As far as New Year resolutions go, I can't remember the last time I kept one -- after all, had I really cared about them, I probably wouldn't have waited until the New Year to start anyhow. This year, I made only one resolution, which turns out, hasn't been difficult to keep at all and already feels more rewarding than losing 5 pounds (well..maybe we'll see about that when it actually happens). My goal for this year is to live more deliberately in the moment every day -- that is, not have December roll around and me wondering how another year went by so quickly and what did I do this whole time.
I was offline this past week because I was with my grandparents in China. After a whirlwind vacation in Hong Kong and Shanghai, I headed to my grandparents' apartment just 20 minutes (but a world away) from the big city. They're probably the last tenants in the building not to have wi-fi, so every day I walked downstairs and around the corner to a nearby hotel and downloaded my emails in the lobby, skimming for only the most important ones to read. The rest of the time, I sat around at home, helping out with chores or just helping keep the conversation lively.
I visit my grandparents every other year but in the past have always gone stir-crazy and counted down the days until I could be reunited with the rest of the world (wide web). This time was different -- maybe because I've finally matured, or maybe because my grandparents are older, or maybe because I resolved to stop wishing time to go by quicker -- but I actually enjoyed every mundane minute of the trip, whether it was watching my grandmother so excited to eat sweets that she popped them into her mouth wrapper and all, or cracking peanuts together at 3pm on the balcony, or taking weird pictures of my grandfather using Photo Booth on the iPad. When it was time to leave, I felt less sad than usual, thinking of all the happy little moments throughout the week and knowing that I'll still remember them months and years down the road.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a new way of living (and a much needed change for this sometimes frantic New Yorker), where I spend more time thinking about the present moment, and less time thinking "I can't wait until..." I've been trying it out for a month already and I like it so far. With that said, I am pretty psyched to be back online.