|Happy New Year 2013!|
It’s January 1, 2013. You have 365 days ahead of you in the new year. How are you going to spend it?
|Kallahti, Helsinki – roads diverging in a yellow field|
I look back on the last 12 months, and time has absolutely flown by. I wonder when the month changed from February to June and from August to October. Yes, it often seemed that one month would end and another would be half gone before I noticed. The days fly by faster and faster, and then, somehow, it’s New Year’s Eve again, and we glance back at the blurry memory of the year just gone, wish those around us “All the best for the new year”, may or may not make a few resolutions for how we’ll improve our health, lose weight, increase fitness, learn something new, travel more, be more patient, spend more time with people we care about, do a little more self-reflection, live in the moment, and Slow Down.
Deep down inside each of us is a dream, large or small, to do something special. Some take action, some do not. Some talk about taking action – and spend so much time talking that it absorbs all the time and energy they have for actually doing the thing. Some are paralyzed by fear: fear that they’ll be neglecting the duties of family or history or expectation…or worse…fear of neglecting what they “should” do for what they actually “want to do”.
I speak to myself as much as to anyone when I say this: there is no time like the present for living a life full of the things you love. That in itself requires that you sacrifice something, and that “something” is different for everyone, whether it be time, money, someone’s approval, our own comfort zone.
|Just before the snow|
|Window in the Finnish National Museum / Suomen Kansamuseo|
We can tell ourselves we don’t have the time to change or to learn what we need to learn in order to bring that new something into our lives that we dream of. But then if we think of all the time we spend doing things of no consequence – if we count them as wasted hours that could be applied toward actions that fill our lives with things that bring us joy, whatever that is for you – then the picture changes and you realize that really, the only thing that stands between you and what you want is the willingness to get started.
|Wild Strawberries on a straw – a traditional way to gather them in the Finnish countryside|
Let 2013 be the year you start on fulfilling that dream you’ve been hiding away deep down inside: from getting a college degree, to changing careers, to running a marathon, to traveling to a foreign country, writing a book, starting a company, beginning a new hobby or finally organizing those thousands of digital photos into something you can actually enjoy and share.
And because change is something that moves us out of our comfort zone so that we can grow, here is some comfort food to enjoy as you get started. It’s from the Åland Islands (Ahvenamaa) – an archipelago off the coast of Finland home to a good number of freedom-loving Swedish-speaking Finns. According to Wikipedia: ” By law, Åland is politically neutral and entirely demilitarized, and residents are exempt from conscription to the Finnish Defence Forces. The islands were granted extensive autonomy by the Parliament of Finland in the Acto of the Autonomy of Åland of 1920, which was later replaced by new legislation by the same name in 1951 and 1991. Åland remains exclusively Swedish-speaking by law. “
In other words, it’s an archipelago full of people who are doing what they want. And the bread? The bread goes with pretty much anything. I like it with Borscht Soup, spread with a soft goat cheese or with a thin layer of butter.
While the bread bakes, tell me – how are you going to spend your year?
|Saaristoleipä / Archipelago Bread|