I am so happy with the way 2013 has kicked off!  Today marks the first official “normal schedule” week of the year.  It doesn’t feel as sad as I anticipated it to be, but it was a downer to say goodbye to James after getting to see him for such a long period of time.

As we all know, January has the terrible reputation of being the most depressing month of the year (with Blue Monday falling on the 21st).  Do you agree?  I guess I do to some extent, but somehow I always manage to pull through it with a happy face.  Maybe it’s because so many of my friends have birthdays in January, and my own falls just a month later.  The reasons for the gloom and doom are usually due to failed resolutions, grey weather and the overwhelming pressure of another year ahead.  But as with anything else – it’s all in how you look at it.  So what if you mess up on a resolution… start over!  It will eventually stick.  The sun will always shine again… and we are so tremendously lucky to even entertain the thought of living another 365 days on this earth.  What will you do with that time?  I hope to have some amazing memories to cherish by the time the ball drops for 2014.  I hope I do things that scare me, challenge my normal routine, and thrill me to the very core.  I want to take risks, be bold and be proactive.

Last night while at dinner with two great friends in Atlanta, Wendy told us about the most impactful resolution that she’s made in her life thus far:  To be who she is on the inside, on the outside.  Simple, but so hard to do.  I often think about the different shades of me I put in front of others, either to follow a social norm or just out of sheer habit.  Who is the real me, anyway? If I didn’t have rules to follow, what would I wear?  What would my hair look like?  If I didn’t need a certain amount of money, what would I do with all of my time?  Where would I live with no strings?  I think most of us do end up settling into the restrictions of living within a social structure, so I guess the real question is, what do we give up in order to do so?  Hopefully we are able to tap into the essence that is our true selves, and gain greater access as the years go by.

My biggest 2013 goal of writing a book is going really well.  I am dedicating one hour a day to writing, which has proven to be a successful challenge for me in the past.  I’ve already forgotten who said it – but a commenter told me that once you’ve found your story, you’ll look forward to developing it.  It won’t be a job or a hassle, instead it will excite your soul.  I am definitely feeling that passion, so I think I’m on the right track.

If you haven’t already done so, please follow my really random Twitter page called ZenFortune!  It is daily challenges/fortunes to help enhance your existence.  Some are silly, some are fun, some are strange, some are enlightening.  Check it out! 🙂

James' drawing of a euphoric feeling: q-tips. (((:

James’ drawing of a euphoric feeling: q-tips. (((: ZenFortune Challenge

My drawing of a euphoric feeling...

My drawing of a euphoric feeling…ZenFortune Challenge

The stray cat houses that James designed!

The stray cat houses that James designed!

Our first 2013 home-cooked healthy meal, recipe from Cooking Light.

Our first 2013 home-cooked healthy meal, recipe from Cooking Light.

The artist Kyle Brooks at work on one of my favorite ATL murals! Photo by James Martin

The artist Kyle Brooks at work on one of my favorite ATL murals! Photo by James Martin