYU addresses called Resolutions. Wow, so good. I have read it about eight times. I'm also re-reading The Success Principles by Jack Canfield, and though it has one or two suggestions that don't fit with my personality, nearly every page has some choice ideas for improving myself and my station for the most noble of purposes.
This year, I chose as a New Year's Resolution to adopt an old adage. Seriously considered "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away," but finally committed to:
Early to bed and early to rise makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise.
By someone's calculations on the almighty Facebook, if I wake up just a half hour earlier each day, I'll have 7 1/2 extra waking days in 2012. I'm willing to give that a shot. I figure with better sleep, I'll be more productive, organized and fit. Happy, too. Well, not at the moment my new alarm goes off. After that.