We’ll Take A Cup of Kindness Yet

by Nancy Bestor

2013While it’s true that making New Year’s resolutions is somewhat cliché, at this time of year I can’t help but think about things I’d like to accomplish or do better in 2013. They include the usual things like losing a little bit of weight and eating more healthily. But as my oldest daughter is finishing up her senior year in high school and preparing to head off into the great unknown, they also include things like living in the moment and appreciating every minute I have with those I love.  So if you’ll spare me a few minutes, I’ll tell you a few of my New Year’s resolutions for 2013. Maybe if you’re all my witnesses I won’t give up on them on January 15.

Our family is hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Piccu in late March, so I’d like to be in better physical shape to hike every day for four days, at altitudes of 10,000-14,000 feet. (By the way, I am accepting suggestions, whether they be in the form of physical fitness or performance enhancing drugs. I am not ashamed.)

As Emily makes her final college decision, I’m pretty certain we’ll be headed up and down I-5 to make a couple of last minute visits to colleges. In Seattle, I’m hoping to visit the Dale Chihuly Garden & Glass. In Portland, I’d like to eat at Beast, or perhaps Natural Selection. If we get down to the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles, I’d really like to try the “underground” dining scene, and eat at a hip “restaurant” in someone’s home or private space.

packingI’d like to be a more organized packer in 2013. I travel every year with girlfriends for a warm tropical girls’ vacation, and one of my friends opens her suitcase to a completely organized bag, filled with Eagle Creek packing cubes and folders that have perfectly folded swimsuits, tops, sandals and shoes, and undergarments inside them. It is like an extension of her extremely organized dresser and closet. I’d like to be more like her when I pack, since clothes spill out of my bag as soon as I unzip it. I’d also like to have her cute style too, but that is another story.

I would be interested in trying an experiment where I take as few clothes as possible, in the smallest carry-on bag I possibly can, on a week-long vacation (maybe Peru?). I’m not a heavy packer by any means, but it does seem like I wear many of the same clothes over and over again on a trip, and a great number of other garments stay packed in my suitcase. If that’s the case, why don’t I just leave them at home in the first place?

gracelandticketI’d like to see more of my own country in 2013. Mind you, I’d also like to travel to Egypt, Morocco, Bali and other foreign lands, but I’d also like to spend a long weekend in a city like Austin, Texas or Anchorage, Alaska. I’d like to hike the Grand Canyon with my kids, eat great barbecue in Memphis or Nashville, and take them on a pilgrimage to Graceland too. The United States is a beautiful country, and I’d enjoy more of an opportunity to explore it, at my leisure.

Truth is, I’d like to have more leisurely time in 2013; time to take the backroads on a trip across the country, time to spend walking more of the hills of my beautiful hometown Ashland, Oregon, and time to cook more fabulous meals, and sit around for hours relishing them. But if I can’t have that (What? I can’t have that?), I’ll work hard to make the time that I do have more enjoyable. Maybe I can’t take a backroads trip across the country, but I can certainly take a day or two to ride my bicycle on some beautiful backroads in Oregon. I can also spend my free time walking more (with my family and friends), and go to a little extra effort in my weekend cooking. Frankly, in 2013, I’m going to strive to make the best of what I have, and the truth is, I have a whole hell of a lot. And for that, I am thankful.