Starting Fresh

01.05.10: Leo's 19th month


I love beginnings. I guess that’s why I returned to my desk feeling so positive this week. Yay! Work! It really does feel like a fresh start, since we hibernated so soundly for almost two weeks. Plus, I have a pretty sweet job.

Usually, I describe what I do as part-time freelance food writing. The rest of the time, of course, I’m home with Leo. Definitely not an opportunity for idleness (did I mention he’s a lousy napper? Yes, I did? Over and over again? Oh, sorry). So, after two weeks away from my desk, I return feeling refreshed and excited to be in a quiet, calm place where I can hear myself think, while the nanny hangs out with Leo.

Leo of course is neither quiet nor calm. He’s fun, and funny, and truly lovely. We’re starting to appreciate his social qualities, which are very much his own, and how charming he likes to be in social settings. Bringing him to holiday gatherings was a pleasure for everyone. Still, it’s great to know he’s off being wild and crazy in the competent hands of the nanny, and I can sip a cup of chai without worrying that someone is going to dump it into my keyboard.

This feeling that a New Year means a fresh new start feels sort of…predictable. Like saying “I love you” on Valentine’s Day or, oh, I don’t know, what’s wrong with that? If I say I plan to lose 10 pounds, hit the gym, reduce my carbon footprint, work harder, stay positive, be nicer to others and floss daily, I’ll feel like I’m jumping on the New Year’s bandwagon. But the truth is I am planning to do those things. I’m just worried about where that bandwagon is heading: to next year, when we all agree that last year we let our resolutions slide and next year we need to be firmer with ourselves. Humbug!

Instead of bragging about my great intentions or fretting about the high likelihood that I’ll realize I aimed too high, I want to point out that new beginnings feel great: energizing, open-minded and exciting! Does that remind you of anyone you know? It reminds me of Leo, who has the capacity to start fresh as often as we can keep up with.

Of course I don’t mean to underestimate the importance of building towards something, following up, learning from experience. But this year, I hope I can do all these things with the feeling that you can start from anywhere, at any time.

Recipe: Fresh Sesame Noodles