It’s hard for me to think of January as beginning on the 1st. Much like fall begins not Sept 23rd but the day after Labour Day, January doesn’t really begin until you go back to work.

I was getting ready for work today and I felt an overwhelming wave of sadness. Last year on this day I was nervous and excited and really stoked about starting a new job. The possibilities seemed limitless, really. And then last year happened, and it all seems like such a waste.

I wasted last year. Or rather, it wasted me. I’m not quite sure, perhaps a little from column A and a little from column B. Anyway, it was an annus horibilis, for sure.

To wit: my eating habits went to hell in a handbasket; I got so stressed I becamse physically ill; I got so depressed I contemplated going for a multi-year disability claim; I abandoned the people and things in my life that were important. In short, I lost myself.

On the positive side, I went to the Arctic, I did an overnight babysit that went really well, I went to India, and I bought a car. I learned a lot about myself, a process that is clearly going to have to continue throughout this year.

When I got dressed this morning, I made sure not to wear the same outfit I did on this day last year. Instead, I put on a dress that I wore to a party that my colleagues from my last job threw for me. This dress reminds me of a really positive experience and I’m grateful to have had it.

So yeah, last year (by and large) sucked. There’s no point in doing a year in review. There is a point in doing a year ahead. I’m looking forward.

This is the year that I’m going to learn how to make a quilt. This is the year that I’m joining a squash league. This is the year I’m going to learn how to really cook. This is the year I’m going to focus on finances. I have small, achievable goals. These aren’t resolutions, they’re just things to do.

Here’s my year ahead:

  • Squash league starts Jan 19th with a clinic, and then every Thursday after that. I’m already signed up.
  • Quilting course starts Feb 2nd, and for the following four Tuesdays. I’m signed up for that.
  • I have a cookbook or 12 to start going through. I’ve already made four new recipes so far this year, three of which turned out really well. This September, I’d like to be in a position where every meal I eat is homemade, just for one month.
  • I’m booking an appointment with a financial planner for March. No point in doing everything in January, right? Right.

So, my year ahead has some stuff to look forward to, and some stuff to just do. Last year is just that – last year. I’m in a better place this year, and will work on being me, whoever that person turns out to be.