Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore
— Andre Gide, Nobel Prize-winning author
It may be a sign of maturity — or more likely a symptom of sheer exhaustion — that I’ve limited myself to one New Year’s resolution for 2013. That’s about all I can handle. Really.
And while this reduces the possibilities of failure, it also gives me little room to maneuver for success. Nevertheless I’m hoping to keep true to this one wish.
I want to get out of my rut.
Perhaps you have similar intentions but a different way of expressing them. You might want to step out of your comfort zone. Or push the envelope. Or try something new.
If so, you are where I am, leading a fairly predictable life, meeting expectations, keeping your appointments, hitting the age-appropriate milestones. Good for you. Good for me.
But it’s time to shake things up, and I mean this in a good way. A good, tame, healthy way because I certainly don’t want to cross paths with another unexpected health event like The Hubby’s 2012 near-death experience.
“I need to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable, something I wouldn’t normally try on my own,” an acquaintance said as we shared plans for the new year.
Her definition of uncomfortable was a bit different than mine, but the desire to set sail for distant shores was the same. In the last third of our lives, nearing retirement, cruising off into the sunset (or the sunrise) can be a scary thing, but an invigorating one, too.
“I’m not going to say yes to everybody anymore,” she added.
I, on the other hand, need to say yes to more things, more places — though not more people. This is a tall order, but something I must do to get myself unstuck. The usual and customary, I’ve realized, can become like a child’s blankie, all fuzzy comfort. As a trainer at the gym likes to say, “No challenge, no change.”
So where to start? What to challenge? I’m thinking manageable adventures, of course, baby steps that can push me toward uncharted territory.
I’ll begin at the bottom: shoes. In 2013, I will buy a pair that is not brown or black. I will consider plaid. Or red. Or a metallic hue. Perhaps a flower print. Something that will prompt other women to stop in their tracks and exclaim: “Where did you find those?”
I will stay up past 10 p.m. I will leave the vacation planning to someone else. I will give up on perfect hair. I will eat something other than Greek yogurt and cereal for breakfast. I will register for the adult-education course on computer programming. I will take the long way to work at least once.
I also will no longer delay enjoying something special. I will light the scented candle, use the expensive lotion and shower with the handmade soap for no reason at all.
In that way, 2013 will be the year of just because.
Follow Ana on Twitter @AnaVeciana.