December 30, 2013

2013: The Year of the New

Doesn’t it seem like yesterday when we were ushering in 2013? And yet due to some weird cosmic time accelerator, here we are on the doorstep of 2014. That’s crazy!

According to the Chinese calendar, 2013 was the Year of the Snake. However, for me, there was a different theme that stood out loud and clear. It was the Year of the New.

I started a new job. Those five little words roll easily and gratefully off my tongue, but they don’t come close to conveying the massive—and mostly welcome—disruption that is part and parcel of any new gig. It has been an exciting and emotional roller coaster. Changing healthcare and 401(k) plans was a breeze. What threw me for a loop was the new routine, new commute, new colleagues, new office environment, new dress code, new projects, new processes, new corporate culture, new places to get coffee. (Thank goodness I didn’t have to relocate; moving and setting up a new home in a new city would have been one change too many.) Everything felt topsy-turvy, but I’ve almost reached the six-month mark which apparently is when I’m supposed to face another major learning curve and realize just how much I still don’t know. (Oh joy!)

Lo and Behold!

Let’s see. What else? Well, I embarked on the fourth decade of my life. Describing myself as “in my early forties” feels weird, though. I’ll grow into it :)

Forty, At Last

On a related note, I signed up for a new gym membership in an effort to improve my health.

Actually, that’s not the whole truth. I had been such a gym rat before running a marathon in 2010. Since then, I settled into a once-a-week running habit which was all fine and good until some of these skirts no longer fit the way I like. [And I’m supersnickety (shouldn’t that be a word?) about fit.] Turning 40 made me accept the reality that perhaps I need to reacquaint myself with some additional cardio and strength training (groan). Mini-victory: I recently took a spinning class for the first time in nine years and managed not to puke or pass out (woot!). My goal is to work out three times a week and regularly switch up my regimen (the body becomes too efficient and your fitness level plateaus unless you introduce new moves).

On the travel front, I experienced the sights and sounds of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn for the first time: the 9/11 Memorial, Battery Park, Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum and the memorable El Anatsui show.

NYC 2013: Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn

I discovered the cosmopolitan yet quaint city of Montreal. (It was wonderful to hear, read and speak a little French for the first time since my last visit to Paris some sixteen years ago.)

Bonjour Montreal!

Quebec City was another new travel destination. It was peaceful and picturesque.

Quebec City in One Day

In short, as an INTJ introvert, I cherish pragmatism, preparedness and predictability while seeking independence, insights and imagination. My natural tendency to rely on the tried-and-true often does battle against my need to develop new ideas. I have to make a conscious effort to disrupt my status quo or else I’ll end up in one long rut. Even something as low-risk as converting this blog to a new modern layout feels scary and uncomfortable to me. But I always remember this essay in the Harvard Business Review about the importance of getting out and exploring unfamiliar places. I’m always better off having tried the new thing so I force myself to keep going. Here’s to making more strides in the Year of the Horse.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. I changed jobs three years ago, and it was only after the second year did I feel the learning curve leveling out. Congratulations!


Leave a Reply