2014 Will Be My Year of Improving by Doing

2014 Will Be My Year of Improving by Doing

Happy New Year! I have spent the last few weeks reviewing and pondering on the things I did and didn’t do in 2013. I’m not much of a resolution setter, though I am always working on goals of some kind.

As I thought about 2014, I decided that this year, I wanted to focus more on “doing” than on “improving.” So rather than come up with a bunch of resolutions to make new habits and drop old ones just because they’ll make me a better person, I’ve decided this year to focus on a list of the activities I’ve put on my calendar. While they aren’t likely to change the world or make a grand statement, completing each of them will change me. In order to complete them all, I will need to stretch and to grow, to learn some new skills or to refine some I already have. I will have to stretch myself in ways that I have not and I will have to be physically and mentally prepared to be successful in each of them.

So what is on to-do list for 2014?

Climb a 14er

mt bierstadtI live in Colorado. I love hiking and being outdoors. I’ve hiked in the mountains for many years, even before I lived here, but I have yet to tackle one of Colorado’s 50+ 14,000-foot-plus peaks. I’ve visited the ones I could summit without hiking (Mt. Evans is one of my favorite places) but now I am ready for something more. I’ve been getting input from more experienced climbers and pondering over which one to tackle (it won’t be one I can drive up). In order to make this one happen, I will have to really focus on my fitness this spring. I’m not good at fitness for the sake of fitness, so knowing I won’t make it up the mountain if I’m not prepared will keep on track this year. If you’ve accomplished a 14er, I’d love to hear your input, too.

Go On a Pioneer Trek

mormon-pioneersThis summer I will be participating in a historical re-enactment of the handcart pioneers. We’ll spend four days dressed in more or less period clothing (but with better shoes) pulling loaded handcarts along the Mormon Trail in Wyoming. I probably won’t actually do much handcart pulling since I get to be the photographer, but I will be walking at least as far as the 350 or so teenagers who will be making the trek–and carrying a backpack full of camera gear. Besides being something I’ve always wanted to do, I’ll need to doing some sewing this spring and teach some sewing skills to my daughters who are going with me as we’ll be needing to make our own skirts, bonnets and bloomers to be outfitted for this trek. For this, too, I will definitely need to be in top physical condition. Not completing the journey isn’t one of my options. In addition to that, we’re studying pioneer history this spring so we can better understand what these pioneers went through and why they were so willing to make the sacrifice.

Learn to Snowshoe

I’ve always wanted to snowshoe, ever since I was a little girl and my dad used to talk about using snowshoes to get around his family’s rural Minnesota dairy farm in the winter. This year, I got snowshoes for Christmas. Now I’m ready to get and get snowshoeing. I am excited not only to learn this new skill but to explore places I’ve not been able to hike to in the winter. I’m looking forward to all the great new photographs I’m going to get.

Photograph Yellowstone

bear in yellowstoneYes, I know zillions of photographers have been there before me. I’ve even been there before. But on my last trip a few years ago, I was on a “rescue” mission and spent only 12 hours in the park (one of my college student children had a summer job and an eye injury and needed to be brought home). The trip before that, I wasn’t able to do as much hiking as I wanted because our two youngest children were still young toddlers. Now they are teenagers and we are all looking forward to hiking, exploring–and LOTS of photographing in Yellowstone. Ok, I’m pretty sure I’m looking forward to that last part way more than they are, but that’s ok. We’ll still all have a great time. Getting the best pictures here will mean some planning ahead for hiking routes and the right equipment (I’m open to suggestions on both counts). And for me, planning a trip is half the fun.

Grow A Garden

growing a gardenOriginally this said “plant a garden.” And then I thought about it and realized that I want to do much more than just plant it. I’ve had gardens in the past. We always had a huge garden in California. Then we moved to New Mexico where the soil was not friendly to my tomatoes and green beans, so I got out of the habit. We started one here in Colorado, but there have been too many distractions and family obligations to grow the garden I wanted–and well, last year the weather was anything but cooperative. Eating well and working in the soil are good for both spirit and body. Gardening also means a steady supply of good, fresh food that I know the origin of. The seed catalogs are already filling my mailbox and I am eagerly marking this year’s favorites, along with tempting new varieties I will need to try.

So what’s on your list for 2014? Are you making resolutions? Setting goals? Or planning some adventures? I’d love to hear what will make your 2014 your year of improving.

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