This is usually my favorite time of the year. Thanksgiving, Christmas and the attendant flurry of activity and forced merriment and family-related stresses and difficulty are over (for nearly 12 months! woooooo!) and it's nearly New Year's Day, which is my favorite holiday.
There are a lot of reasons I'm so attached to this oddly underloved day: it's a day off work for no real reason, the few traditions and expectations associated with it are about food and luck, and it's a good opportunity for navel gazing and reflection and Serious, Important Thinking Ahead. I love the idea of starting the year as you want it to progress, of using the day's activities as a way to clarify and declare my intentions for the year ahead. I love the brave, hopeful act of making resolutions. I adore setting pen to scrap paper, dividing resolutions and goals and ideas into categories (make, read, cook, write, do, go, try, see/watch...) and seeing what directions I want to take myself.
This year though, it's not happening. Instead of lists of books I want to read and places to go and habits to cultivate and things to try and projects to plan for and execute, food to eat and cook and track down in the far reaches of Queens and Brooklyn, and small, measurable ways to act each day to work toward the goals I set, all I can come up with when I'm facing that blank page is 'be better.'
Just ... be better. These three syllables are a faint, constant drumbeat in the back of my brain and while I'm still toying with the best way to approach the directive, the fact that my subconscious is basically waving its arms in my face and yelling YOU, AS IS, REQUIRE IMPROVEMENT is indisputable.
So that's the plan for 2010. Being better, somehow or other.