Making lists is one of my favorite, if strange, pastimes. There's something cathartic about the process of putting pen-to-paper that feels oh-so right, whether I’m writing out a reminder to pick up toothpaste on my way home from work or scribbling a passage directly from a book. Maybe it’s the promise of the blank page, or maybe I secretly enjoy the challenge of deciphering my own handwriting while on the hunt for toothpaste? toilet paper? trail mix?. New Year’s resolutions, though: I can take them or leave them. I usually wave them off, offering a quippy remark like, “I resolve to not resolve!” with my midnight toast come January 1. It’s easy to check off a to-do list; resolutions, I think, can set us up for failure—we aim high, and then life, as it often does, gets in the way, and soon those resolutions are forgotten, along with our plans to make this the year we take over the world. I experienced a lot of changes in 2012, though—a new job; a new apartment; friends who had babies; friendships that grew stronger or apart; a string of fizzled romances—that made me rethink the notion of setting out intentions for the year ahead, starting with the way I rang in 2013: at South Boston Yoga’s celebration class, not a champagne flute or noisemaker in sight.
Here are a few of mine, whether you call them resolutions, goals, or just things to do. I like to think of them as leaps of faith into the great unknown. And cheers!
To move beyond my comfort zone—geographically. I live in South Boston, and though there’s a number of newly-opened places in my neighborhood that have created a buzz and that I've meant to check out, I often find myself back in my old stomping grounds—Cambridge, particularly Central Square—in pursuit of late-night fun. And even though it’s just a short cab ride (or a pleasant walk on a nice day), I rarely venture into the North End, an area you could stumble into blindfolded and find a place to eat and drink (and canoodle). I fully confess that I'm a creature of habit, but what's an adventure without uncharted territory? So, Southie, you’re on my list—same goes for Union Square, Jamaica Plain, and yes, the North End.
While we're on the subject: to use public transportation more often. There are times when a cab is warranted: when it’s (literally) too late to take public transportation; when I’m in unfamiliar territory and safety seems questionable; when it’s raining sideways and my umbrella has blown inside out. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen into the routine of getting ready at the last minute, receiving texts that a date has arrived at the restaurant; should he order me a drink?—while I’m still in my apartment, running around like an animal unleashed trying to find my left shoe, apply mascara and spray perfume at the same time, just as the number 9 bus conveniently passes by. (I'm not the only one who does this, right?) I now declare cabs the exception, not the rule. My wallet, not to mention the environment, is happy to hear it.
To try online dating—maybe. I’ve got friends who rave about online dating, and friends who share horror stories about guys who look nothing like they do in their photos, or who have questionable track records, that the idea of online dating has always left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm a sucker for serendipity (I confess my dark, secret fantasy of running into the perfect guy—literally—between shelves at the library, our hands bumping into each other as we reach for the same book), and think that choosing a mate by algorithm seems highly unromantic. Since starting this blog, though, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from readers and dating experts alike, asking for my opinion on the matter—and I can't give one without the experience of being in the trenches firsthand. I'm intrigued, if a bit intimidated, and so this resolution is flagged as yellow: proceed with caution.
What are your resolutions? How will your dating life take shape in 2013? Are there new places you'd like to check out—or old ghosts you'd prefer to leave behind?
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