Happy new year! The exclamation point feels a little forced this morning as I saddle up to my computer with a mix of dread and anticipation. Something tells me I’m not the only one. For 10 days, the whole country has been in the space between: real life, suspended. No school, work, deadlines, meetings, professional obligations. My husband, two daughters, and I spent Christmas in Connecticut with my parents and siblings and their eight kids. I left my computer in Santa Fe and, with all the free time I wasn’t wasting on Facebook, we walked to the beach with the kids, set up my niece and nephew’s new slackline, played paddle tennis, and shucked and ate eight dozen Bluepoint oysters. I even managed to read a whole book.
I craved the uninterrupted family time, but by the end, I was antsy. I missed my writing, our family’s normal routine. Structure. This is the conundrum of 21st-century family life, played out on a national level during the holidays: How to strike the balance between too much to do and too little? Me-time and we-time? If you don’t plan, things don’t happen, but if you plan too much, you run yourselves ragged. We wrestle with this all the time in our house, but it’s especially pronounced this week as I look back on all the fun we had in the last 12 months—river running, camping, a month in bare feet, Thanksgiving in the canyons, etc.—and start scheming a new year of adventure resolutions. Here's our bucket list. What's on yours?