Happy New Year!
January 1st is one of my favourite days of the year. I love reflecting, I love fresh starts, I love setting goals, and I love celebrating. And one day out of every year, these things all happen on the same day – New Year’s Day! And now that we are finally home after the holidays, and I have some time to sit at my computer, I thought I would ramble on for a bit about these loves of mine.
Reflecting on 2016…
Oh my, where do I begin? I spent most of 2016 (all but the last month) on maternity leave, but somehow managed to do all of the things. Looking back, January was a blur of snuggles, small hikes, and learning to be a mom. After that, I got busy! In February, I started this blog and a local Hike it Baby branch – both of which have inspired me to get outdoors more, allowed me to meet so many like-minded people, and challenged me to do more and be more that I ever thought possible. March is another blur – of babywearing, cloth diapering, co-showering, hiking and networking. April marked our first Hike it Baby 30 Challenge, and in May we participated in the 30×30 Nature Challenge. In June, I made the call for entries for the Humans of the Outdoors series that has been nothing but awesome and inspiration since then.
And then came the summer – another blur but this time a blur of SO. MUCH. TIME. OUTDOORS. Being teachers means that we get every summer off, together, regardless of maternity leaves. Our little family of three, I mean four, hit the trails all the time. And when we weren’t hiking, we were at one of our family cottages or exploring Kingston’s gorgeous downtown and waterfront. We also backcountry camped and lived to tell the tale! I don’t mean to brag, and who knows, maybe it was just luck, but we rocked all summer long. That isn’t to say there weren’t some bumps and scrapes and tears, there were, but we did enough right, and a lot of what we love.
September and October were jam-packed with hiking thanks to the Frontenac Challenge, something that we will definitely participate in again in 2017. November was a blur of tying up loose ends, binging on all o the things I loved most about maternity leave, and bracing myself for the inevitable return to work. Which brings us to December, a month of “different”. Trail Dad took the month off and stayed home with Huckleberry while I went back to teaching full-time. We took a huge step back, as we had expected, and we have some adjusting to do and some new routines to build. But we are optimistic – bring on the challenges, we got this!
Looking for a fresh start…
Every new year brings new challenges, and this one is no different. January 9th marks the first time that both Trail Dad and I will be working full-time at the same time (I know, right?!) and the day that Huckleberry starts day care. So much change! And after a very indoorsy December, I am hoping to press the reset button and get outside more in January and beyond, despite the total upheaval of our everyday routine. I have signed up for this month’s Hike it Baby 30 Challenge, and we have set ourselves some goals, but we are also ready (I think) to cut ourselves some slack.
I love a fresh start for the ability to scrap everything that didn’t work before and focus on what does work, but sometimes I get caught up in perfection, and perfection doesn’t really exist. So, with this fresh start, I am psyching myself up for the little failures, the bad days. I am working on looking at every day as a fresh start, and every setback as a learning experience. Lofty goals, I know, but that’s how I roll. Speaking of goals…
Setting goals for 2017…
I feel like 90% of what I want from 2017 can be summed up in one word: routine. I want to build more of what we love into our everyday. I want to rid ourselves of all of the excess, literal and metaphoric, so that we have more time in our days for what we love.
In 2017 we are striving for more:
Vague, I know, but that sets us up for success. The more general we are in our goals, the easier they are to stick to, and the happier we will be. And happiness is what matters, right? Within each of those points we have some ideas, some more specific goals, some strategies and tools to measure success, but really, it all comes down to routine. I just want a good routine that keeps our days free of stress and full of joy. Is that too much to ask? I sure hope not.
Celebrating the New Year…
My parents always had us tuck some money outside the door on New Year’s Eve so that the first thing we could do in the New Year was bring in some money – it’s good luck. I always liked this tradition, but now that I’m older, with my own little family, I want to start my own traditions and bringing in money just doesn’t seem to fit. A notion that sits well with me is the idea of starting the year with what you want from that year. We want more time unplugged in the outdoors as a family, so we rang in the New Year mostly unplugged at the cottage with my parents and lots of time outside. We went on several little hikes, cozied up around the pellet stove, played board games, read, melted snow to do the dishes, put socks on the toilet seat to make the outhouse a little nicer, really roughed it, haha. And had a great time! I am so excited to see what 2017 has in store for us. Let’s do this!