During a recent ski trip to Mammoth Mountain, I had what Oprah would call an "a-ha" moment. I was standing at 11,053 feet, with my new, pink, Atomic "Sweet Mama" skis pointing down the mountain, and I had to pause and take in the cold, crisp winter air. I stood on top of this majestic landscape and I realized how much a day skiing is like life: you gear up with proper equipment, plan your course using a trail map, maintain flexibility to meet the mountain's terrain, swerve to miss rocks and steep drop-offs, and sometimes you even fall! Then, when you've made it down the mountain, you have a sense of accomplishment (and a pretty gnarly adrenaline rush)!
Just like a day of skiing, life is a journey that renews itself with each New Year. We set goals, make plans, and change directions as needed. And, when you experience success, you have that charge of adrenaline. As author Seth Godin says, "Life is like skiing. Just like skiing, the goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill. It's to have a bunch of good runs before the sun sets."
I grew up in a family of skiers, and to this day, it continues to be my most favorite sport. In fact, when I was dating my now husband, he had only skied once. I told him if he was going to marry me, he'd have to learn how to ski. Well, it worked, he was hooked, and honestly, nowadays, he is more the driving force behind our family's ski vacations. Bakersfield is a great place to live where skiing is just a car ride away – Alta Sierra, China Peak, Mammoth Mountain, Big Bear, Lake Tahoe – just to name few!
As I grew up collecting ski passes, our Newbie Dad, Brian Kantz grew up collecting Star Wars figures. In his article, "The Book Collectors," on page 14, he writes about the vastness and never-ending completion of collections. He's happy with the items his two young sons chose to collect: books, The Nature Series, by North Carolina-based author, Suzanne Tate. Brian says he no longer collects anything except bills to pay for his children's collections.
In Tracie Grimes's monthly Humor at Home article, "Should Old Errors Be Forgot?" on page 11, she also writes about her own unique collection - gaffes and blunders. This New Year, she is forgoing the make-a-resolution-and-then-don't-stick-to-it route, and rather trying to reprogram her brain to forget about some of her more embarrassing moments. However, she does enjoy recalling her kids' funny adventures just to tease them!
Tracie has also deemed 2011, "The Year of the Book," in her monthly book review column on page 15. She offers such titles as "Tubby" and "Potty," both by Leslie Patricelli; "A Prince Among Frogs," by E.D. Baker; and, "Animal Tales: The Monkey See, Monkey Zoo," by Erin Soderberg. For moms, she recommends, "The Confession" by John Grisham.
Check out this month's special section: a private school directory on page 10 and an enrichment directory starting on page 9. Also featured in this section is an article, "Making the Grade," on page 8, which details the advantages of public, private, and homeschooling options for your children. Finding the right educational fit for your child takes a lot of research and asking a lot of questions.
As you tack up the new 2011 calendar on your wall, whether you make New Year's Resolutions, or adopt Tracie's plan of no resolutions, you have the chance to find your own proverbial ski trail and make the most of it!
Happy New Year!