Happy New Year!

1 Jan

Champagne by Anders Adermark on Flickr

We stopped making New Year’s resolutions long ago.  There came a time when it started to feel absurd that we would resolve to change something just because of the time of year, but I suppose it’s as good a time as any to really sit down and really evaluate yourself and your life.

One of the major things Justin and I have done differently in the last few years is to make a conscious effort to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations.  I know, it sounds strange, but it’s been one of the best things we’ve done for ourselves.

It started when I stumbled across a little graphic that looked a bit like this:


This idea resonated so completely for me that I still use it to help guide my choices.

For us, stepping outside our comfort zone has meant a lot of different things, ranging from small steps, to huge leaps.

It was uncomfortable to quit our jobs without any real plan for what we’d be doing in the future.  It was uncomfortable when I finally decided to quit smoking.  It was uncomfortable when Justin went back to school full time and still had to have a full time job.

All these things were difficult for us, but all of them have ultimately resulted in us being happier and more at ease with ourselves and where we are in life.

Stepping outside your comfort zone could mean lots of things:

  • Taking up a new hobby or sport.
  • Putting aside a shy nature and introducing yourself to new people.
  • Getting rid of things that are cluttering up your home.
  • Leaving a relationship or job that is no longer fulfilling.

It can be difficult to take risks to change your life, but isn’t now just as good a time as any to decide you’re worth it?  We think it is, so we wish all of you a Happy New Year filled with all kinds of magic!


10 Responses to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Sis Munch (Kristin Waughs mom) January 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Wonderful words of wisdom, Ashley. Thank you.
    Happy New Year and may you continue to live outside your comfort zone.
    Blessings, sis munch (Kristin Waugh’s mom)

    • Ashley January 7, 2013 at 1:57 am #

      Thank you, and Happy New Year to you as well. We hope to see Bryan and Kristin (they sure are living outside their comfort zone at the moment!) when they get back to the States!

  2. Neil Petrie January 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Ash & Justin, Here are a few recommendations for Marlborough wineries: Cloudy Bay (the old established standby), Craggy Range (an upcoming, more experimental place, Dog Point (seems to be one of the most highly rated smaller vineyards), Fromm, Mahi, and Seresin. I’m not really familiar with these. It seems that most of what is exported to the states is the wine from large, commercial producers who often aren’t even estate bottled. I would love to taste Dog Point after having read about it. And if you are still in central Otago, try some Pinots at Amisfield, Felton Road, and Rippon. These are just a few of many good wineries in both these regions. Enjoy, and drink some wine for me. Ne

    • Ashley January 7, 2013 at 1:58 am #

      Thanks Neil, we went to Rippon today, and I think it was one of the most stunningly situated wineries we’ve ever been to! We’ll be sure to hit up a few more of them while we’re here 🙂

  3. Janelle Joseph January 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    As always, I take a piece of wisdom from your blog entries…this time I am reminded that every day is the beginning of a new year, just not a calendar year. So any day is a great day for improvements and plans for one’s life. But your gentler suggestions included de-cluttering as getting outside our comfort zone. I hadn’t considered this in quite that way.

    So now, I face the big adventure is getting rid of size two and four designer outfits that will NEVER, EVER fit me again unless I am suffering from a life-threatening illness. The reward is not a less cluttered closet but the chance to face reality. A life with no need for fancy clothes sounds pretty great anyway. Knee-high rubber boots needed these days for wetlands and swan ponds. Loved your entry. You schooled me again. Only Ashley could make me consider giving away my clothes to be a proper adventure. Where the Magic Happens. Happy New Year.

    • Ashley January 7, 2013 at 2:02 am #

      Oh Auntie Janelle, you are beautiful to me in any size (even though I’m sure we’d all love to be a constant size 2!). I think rubber boots and baby swans are the wave of the future though, so don’t feel too bad about giving up those old clothes. We’ll be home in a month and can’t wait to see you on your next trip to CO!

  4. Anonymous January 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    It was definitely uncomfortable when we made Justin eat that elk penis in Bolivia, but he’s learned a valuable lesson and is a better man for it.

    • Ashley January 13, 2013 at 12:31 am #

      Ah, we miss having you with us Eric 😉

  5. Kristin Waugh January 12, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    Well said, Ashley! I couldn’t agree with you more, especially over the last year. I feel like I learn more about who I really am and what I really enjoy when I’m out of my comfort zone. Happy 2013 to the Merrilings! 🙂

    • Ashley January 13, 2013 at 12:33 am #

      Thanks 🙂 We’ve learned infinitely more about not only ourselves as individuals, but about ‘us’ as a partnership. It’s been enlightening…to say the least!

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