Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Resolve: Not Just for Cleaning Anymore

I love New Year's resolutions! Other people's, my own, my kids' (fun fact: Silas announced his NY's resolution last week, which was to eat at McDonald's no more than three times--"or four. Four times OR LESS"--which revealed a logistical flaw in the concept of kid resolutions, because it's not as though he jets off to McDonald's any old time he wants. In order to fill his resolution, he's going to have to convince an adult to take him to McDonald's, and then convince said adult NOT to take him, a conversation which will probably result in a Certain Relative feeling the need to warn us again about the dangers of getting reported to CPS due to not letting our kids enjoy junk food, or some such.)

ANYWAY. My 2010 resolutions were:

1. To read a 2009-published work of fiction each month.

Done. See list below.

2. To hike at least once a month.

Done. Although the court would like to point out the "uh...barely" nature of the November "hike" (1/8th of a mile up a forest road during a run). Again, see list below.

3. To ride my bike to work at least once.


4. To take some early mornings in May and June and go birding.

Fail. May/June turned out to be way too fraught to take time to do anything.

I hereby announce my 2011 Resolutions:

1. Take the kids out into nature at least once a month.

(The creek at the bottom of the hill counts. Don't even get me started on the social forces that compel this to be an Outing, rather than an injunctive issued while I sit at home and do boring grownup things.)

2. Eat more wild food.

(By which I mean food of a gathered nature, not that I'm going to go out and invest in a hunting license. Also, weeds in my own yard count as wild.)

3. Watch the moon rise at least once a month.

4. Hike once a month.

Lots of activity-of-the-month action in this list, which tends to lead to a busy 30th, but so it goes.

2010 recap:

The hikes I took:

January: Frisco-Breckenridge Bike Path, 1.5 miles; Swallow & Coyote Song trails, 2 miles
February: Coyote Song Trail, 1 mile
March: Carpenter Peak Trail, 6.4 miles; Fountain Valley trail, 2 miles
April: Duluth waterfront, Lake Superior, 2 miles; Swallow Trail, 1 mile
May: Glendale Farm Open Space, 2 miles; Swallow and Coyote Song Trails, 2 miles; Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, 1.2 miles
June: Meadowlark and Plymouth Creek Trails, 3.5 miles
July: Mt Bierstadt Trail, 4 miles; Caribou Pass and Columbine Lake trails, 6 miles
August: East Canyon Loop, 4 miles
September: Coyote Song and Swallow Trails, 2 miles
October: Coyote Song and Swallow Trails; Lyons Back Trail; 3 miles; Chatfield park trails, 6 miles
November: Vasquez Road, app. 1/4 mile.
December: Coronado National Forest, on and off-trail, 9 miles; Matthew Winters and Morrison Slide trails, 4 miles

The books I read (as part of my 2009 fiction project):

1. Amateur Barbarians, Robert Cohen
2. The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters
3. Chronic City, Jonathan Lethem
4. A Gate at the Stairs, Lorrie Moore
5. Tinkers, Paul Harding
6. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, Daniyal Mueenuddin
7. Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann
8. The Help, Katheryn Stocket
9. Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
10. Family Album, Penelope Lively
11. Await Your Reply, Dan Chaon
12. Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro

Ten novels, two books of short stories. The one that kept me reading past bedtime the longest was The Help; the one that I was sorriest to have end was Wolf Hall; the one I found most exasperating was Chronic City (though I have to say it's stuck with me longer than many other books I enojyed more). The book that seemed to be teaching me the most about an unknown part of the world was In Other Rooms, Other Wonders.

Overall, although I often felt constrained by the rules of the reading project, and sighed disontentedly at the library when I wanted to chose a book written in some other year, or wanted to pursue some new reading adventure that had caught my fancy, this project introduced me to books and authors I was grateful to find, and whom I probably wouldn't have read for many years to come. In other words: success. However, I don't think I'll repeat it for 2011.


Jess said...

You had a very successful year! And I love the goals you've set for 2011.

Tess said...

Outstanding resolution post!!

I love when people list the books they've read, WITH COMMENTARY.

Oz said...

OK, I need to hear more about this eating wild food. You mean things like dandelions and mushrooms, right? I, myself, am such a product of the suburbs that I can't get over my fear of wild things being full of POISON or CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE or RABIES. Yes, my mind says it in all caps. I'll happily much things out of our garden, and I've been known to eat wild things in restaurants and at other people's houses, but I don't trust myself to determine which things are safe. So, I can't wait to hear more about your eating of wild things.