I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I sort of feel that vowing to make a resolution means you are vowing to change something that maybe you need to change, and I’ve always been of the mindset that if I didn’t like the way I approached, did, thought, ate, etc I’d fix it, I don’t need a new year to act differently.
Well this was no ordinary year. And my life is anything but static. I’ve lost a lot this year, and yet, there is something promising about the future as I discover all the things that I didn’t know I was missing. My late husband wasn’t big on the kind of adventures I like, and truth be told, I don’t really know what kind of adventures I like. Sometimes doing them with an enthusiastic buddy is just the best, and my husband wasn’t the enthusiastic sort that would slog through museum mile in NYC or seek out that cultural experience. He would rather have been skiing or doing some risky sport thing.
I’m developing a different circle of friends now. They are just falling into my life in unexpected ways. Who knew there was a spinner just a block from my house, I walk by her condo whenever I walk the dog. She has been there for 15 years. I had no idea. She is interested in a lot of the things I like to do, or I’m discovering I like to do, and we have already had some pretty fun adventures together.
I was asked by a group of women in mid December to accompany them to the holiday boutique at Lambert Castle. I’ve lived in this area since the early 70’s when I attended Montclair State, and knew of Lambert Castle but had never been. Shame on me. We had a blast and I’m looking forward to going back to take a tour of the actual castle, not when it is hosting a holiday boutique. I’m really interested in the history.
Likewise, my new friend in the condo’s and I went to the Stickley Museum, which I’m completely embarrassed to say is 15 minutes from my house and an absolute marvel of a place. We took a tour, the Sunday before Christmas, it was unbelievable. I would go back in a heartbeat.
And the next day, I met up with my husband’s cousins from Texas, who were in Manhattan for the weekend. We went to see a Klimt exhibit at a Gallery called the Neue Galerie, which turned out to be four blocks north on 5th Avenue from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is actually the Ronald S. Lauder Museum for German and Austrian Art. I had no idea this museum was even here, it was breathtaking in its scope, and I can’t wait to go back. The German restaurant in the basement was excellent. The Klimt exhibit was pretty amazing as well. Suddenly there is a big world out there and it was right here all along but I never had the time nor took the time to look.
And the day after that I got in my car and drove two hours to Newtown, CT, home of Taunton Press, publisher of Threads Magazine where I was invited to their holiday party as a regular contributor. An old friend who had been widowed many years before me told me during a breakfast we had together, to always say yes to whatever you get invited to. It was a way of relearning the world without your spouse. She was so right. The Threads Party was a blast. The facility was beautiful, and the editors, whom I’ve had tons of correspondence with over the last couple of years, were just as gracious and fun in person as they are to work with professionally. I look forward to writing more for them.
About 10 years ago, my husband and I took the kids to see the holiday train show at the NY Botanical Gardens. It was incredible and I’ve always wanted to go back. My new condo friend has always wanted to go so in the next week we will be heading to the Bronx to check it out before it leaves on the 16th. I remember that every historic miniature building or site was built out of plant materials. My husband took something like 3000 photos 10 years ago. Most likely I will not take any. Because you can look it up on the internet.
And so I’m making a resolution this year, to find out all the things I was missing because I was busy raising kids, or traveling, or didn’t have someone to go with, or was too lazy to get on a bus, or drive to wherever. Life is short, as this year has shown us all. Seize the day and make it count.
And I even signed up for a five day watercolor class at Peters Valley this summer. I’m vowing to take a class out there in something, anything, each year, to keep me fluid and looking at life in different ways. I’m going to be a student again.
And even today, there are two fibery women I am good friends with, who live in different states in different parts of the country. But with a group facebook message, we talked on and off all day, sharing what’s on our looms, in our dyepots, and on the spinning wheels. It was like going to a virtual guild meeting.
So celebrate that you made it through a particularly tough year, and hold hands and cross the street together as we head into 2017, which by many estimates will be a complete leap of faith. Read more, weave more, take time to see the things that have always been right under your nose. Learn something new, cook something new. Make a new friend.