• New Year’s 2017: New Yearsier

    by  • January 2, 2017 • New Year's ramblings • 0 Comments

    Another day, another dollar. Another year, another… yield of things I shoulda, coulda (but sometimes not woulda) completed. Let’s ring in the new year with a scorecard!

    From last year:

    1. How to make homemade jam. 

    Boyfriend’s mother introduced me to homemade peach jam, and I got addicted. I love peach season when it rolls around. Homemade peach jam means peach season can last ALL. YEAR. ROUND. Sign me up!

    Er… sign me up next year, that is. I kind of missed peach season this one. I was too busy scarfing down peaches.

    2. Whether nightly meditation can help me sleep.

    Because of the first thing I learned this year (see my last entry), I haven’t been having too much trouble drifting off. I’ve learned some meditation techniques through apps on my phone and taking yoga classes at the gym between hockey seasons. And, yeah, paying attention to my own breathing and being present in my body makes me sleepy.

    That “nightly” part, on the other hand… not so much.

    3. How to take care of my brass chanukkiah.

    Boiling water to get rid of the hardened wax. Brass polish to scrub away the tarnish. Still clearly well used, but no longer a disaster. Some parts are even shiny!

    4. How to make injera.

    Bulk Barn, you’re amazing. You stock teff flour!

    My first attempt, fermented like sourdough, tasted so gross I threw all of it out.

    pretty bad injera -- all in pieces and not bubbly at all


    So perhaps I’ll try again.

    5. How to perform first aid (including CPR).

    It’s difficult to find a weekend, but apparently, I can take a course through (other departments affiliated with) my workplace. So I’ll have to look into that this coming semester.

    6. What the Tanach says.
    7. What the New Testament says.
    8. What the Holy Quran says.

    Welp, I sure did not, even though I downloaded free versions of each to my smartphone. Maybe I’ll have time (or make time) for this in 2017.

    9. How to finish the first draft of a sequel that other people who aren’t my family and friends may actually evaluate.

    Why am I such a slow writer? I should have finished this years ago. (Which is a toxic way to think and probably not helping in the first place.)

    10. How to read a whole chapter of Die unendliche Geschichte.

    I got through a few pages, but I think maybe I should be concentrating on beginner books and German-language kids’ TV before I tackle masterpieces. Boyfriend has been watching Steven Universe songs dubbed in the language he’s learning. I think I smell a happy new German project for me!

    From 2015:

    2. How to make caramel from scratch.

    Nope. It’s not that I couldn’t, it’s more that I just… never found (or cared enough to make) the opportunity.

    3. How to make marshmallows from scratch.

    Read: how not to chicken out from the possibility that I’m going to blow the motor on the stand mixer I borrowed from the Kitchen Library, even though that is extremely unlikely. But alas, it is too late: the Kitchen Library is no more.

    I guess I’ll have to wait until I have enough kitchen space to buy and bust a stand mixer of my very own.

    8. How to get my USB flash drives to sync automatically with folders on my computer.

    Still have the basic shell script (thanks, Boyfriend!), still don’t have the encrypted USB drive I’d need to be able to do this without manually picking files in order not to violate my students’ privacy rights.

    10. How to shrink my Netflix queue.

    I did watch some stuff. Which I guess makes it smaller. (*whisper* if you don’t count all the new stuff I added as it became available) Hey, shut up, Small Voice in the Back of My Head! Netflix also made previously available stuff unavailable, so it balances out, right? (*whisper* Uh, nice try, Netflix took out like a handful of movies and added ALL the Star Treks…)

    On the other hand, newly being able to download episodes and movies to watch during my commute makes me optimistic of achieving this goal in the future.

    From 2014:

    2. How to roll tack.

    My bad arm is still not down with sailing.

    7. How to use a text expander effectively.

    Nope. CTRL+C, CTRL+V all the way for me, baby.

    From 2012:2

    3. How to get a paper accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

    As I mentioned last year, still not my actual goal.

    4. How to donate blood (or get medically disqualified from doing so, should that turn out to be the case).

    Arggh, I have to make this happen!

    5. How to downhill ski, water-ski, or both.


    6. How to play the jaw harp.

    I did way better than previous years. In that I tried. Once, before I got bored, and only because I knew it was on this list. This one turned into a guess-I-should-want-to-cross-this-off-the-list instead of a something-I-actually-want-to-learn.

    From 2010:

    4. How to play The Orange Box and Portal without dying, turning off the computer in fright at Ravenholm, and/or getting stuck in the corner every two seconds.

    Yeah… although these are both really awesome games, I have so many other games that I actually want to play (PERSONA 5 IN 2017!!!!). Maybe I’ll come back to these later.

    6. How to speak and read German and/or Yiddish.

    I’m beginning to think this one may be a teensy bit too broadly formulated.

    I’ve been using Duolingo to learn German for years; my “record” is over 1100 days. Picking up new vocab and practicing the old stuff is part of my daily routine now. I’m not even close to fluent, but I understand more every day, and I can occasionally understand my native-German-speaker cousins. I need to set narrower goals to push myself to learn faster and better. This one doesn’t motivate me any more, because I know there’s no way I’ll ever feel able to cross it off the list.

    Segue segue segue…

    That’s why, for 2017, I’m going to do something new. When I review this list of resolutions, some still interest me, but others drag behind, reminding me about what past-Sarah cared about (or thought she should) and not so relevant to my current self.

    So this January, I am giving myself a belated birthday present: the right to be free of guilt and to-dos, to decide for current-me what is important and not saddle myself, however slightly, with commitments that no longer feel relevant.

    Those things I didn’t learn in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016? I don’t need to worry about them anymore. Instead, I will approach each year by not only considering what I’d like to learn in the coming 365 days but also what I need to forgive myself for not learning and let go.

    So here are my only ten written goals for 2017. Some may be familiar, some new. In the coming year, I’d like to learn:

    1. The rest of Duolingo’s German lessons
    2. How to revise a MG novel after writing adult fiction for the last several years
    3. How to ski (friend who’s offered to take me, let’s make this happen before the snow melts!)
    4. How to alter men’s short-sleeved button-up shirts into shirts that fit me

    Already started this one with my first round of sewing workshops. Boyfriend and I made throw pillows for my office:

    two throw pillows with pen and pencil fabric cases
    5. How to host my first Pesach seder. Get ready, Toronto!
    6. How to *personal thing that I’m not prepared to announce yet* That’s me: woman of mystery.
    7. How to stickhandle with my head up and be confident moving the ball myself at ball hockey. Already started this with daily 2-minute practice sessions. Let’s see how much better I can get.
    8. How to donate blood (or get medically disqualified from doing so, should that turn out to be the case) YES I CAN
    9. How to make peach jam Sorry, caramel, marshmallows, and injera. I have my priorities.
    10. How to perform first aid (including CPR). Bet there’s a course I can take this spring or summer. And I totally might have a free weekend… someday


    I write SFF, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and I've been known to knock off a play here and there. I'm represented by Bridget Smith of Dunham Literary, Inc. Stick around - who knows what might happen?


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