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Discuss: Ringing in 2015



If you’re not reading Hitha on the Go, you should be.  Earlier this week she posted a list of things she’s planning to do in the New Year, and I loved it so much that I decided to do the same.  It’s so much more interesting than talking about the traditional resolutions.


Cursing.  I’m not trying to quit cold (sometimes it’s the only thing that will do), but I need to really scale back.

And if I could have two…I really need to get out more. I’ve become something of a hermit.


Fly Fishing.  I’ve always wanted to learn, and I’m living in a place where I can.  I just need to get over my childhood fear of getting the hook lodged in my skin.  Just something about the thought of it gives me the shivers.


Productivity, thy name is Teddy Roosevelt.  Seriously, that man did more before breakfast than I do all week.  Plus, I could use a bit of his joie de vivre.


My law school requires students to complete 30-hours of community service, so I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of charity I would like to give my time to.  I think I’ve settled on the local Make-A-Wish Chapter.


Before the end of 2015, my Mom and I are going to Iceland.  We tried to do it last year, but law school got in the way.  Break out your puffer vest, this is our year, Mom.


It’s very likely, the only books I will be reading this year are law books.  However, I’m a big Steinbeck fan, and the only person who made it out of high school without reading The Grapes of Wrath, so I should probably get on that.


I’ve been working on an essay about things I wish I’d known when I was 22.  It’s sort of a letter to my younger self.


Somehow, I left D.C. without trying Ethiopian food.


Managing my thoughts.  One of my greatest strengths, being able to have three or four trains of thought going at once, is also one of my greatest weaknesses.

When you can listen to a lecture, think about blog posts, prep a grocery shopping list, and obsess about your personal issues all at the same time, nothing ever gets your full attention, but some things get far more attention than they deserve.  Just because you have the mental energy for a certain thought, doesn’t mean it deserves your attention.  Indulging in certain trains of thought just isn’t healthy, and dividing your focus isn’t always a good thing.

So what are you up to this New Year?



  1. Noel says:

    Grapes of Wrath is one of my favorite books ever

    January 1, 2015/Reply
  2. thb says:

    These are great! All are well thought out, doable, obtainable and for “the good” in some way. I’m going to adopt a few of these for myself. Happy New Year Belle!

    January 1, 2015/Reply
  3. Orla says:

    Great template for resolutions Belle! My resolutions are to believe in myself (law student, I’m sure you’ve had your own moments of self-doubt), read novels, write creatively, pick up horse-riding again, make healthier lunches for school, and jog more often.

    On Iceland- I went to Reykjavik and Keflavik a couple of years back and adored it! I went in the last week of September and had stunning views of the Northern Lights so it was great! Don’t return home without visiting the Golden Circle Waterfall, the Geyser, the Blue Lagoon (BUY the scrub before you leave or you will live to regret it!!), rub an Icelandic pony on the moors and walking over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge of tectonic plates! It’s so unique, I would recommend it for everyone’s bucket list!

    January 1, 2015/Reply
  4. Gail says:

    Belle, I’m a relatively new reader of your blog and LOVE it! My expertise runs much more to the fly fishing vein, and I can’t recommend it highly enough as a way to get outside and connect with momma nature. If you crimp the barb on the fly, you won’t get it stuck in your skin – I promise!

    January 1, 2015/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Awesome. I’ll remember that.

      January 1, 2015/Reply
  5. Mary says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I had been thinking about resolutions/goals/values. I often don’t do new year’s resolutions but felt like I wanted something written down. This really resonated with me.

    Here’s my list:
    1. Habit to break- Using my smartphone in bed. Email and social media do not need to be the last thing I see before sleep or the first thing I see in the morning.
    2. New skill to learn- Productivity. Procrastination and time-wasting habits are big for me, and I’d like to go in the other direction.
    3. Person to be like – My friend Carol, who is genuinely concerned for others and always encouraging, but in a down-to-earth, realistic way, not the sappy, always upbeat way that seems superficial.
    4. Good deed – I am organizing a local simulcast of a conference that my husband and I found to be life-changing a few years ago.
    5. A place I’d like to visit – This isn’t a specific location, but I would like to go on a solo getaway somewhere to practice solitude.
    6. A book I’d like to read – This was difficult because I usually read close to a book a week, so thinking of A BOOK was hard. I recently picked up The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which is a 12 week guide to rediscovering creativity.
    7. A letter I’m going to write – My teenage son is leaving next week for 6 months at a military school. I am committing to writing one letter a week for his entire visit, even though I doubt I’ll ever get one in return.
    8. A new food I’d like to try – I’ve never had authentic Indian food, but there are a couple local restaurants I’ve thought looked interesting.
    9. I’m going to do better at – Listening first, and talking/thinking/evaluating the situation second.

    January 2, 2015/Reply
  6. CR says:

    This is such a great format – so much better than most resolution lists.

    Not that you asked, but I tend to think Grapes of Wrath is overrated, while East of Eden is just stunning. In case amendments to the list are allowed 🙂

    January 2, 2015/Reply
    • Chloe says:

      I completely agree. East of Eden is my all-time favorite book, hands down.

      January 2, 2015/Reply
    • Betsy says:

      I totally agree. When I taught 10th grade English I swapped Eden for Wrath. My department head didn’t much like it, but it was much more fun to teach and discuss.

      January 3, 2015/Reply
  7. Megan R. says:

    If you’re going to Iceland, there’s a 50-50 shot you’ll be taking Icelandair — be wary. I’ve taken two international trips with them in the past year and a half. For the first, last August, (IAD-KEF-GLA) there was a mechanical problem with our plane and after waiting around Dulles for four hours, we were sent home and asked to come back at the same time the next night for our flight. I thought it was a one-time thing and booked again this October. On our way home (LGW-KEF-IAD) we had another mechanical problem after we boarded. It was 22 hours later when they finally got us out, from a different London airport, via Virgin. They handled our accommodations and rebooking well, and generously compensated us per EU regulation. But TWO flights, a year apart, delayed a full day, thanks to mechanical issues and not enough planes is too much for me. Book another carrier if you don’t want a full day’s delay on one end of your trip. And enjoy Iceland! It’s gorgeous. 🙂

    January 2, 2015/Reply
  8. Giggling Gourmand says:

    Wow air is supposed to start operating in the US soon it’s very low cost so im sure not super comfortable. But these prices …


    January 3, 2015/Reply
  9. Kelly Andthenblog says:

    Great list, Belle! Just a note: if you are planning to take the NY Bar after law school (lots of DC folks do), be aware of a new community service hours requirement. I think it’s 75 hours? Just keep it on your mind if NY is a goal. Best of luck in the new year!

    January 3, 2015/Reply
  10. Emily Dickinson says:

    I’ve been living in DC almost seven years and JUST had my first Ethiopian food! We’ve been missing out! Went to Dukem on U Street and it was really good – and fun for a group.

    January 5, 2015/Reply
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