Archive for January, 2015

Half a year later…

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

…and it’s a new year.

This blog has been coasting on those mochi cake fumes since July. In the interim, much has changed. I left my job at Chronicle Books in September to join a small design firm. Dessa, our younger French bulldog, had two ruptured disc and required spinal surgery (not to worry—she’s walking again). Despite the big events, there’s been plenty of the same: bread was baked, stitches were knitted, food was cooked and consumed, miles were run.

First bread of 2015
Now, 2015 is underway.

I did a little thinking about resolving in the last days of December. The usual suspects popped up, such as writing here more, running, doing pull-ups, reading, knitting, sewing, caramelling, sending letters, being more social, returning to drawing, meditating and such. Nothing much to write about, nor have I shaped the specifics of resolutions into tangible goals yet. Who wants to read another’s resolutions? I’m boring myself as I type.

What’s interesting this year versus recent years is where my head’s at. My resolutions-to-be aren’t about reaching or striving or escaping who I am today. I’m pretty happy right now. (It feels great to say that. I wouldn’t have described myself that way a couple of years ago.) In the past, I’ve used goals as a means to wish myself into someone else and/or beat myself up for how I’ve used my time in the previous year. Sure, I’ll still be ambitious and want to impress myself, but it’s not coming from a place of yearning for something different. Does that make sense?

People talk about having a word for the year. A motto or a theme to carry with them as time marches forward. I don’t recall choosing a word in years past (if I did, it clearly wasn’t that successful in permeating the subsequent 365 days). My friend Jen chose the word “space.” Kim Werker is embracing the term “enough.”

The word that’s resonating for me is “process.”

I’m mostly outcome-focused. If there’s an end to be reached, my eye’s on it. I can fantasize about the future, skipping the right now. Despite my years as an endurance athlete, I was more often than not driven by the upcoming race, not living in the present enjoying the training. In fact, I may have taken the wrong lesson from ultramarathons and Ironmans. Knowing that you can suffer through or put up with any discomfort doesn’t result in a more fully enjoyed life. (Some other time I’ll reflect on this past year of not drinking.)

For 2015, I want to invite more process into my life. Less bragging rights about a moment’s accomplishment. More cultivation of relishing each and every second. As cliché as it sounds, it’s about the journey, not the destination. When look at how I’d like to spend this coming year, it’s not going to be about things crossed off a list. It will be focused on the habits and small steps taken along the way.

The do-ing, not the done-ing. Onward.

Note: The loaves above are from the last dough I mixed in 2014. Once divided and shaped, they chilled in the fridge overnight and were baked as the first bread of 2015. Without realizing it, bread baking has become a personal practice. It’s something I enjoy time and time again. There is no one loaf to achieve, just these loaves, then the next ones. It’s the embodiment of “process” and wildly fulfilling.