New Year’s resolutions are not typically my style.
Normally, the fall, between the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and the following period culminating in Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is when I reflect. As winter begins and the secular year ends, merriment, baking, and parties are typically the orders of the day. But this year, December finds me in a more thoughtful frame of mind.
I have much to be grateful for and see many ways in which I could be a better person. I won’t bore you with what’s right with my life (plenty – beginning with my beautiful and wonderful family) and I’m too cynical to believe that I can remake myself through resolutions. Diets have never changed my shape and yoga never takes the “hurry up” spirit out of this native New Yorker, but I do appreciate the way in which forward-looking resolutions allow us to appreciate others and improve ourselves.
My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions
- To reach out more – Whether it’s a family member or longstanding friend, a new online foodie friend, or someone I meet just once, I’m going to make more connections. Even if it’s an email or text that doesn’t get answered or the reply to a remark is simply a smile, the reaching out does not require acknowledgment. I’ve never met a person – even the most introverted among us – who hasn’t appreciated a check-in or a hug.
- To be generous and appreciative – So many people have been generous to me in my life, giving me encouragement, time, support, and love. Passing it on is the ultimate measure of appreciation, though a direct and simple “thank you” never hurts. Being generous often takes remarkably little effort and when there is no expectation of reward, it’s a “no lose” proposition.
- To keep learning – I have college degrees, but the most interesting things I’ve learned have not been at school and the most amazing teachers I’ve had have not called that their profession. Some people dismiss what is new to them because they don’t want to upend their worldview or add to what they already have crammed into their brains. That makes no sense to me. I’m not a big fan of worldviews, having figured out that most of what passes for “worldview” is simply a collection of stereotypes. I’ve decided that if need be, I’ll drop out of my mental hard drive the old stuff, in order to make way for the new. If my 89-year old mother can learn to handle a new remote or become excited by a brand new advance in science, I can surely do the same.
So, here’s to a happy and healthy 2015 for you, full of connections to others, joy and adventures, cooking and otherwise. I look forward to connecting with many of you in the upcoming year and hope that you’ll always feel comfortable in my kitchen – and your own.