It’s the Climb.

The world feels so much smaller during the wintertime–days shorter, sun weaker. The range in which I travel and move is different, too. I find it harder and harder to divert from my usual pathways, to expand my radius beyond work and home and the grocery store. In some ways I don’t mind–although the holidays were lovely in their way, I was glad for them to be over and for quiet normalcy to return. I’m enjoying making dinner again, heating up leftovers for lunch, having my set schedule of weekly events with weekend variation. Granted, the routine never seems to last long for me, but maybe that’s what makes me appreciate the periods where it actually comes together even more.

The beginning half of 2015 feels like I’m in training–There are a lot of long-term goals I’ve been working on and towards, and now is the time to really focus on getting everything together. The biggest focus is my upcoming trip to Iceland in May. I will be attending a creative residency program outside of the capital city for one month to (hopefully) finalize a collection of non-fiction essays that I have been working on for some time. After that, I will have a week set aside for independent travel. I’m equal parts excited and terrified.

To combat my fear, I’ve been trying to section off the various tasks that need to be accomplished in order to make everything come together. Each month has its own set of Things That Need to Be Done. This is helping me make progress without feeling overwhelmed, and keeping me mindful of my budget. I’m also trying to pay off unrelated debts as I go, and was able to knock off a few smaller-ticket items. Next month I begin the divide-and-conquer on a few of the bigger things I’m trying to combat.

I went to get my passport updated earlier this week (remind me never, ever to change my name again). Even though there’s been a lot of work leading up to this point, it felt like the first official step to this adventure. The rest of January is going to be dedicated to fleshing out the essay collection some more; figuring out logistics for the trip (I honestly think I’m most terrified of having to get from the capital city to the smaller town where I’m staying); and plotting some ideas for the week of independent travel I will be doing after the residency. Beyond all this, I’m trying to get myself back in good working order physically–getting back on track with eating better and working out. I’m already amazed at the difference I’m seeing just from following this for the past couple weeks, and beyond that, I’m thrilled at how much better I’ve been feeling.

So… here’s to a New Year. I honestly have no intentions of saying anything to the effect of “this one is going to be good” or “good things are coming my way,” because, as I’ve learned, I have no idea what life is going to throw at me. But I do know that this year I’m planning on being prepared, being focused, and not waiting for fate or circumstance to give me what I want. I’m earning this shit, and I’m working for it every day.