New Year's resolutions

The nice thing about having a birthday on New Year's Eve is that there are two good reasons to make some resolutions--a new age and a new year. (And lordy, lordy look who's forty!) I'm not big into resolutions, but as I get ready to take another trip around the sun and hop into another decade, I figured I'd set some goals for myself. If I don't do them all this year, it's ok, but it's good to have something to aim for. I'm starting the year off feeling mentally and physically healthier than I have in six years. That in itself is pretty exciting. Forty is easy.

I wasn't planning to put "ride a mechanical bull" on my list, but sometimes those things just happen. You are innocently sitting in a restaurant with a group of friends, celebrating your birthday, when someone mentions that there is a mechanical bull at a bar down the street. It's only there for a few days, and you only turn forty once, so....

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I'm pretty much the floppiest bull rider around.

I also wasn't planning on adding an international trip to my list this year. Of course I want to go somewhere new that requires a passport. Of course I want an adventure. But I was trying to keep this list realistic and a big trip usually means big money.

Henry didn't concern himself with my realism, and gave me a trip to Peru! I am not kidding. I almost didn't believe it as I was reading the clever birthday instructions he printed up. Seriously-- a trip to Peru, people! If you are looking for me in the latter half of April, you might try Machu Picchu or Choquequirao. You probably won't be able to find me at all since I'll be hiking and camping in the mountains and jungles of the Andes.

You can't just walk to ancient Incan sites by yourself, the government of Peru insists on state-certified guides for all travelers. Lucky for me, my good friend Felicia, has a travel company and has put together the perfect trip. Read more about it here. My first choice would be to go with H, but since we aren't going to leave the kids for 16 days, my next choice is to go with a friend. I cannot wait! (If you want to go Felicia has two spots left on the trip and you can book your own cheap flight to Lima.)

Look for me at Machu Picchu.

Life is fun, isn't it? I haven't even started with my list, yet, and my year is looking pretty rad. I'm going to share the list anyway, it will help keep me accountable.

Lose weight

I know it's cliche, and I don't want you to start singing Carly Simon songs, but my first goal is to get back to my pre-baby weight. It's not really about looking good, although I don't mind that, it's about getting myself back. I've belonged to two little people for the last six years. My body became their body, my mind became their mind, my life became their life. I was glad (kind of) to do it, but now I want some of it back. I'm starting with reclaiming a body that can climb mountains, ski all day, and fit in normal-sized pants.

This will be the easiest goal to meet since I've already lost around 15 pounds since I changed my diet last July. Five pounds to go. I should be there by the end of the month.

Run a marathon

This one is a little tougher, but I've been thinking about it for years. I even trained to run one when I was in grad school, but had some problems with my IT band when I started doing longer runs. I ran a bit last spring and everything seemed to be fine, so I think I can do it this time. All I have to do is run 26.2 miles, right? How hard can that be?

I'm signed up for the Missoula Marathon on July 14. I'm a bit concerned with the "significant hill at the halfway point." Exactly how significant? I'll just have to keep my mind on the Big Dipper ice cream right near the finish line.

Reduce plastic in our home and community

We call them "Livingston prayer flags."

I've been working on cutting down the plastic at home, but want to move out to the community. I have a couple ideas, but want to formulate my ideas a bit before I announce anything.

Wonder why I think plastic is so gnarly? Watch The Story of Bottled Water (just eight minutes!) or Bag It! (a cheesy full-length movie, but well worth watching).

Finish my ski guidebook to Yellowstone

Aahhh this albatross is too frustrating to talk about, but there it is.

Keep a no-rules journal

You'd think this would be easy for a writer, but I'm not a strong journaler. I got a big sketch book that I'll write, draw, and paste things into. I'm not going to do it everyday, but I'll get in there.

Climb the Grand Teton

I've been staring this one in the peak for a long time. I've been up the South and the Middle Tetons, but the Grand takes a little more know-how. I'm hoping a friend with more mountain climbing experience will go with me this August. I haven't asked her, yet, but it's on the list.

Make time for mind wandering

Along with making me fat, my kids have taken away all the time I have to let me mind wander around. I don't think Anders has ever had a thought that doesn't come out his mouth. His brother is a chatterbox, too. The three of us spend almost every waking hour together, so I go a little crazy. Believe me, I love these inquisitive, charming little boys, but I am an introvert. I need lots of time to think, process and decompress.

I've been out skiing by myself several times in the last couple weeks and it has been amazing. I'm coming up with all kinds of creative thoughts, ideas, and motivation. I have to keep that happening.

No new clothes

This year I am going to buy any clothes the boys or I need from thrift stores. It's a little tough in this small town we call home, but if I stay on top of it, I should be able to do it. This excludes: socks and underwear--let's not be gross. We may have to buy new shoes, too, those are hard to find in good condition used.

Why? Most of the clothes we buy are made in sweatshops, use scary chemicals, and basically aren't good for people or the planet. I don't need more clothes anyway, but Anders seems to keep growing (Finn gets hand-me-downs). I guess I'll amend that to allow sustainably made clothes of organic cotton or wool, but those are outside our budget anyway.

Plan a long hike

Maybe I should hike all of these!

When I say long, I'm talking over 2,000 miles. I've wanted to hike the PCT or maybe the AT forever. The CDT is right out our door. The key word here is plan. This isn't going to happen this year. But, I do want to sit down and figure out how I can make it happen in the next five or so years.

What do you want to do this year?