I’m not going to lie, spending New Year’s Eve in Havana, Cuba was definitely not my worst decision ever. It has been an absolute blast! From riding horses in Vinales to walking along the Malecon in Havana, Cuba is a photographers dream. For New Year’s Eve, Maggie and I went to Plaza Vieja, bought a couple of beers and sat on the square to do some serious people watching. One of the Cuban traditions is to throw water on the ground in front of their steps. This is to bring good luck in the coming year. In reality, it turns into a game of “soak the tourists” with many people getting a good dousing. We ducked and dodged our way back across Havana to our casa and somehow managed to stay dry. Others were not so lucky!
Anyway, the new year always makes me look ahead at what’s to come, what I want out of life, what will help me get there. So once again, I bring you my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions – a little behind-the-scenes look at my everyday life.
Complete the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic: Every year I set a physical challenge for myself. If I don’t have the threat of a significant activity hanging over me, I find it incredibly hard to motivate myself to stay in shape. And when I’m out of shape, my asthma is worse and my ability to do the things I enjoy is greatly diminished. So it’s important for me to keep active. The last few years my challenge involved climbing mountains, so this year I thought I’d change things up a bit. I’ve never been a much of a bike rider, but the STP is a “recreational ride” and seems like a great way to brush up on my cycling skills. Shortly after I get back from Cuba, I’m finally having surgery on my shoulder to fix an old softball injury. The recovery time is supposed to be about 4 months, so hopefully I’ll have enough time to train. The ride takes place mid-July. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Learn Spanish: Last year I set a resolution of learning a foreign language. Unfortunately I did nothing to achieve that goal. But after struggling to communicate in El Salvador with my limited Spanish knowledge, I knew it was time to take action. I’ve already signed myself up for a Spanish course at the community college by my house. I don’t have any trips planned to Spanish speaking countries any time soon, but I’d rather start now and have time to grow my knowledge. It starts next week and I’m excited to get learning.
Be more social: I’m very much an introvert. I also work from home. I love it, but I’ve found myself declining invitations to hang out with people more and more frequently in favor of staying home to watch Netflix with my dogs. Which I enjoy, but is maybe not always the best thing for me. So I’ve set myself a goal of saying “yes” when people asking me to do things. It’s never going to do me a lot of good to hole myself up in my house and become a complete hermit, despite how tempting that sometimes sounds.
Check something off my bucket list: I set myself this goal last year and achieved it by witnessing the Northern Lights in Iceland. But there are so many things I still want to do! So again this year, I’m setting this goal for myself and can’t wait to see which item I am able to accomplish!
Continue to improve my photography skills: Looking back on this past year, I’ve learned so much about photography. Both how to take better photos and how to edit them to achieve the look I’m going for. I’ve come a long way, but I still have much more to learn. So again this year, I hope to continue improving these skills and learn to harness them to eventually make money.
Move to a new city/state: I went back and forth on putting this one in. For all the traveling I’ve done, all the experiences I’ve had in my life, one thing I’ve never done is live in another place. Shoot, I’ve never lived east of I-5. I live 25 minutes south of the house I grew up in. And I love it here. Seattle is easily my favorite city in the world. But I really want the experience of living somewhere else for awhile. In the past, I’ve always come up with reasons to stay – I own a house here, I have plane tickets out of Seattle, I’m too busy to move right now, etc. It’s time to put an end to the excuses and finally take that step. It will require a new job, but that’s ok, too. 2017 is a year of new beginnings!
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What are yours for the coming year?