Luck never tasted so gross.

I’ve written before about my New Year’s tradition — I buy a can of black-eyed peas, spend the entire day gathering the strength to open the can, until I finally stand at the sink, gagging and choking while I force down as many spoonfuls of the evil pea as possible.


Grandmama always said it doesn’t matter how many peas you eat; your luck for the new year is guaranteed if you even eat just one. I never trusted her, though, and would force myself to eat as many as possible. I’m nearly 31 and nothing has changed. And honestly, with the year I just had? I very much almost ate the entire can, just to be on the safe side. Because between you and me, I could use some luck.

When Paul and I were roommates, he shared his own New Year’s tradition with me. Instead of making one or two specific resolutions, he decides on a word or phrase to dictate his actions in the coming year. I think he had chosen that year to be the Year of Yes. I loved this idea and totally copycat-ed him immediately. Since November, I’ve been thinking about the word/phrase I would like to see dictate my actions in 2012. I wanted it to encompass all of my dreams and goals, while leaving me space to work on healing the scars of the last year. Finally, while driving home from work one rainy December evening, it hit me. So I immediately sent Paul a text:

Me: The Year of Making It Happen.

Paul: Love it.

So, dear readers, welcome. This year, my mantra is, “Make it happen.” It’s a simple formula. Anytime I have a thought that falls in the category of, “Wouldn’t it be nice if ________” or, “I wish I ________,” I must immediately do one thing to move closer to making ________ happen. And if I’m in a place where I absolutely cannot do one thing to make *whatever* happen, I write a note on my hand reminding myself to do that thing as soon as I’m able. I’ll get more into the things I’ll be making happen this year in another post. But for now, here are the unexpected little things that have come up so far:

“I wish I had better posture.” (sit up straight immediately)

“I wish my jeans fit better.” (download nutrition app)

“I wish I were better at staying in touch with faraway friends.” (handwrite a card and send it)

Of course, black-eyed peas aren’t magical. I always forget that part. It’s quite possible I ate my black-eyed peas and went to bed, fully expecting to wake up the next morning with a newfound sense of joy and no memory of the bruises of the last year. (I’m ridiculous.) It didn’t happen, of course. I’ve been struggling lately and the midnight countdown, champagne toast, and evil-tradition-peas didn’t erase that. One of the best parts about being 30 is I understand better how life ebbs and flows, between easy and difficult, happy and sad. So though things are rough right now, I know how to look for little pieces of joy in my life, daily.

Like my little tiny capsules of Vitamin D sunshine:

And also, this face:

And, of course, all of you. You all bring me so much joy. So happy new year, y’all. I’m so glad to have you guys in my life. I look forward to another year of your comments, advice, wisdom, and humor.

And making it happen.