Happy New Year!

New Year’s, and all the holidays that occur during fall and winter, feel a bit different in the tropics.  I grew up wearing winter coats under Halloween costumes, picking apples before Thanksgiving, and wondering if it would be cold enough for snow at Christmas.  So my mind still expects to feel the cold, crisp air; notice the days getting shorter; and find the need to retreat indoors as these holidays approach.  For this reason, each of these holidays sneak up on me in the tropics, because the weather is still more like summer than another season.  My subconscious just can’t catch up with the calendar.  But here it is, the day before New Year’s Eve, and, although it doesn’t feel like winter or concur up thoughts of the ball dropping in Time Square, that feeling of reflection has started creeping in.  Over the past few days, since Christmas, I have found myself reflecting on the year and daydreaming about the future.  Maybe it’s because of the extra free time I have being off work this week.  No matter the reason, self-reflection has always been an important concept to me.  I use to find I would not only have these moments around the New Year, with thoughts of resolutions and where the year had taken me, but also in the early days of spring when the weather would finally start to change and I could sit quietly outside and, again, as the summer gave way to fall and I would catch myself realizing that the warm days would be fading soon.  At these times, I find myself thinking about all that I have done and all that I had hoped to do.  Wondering why some things had gone uncompleted and amazed when so much had been accomplished.  There were years when I felt perfectly content during those moments of contemplation, and other years when I was restless, wondering how to change that moment’s current path.  As I sit here this year, I find a mixture of the two.  Mostly, I am content and happy with where I am and the direction my life is going, with a growing feeling of wanderlust.  It’s been a long time since I’ve gone out into the world, into the unknown, and it certainly calls to me.  The difference these days is that I don’t want to run off into the unknown alone.  Instead, I want to experience it and show it to my family.  I want to show my son how big and beautiful the world is.  I want to see the spark of wonder in his eyes as he looks at a place he has never seen or imagined.  Part of coming back to the islands was for that very reason.  To find that sense of adventure again.  Returning to an old stomping ground is not the same as venturing off into the unknown, though.  There is something freeing about leaving all you know behind you and seeing where the unknown road takes you.  So this year, I form my resolution around venturing off into the world again.  Seeking out places I have never been and finding that sense of wonder and awe in the world.  Happy New Year to all and I hope each of you finds your own adventure in this new year.

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