1 Jan

Up at 6:30, at the tail-end of a 5:30am feeding for baby. Last night was nice, in that the little one slept for 3 hours at a gap: 9-midnight-3-5:30. So I am oddly up and feeling relatively rested, in a context where not rested means less than an hour’s sleep over a 24-hour period. I know, I’m doing math again.

As friends know, I often pick a theme for the year, rather than specific resolutions or grand ‘eat better, exercise more, live well’ kinds of resolutions. One year I decided to learn to be a more well-rounded person (the New Peter Project, where I actually feel like I learned to cook as an adult). Another year was the Year of Getting Things Done, when I amped up on David Allen’s GTD system of organizing. End result was marginally better organizational skills and a wickedly awesome home filing system for our household. Last year was supposed to be the year of getting things off my plate – that is, killing the projects that weren’t ever going to be completed, and finishing off the half-completed ones. Losing the things that weren’t working was a big part of this, but I don’t know if I actually accomplished it terribly well.

2011 should be the year of Fathering, given the newborn. But that’s too narrow, I think. Instead, I’m going to have 2011 be my Year of Nurturing. My plan is to generally orient myself outward rather than inward. Nurturing is for baby, yes. But also for friendships and relationships. I’ve had a strained relationship with my parents over the last half of 2010, and I’ve been trying to bend in ways that don’t come easily to me, in order to try to do something about this tension. It may not work, in the end, but it won’t be for lack of trying.

I’d also like to nurture my friends more. I started to do this with a couple, encouraging a few people to start blogging, and generally writing about what they are thinking about. And I desperately want a particular friend to have a better year than last (JL). So go ahead and hit me up if you like – I’ll share recipes and tips about installing a home media center, I can look over some html or css code for you if you want, I know some about how to manage WordPress installations. I’m learning more and want to share more.

And, despite my being outwardly-focused, I’m going to call on others for favors as well. Because I want to put myself in their debt in return. I want the reciprocity. The baby seems to make us (well, me) want to cocoon, to build protective walls around ourselves and loved ones. I want exactly the opposite. Lisa reminded me that when her first was born, I invited myself over to their house, and cooked dinner for them in their kitchen. I had forgotten that I used to do stuff like that. And then she yelled at me for never inviting her over to my apartment, which resulted in her lugging half a ton of baby stuff up three flights of stairs, and an impromptu bath in my tub for the young one when he got a little fidgety. We nosed our way into each other’s lives, and that’s kinship.

So happy 2010, however it went for you. I hope the ups were greater and more satisfying than the downs were soul-crushing. And I hope for all of us that 2011 is better. In ways big, small, and in between.


4 Responses to “2011”

  1. Kim January 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    I don’t know if it was when this hit me, or that you’re such a good writer, or just that you are a really one-in-a-million person…but you made me weepy. I especially hope that 2011 brings you more joy and less stress and pain in your relationship with your parents. It sounds like, from reading the above, you’ve actually done pretty well on ticking off the list…so here’s to busting out of our cocoons and relying and relating more. XO

  2. Peter January 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    I’d guess you’re in a somewhat fragile state to begin with, K. My writing’s not that good. The relationship with my parents can actually go either way at this point. People seem dug in, in ways that don’t usually lead to lots of hugs and understanding. Also hoping that 2011 brings more health to CN’s family.

  3. Ivy January 3, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Insulting your readership, niiiice. What happened to nurturing? 😉

  4. Peter January 4, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    No no, just trying to say that I’m less impressed with my own writing than Kim is. Nothing insulting here.

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