Last year I wrote that I had a magical feeling about 2012. This past twelve months have been a roller-coaster of highs and lows, lots of changes, and so many beautiful things that I was honored to experience and be a part of.
2013 feels like it’ll be a slow year; one of simplicity and going through the motions. There will hopefully be some change, and some travel, but I’m not sure where 2013 will take the van Loons, or at least this one. I’m not a big fan of “new years resolutions,” so I won’t be making any, but I do have some goals to help propel me through the new year.
1. Make more meals at home.
I did an okay amount of cooking and culinary exploration in 2012, all things considered (new job, new apartment, traveling almost once a month), but we still relied fairly heavily on Annie’s (organic!) boxed White Cheddar Mac’n'Cheese. I’d like to turn it into a guilty pleasure rather than a weekly-staple. With that in mind, I challenge myself to make 52 new meals in 2013. Nothing extravagant or super time consuming, but something new. I’m not going to punish myself if I don’t make a new meal every week – things can get busy! But I can try. Goal 1.b: document those meals here. (More accountability-style than food-blog style.)
I get those daily emails from Everyday Food with Sarah Carey, and I love them. She is so funny and breaks everything down so simply, it’s fabulous. I’ve made a few of her recipes in the past and they’ve always turned out great. It was slow this past week at work so I went through their archives and picked out 52-or-so recipes that I thought looked good. I’m not stuck to making those 52, but they’re a start. I purchased a bunch of beautiful cookbooks from bloggers I adore in 2012, so I’d like to take some time to make their creations, too. The other night we made Salmon Pasta with Spicy Tomato Sauce. I did some tweaking to match the ingredients we had on hand, but it was still delicious. One down, 51 to go.
2. Work harder to get us out of debt.
2012 marked the end of my career in nannying, which was bittersweet but necessary. I still miss those kids, and will love them forever, but I was ready to put myself in a more professional environment. There’s been some downsides; I don’t make nearly as much working for a non-profit as I did as a nanny (oh god, the pay cut!), but we’ve been able to adjust and thrive nonetheless. Hopefully 2013 will contain a substantial pay raise, as I’d like to put more money towards out student loans. We only have $65,000 left to go! (My real goal is to have it paid off before Ben’s 30th birthday in 2015. So, there’s that, Universe!)
3. Dig deeper to figure out what’s next
A big theme of 2012 was “I have no idea what to do with my life!” and the subsequent whining and anxiety that goes along with that. It’s time to pull myself out of that self-pity/apathy/void and start figuring out, well, what do I want to do? Something creative yet still structured is where I’m at now. Luckily, or not so much, that gives me a lot of options. I’d love to figure out some kind of 5-10 year “life goal” or plan, and start working on the steps to make that happen. (Related but not: eat more croissants, take more walks, invest more time in my friends.)
Posts to come: favorite photos from 2012.