I suppose the general trend is to do a year summary post before the new year begins, but better a day late than never, right? 


This past year was one for the books. I rang in the New Year in Chicago and my Twenty-Third Year in New Orleans. I also went to New York (twice), Baltimore, Manchester, Nashville, Hilton Head, and Destin. I saw The National (twice, once at my very favorite venue), Bob Dylan (twice, once in VIP where I almost died of excitement), Wilco (twice, sensing a trend?), Passion Pit, the XX, Local Natives, Phosphorescent, The Lumineers, David Byrne & St. Vincent, and many, many more. I was less than a football field’s length from Paul McCartney, and I got to sing Let it Be surrounded by some of my very favorite people in the universe (oh, and now I get Beatle Mania. I was about to faint too.). I adopted a puppy who is, at this very moment, snuggled next to me breathing soft, sleepy puppy breaths onto my keyboard. I spent a magical Valentine’s Day at Hot & Hot Fish Club. I drank (many) bottles of incredible wine.


The thing that all of this list-making and accomplishment-accruing doesn’t really account for though, is that 2013 was a bitch. All of the end of the year Facebook statuses (stati? statum?) and blog posts make me feel a bit lousy, but then I realized: any year can seem incredible in a highlight reel. The reality (for me, at least), is that the day-to-day, three-hundred-and-sixty-five living of a year is messy, unpredictable, and sometimes just downright difficult.


It’s also lovely, wonderful, and full incredible things, of course, but this isn’t always quite as apparent.


I think it’s these difficult things that make us want to make resolutions to be healthier, happier, and wiser. I know many people who scoff at the idea of New Years’ resolutions–I’m sure that if it could be calculated, the percentage of people who actually accomplish what they set out to would be positively minuscule–but I don’t think it’s the making of the resolutions that really matters.


The magic of a New Year is the hope of a fresh start, a clean slate (or iPad I suppose, though that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it).


This year I want to read more than I watch television. I want to eat more kale than bacon. I want to sit and listen to albums from start to finish. I want to love excellently. I want to speak kindly. I want to learn how to do the splits.


Despite my best efforts, 2014 is going to be just as difficult, messy, and unpredictable as this past year, but you know what?


I can’t wait.