Hello 2014!

Time to make the list of what you are and aren’t going to do this year.

Another year has come and gone. Where did the time go? Somehow we’re already at 2014 and yet, as a society, we’re not coasting around on hover boards or zooming around in flying cars. Imagine my disappointment.

I also have to confess, I’m not a big resolutions person. Oh sure, I’ve made them before. Usually silly or ridiculous or simple goals that center around an activity I’d like to do more as opposed to a profound life philosophy. Two years ago I was set on wearing hats more. Then the year after the resolution was to become more of a Scotch drinker. I think I’d just rewatched “Anchorman” and wanted to be able to legitimately wax on about “Scotchy, scotch, scotch.”

This year my inclination was to come up with an equivalent—maybe learn to play the ukulele that’s sitting in a box near my bed from a flea market at which I once volunteered.

But I’m thinking I might have a better chance at keeping these goals if they are bigger in scope, not so much tied to a hobby as about a way of living. When you’re single, living means dating, so that’s a part of it as well. Here’s my proposed list of what I’ll call my 2014 priorities. Coming up with 14 might make numerical sense, given the year. That many is probably overkill. I’m halving it:

1. Constantly do things that scare me.

I’m pretty sure I’m quoting the talky Baz Lurhmann song “Everybody’s Free (to wear sunscreen)” when I utter these lines. As such, this is something I’ve been telling myself for years, since this 90s song burst onto the scene, but it takes constant reminding. I’m at my best when I step out of my comfort zone. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Push yourself and you might find out that you can skydive, show up to a party where you barely know anyone, speak in a public setting, karaoke to a song that is not Madonna (perhaps this is a personal one) or even plant a flower and not kill it.

2. Neither take too much stock in, nor write off, dating websites and other “new-age” ways of meeting people

I guess this also boils down to being open. While in Philly last weekend I met a couple that had met online. The woman, who had a child from a previous relationship, beamed as she told me that her date with her now-fiance was the first and last dating site-derived date of her life. They met and she just knew. He met her daughter, and it clicked too.

For them, Match.com was a home run. The same situation could happen at a bookstore or in the park or at a grimy bar. I’m going to try to allow for serendipity in whatever form it comes.

3. Be ballsy.

Since I’m an incredible dork, I keep expressions on the mirror adjacent to my bathroom so that I can see something positive every day while I’m washing my face and brushing my teeth. For a while it was a nod to Stuart Smalley: “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough and doggonit, people like you.” Now, it’s more to the tune of “Fight for your own happiness.” That takes balls. Weenies need not apply.

4. Read, read, read.

Count women who dumb themselves down—especially to win a man or win anything else—as a huge pet peeve of mine. When I read I have more interesting things to say. That’s just science. Or math. Or something educational.

5. Get out of the area in fairly regular intervals.

As I’ve written about before, the Washington region gets intense, competitive and just too much. Leave, and you return refreshed. It’s as simple as that. Travel is about the greatest activity in which you can take part too, so that doesn’t hurt. Pico Iyer, quite a traveler said: “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes.

6. Give back and get more in return.

This is not a sexual reference. I know this is a relationship and dating blog, but let me repeat that. Not an allusion to sex. Get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about volunteering. Help the world, become better. In the process you become better. Even if self-improvement isn’t a goal (which, how is it not?) it translates to a better online profile, I suppose.

7. Namaste.

Yoga is, to sound very hippie and yoga teacher-like, my yoga. In that, I mean that it centers me, propels me forward, is a source of strength. I either need to cultivate this further, find another yoga to tack on or just, you know, keep doing yoga. Namaste is a gesture and word conveyed at the end of a yoga practice to represent a salutation and respect for yourself and those around you.

One instructor translated is as “The power in me bows to the power in you.” I like that. Namaste, 2014. And also, wear sunscreen.