The New Year is one of my favorite times. I like how we can start fresh after 12 months, breaking things up into multiple chapters. It gives us an excuse to reflect on what we’ve accomplished or overcome during a finite amount of time and look ahead towards new aims. I read a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that said, ‘happiness is not a goal, it’s the by-product of a well-lived life’. I thought it was interesting because often times when people are asked what they want out of the new year, they’ll respond ‘to be happy.’ As simple and pleasant as that is, it doesn’t carry much substance. For me, I would say that the best way I know how to live my life well is by planning for the future to make things happen. It may not always be ‘happy’, but it sure beats sitting on your arse.
As for 2013 – I can hardly believe that it was 8 months ago when Matt and I left one of our favorite places in the world to start this grand adventure. It’s funny to look back on the many places we’ve laid our heads to rest during this experience; a tent, sail boat, hostel for 4 months, van for 6 weeks, several friends couches, and now an apartment in the red-light district (but it’s also a block from the beach!). In addition to unique sleeping conditions, the work has been a ‘diverse’ experience as well. I can now say I’ve worked as a laundry attendant, receptionist, shuttle driver, bar-back at a bungee jump tower, nanny, pizza server, market research interviewer, smoking interceptor, and door girl for a burlesque club. I don’t think I’ll include them all on a resume, but the experience I certainly won’t forget! I’ve been humbled and challenged and learned the worth of a steady paycheck. I’ve also learned more about the kind of leader I want to be if I find myself in a management position again or potentially running my own business. It’s definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ role that can only be learned through experience.
As for this new year, I’m dedicating mine to the mind. As we wrap up our Australian experience in the next 2 months, Matt and I will be back on the road for 4 months of travel before returning home to the US of A. Being freed of a work time clock, I am setting my mind to learn more, engage more, read as much as possible and share our travels through writing. As for new career paths and development upon return, I couldn’t be more excited for a fresh start.
Looking towards the future there is little we can be certain of, but I know our 2014 is going to be well-lived… May yours be too :).