2014: A Year of Hopes and Dreams

It’s hard to top the birth of your first child when it comes to the highlights of a year, or a lifetime, so 2013 will go down in the history books as a particularly special year. As I reflect on the past 365 days, my heart is filled to the brim with joyful memories of adventure and life-changing moments. On another level, I am left feeling utterly bewildered by the sheer intensity of this past year. We practically crawled to the finish line, exhausted from long weeks balancing work and play, the struggle to keep up with the basics of life, and short nights that come with parenthood. And still, we are smiling and eager for more.

March 22: First day in the world. Photo Meghan J. Ward collection.
March 22: First day in the world. Photo Meghan J. Ward collection.

It’s hard to think that any other year could be as intensely emotional and joy-filled or adventurous as this one. But another year lies ahead, and one that I am looking forward to with a good helping of curiosity. Life with a one-year-old will bring many new experiences. Careers are shifting. And home is becoming more settled even while adventure and travel are on the books.

New Years is a day of resolutions, and while many people struggle to keep them, I am one of the luckier ones for whom goal setting does a great deal of good. Without being too strict or specific, there are a few things on my mind as we kick off a new year.

  • I want to give my readers a more well-rounded picture of me. While some things will remain private and personal, the last thing I want is for my online image to be just that…an image. I want my readers to be able to relate to me by infusing my writing with more honesty and a deeper picture of everything involved: the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • Knowing my daughter will help me look at the smaller things in life, I hope to make a hobby of getting to know the natural world more intimately. I know shamefully little about the flora and fauna around me here in Banff National Park. I want us to learn more about the flowers and lichens we see along the trail, which plants are edible, why marmots whistle, and more. It’ll be fun to do that together.
  • I want adventure to rule my life, not predictability. While it would be easier to stay home, lock my family into more of a routine, and get dinner on the table by 6pm, I know it goes against the core of my being. I am fuelled by the excitement of the unknown. My spark comes from setting audacious goals and making crazy plans.
  • I want to take better care of myself. Self-neglect seems to be a terrible symptom of motherhood. And while I have done my best, now that we are almost over the hurdle of the first year, it’s time for me to focus on doing the things I know are good for me, that make me feel good, that leave me feeling rested and whole, and that bring back that bounce in my step.
  • My ultimate goals are to continue living in the present moment and to continue simplifying my life. That means striking items off my to-do list daily, choosing my priorities for the day, and being ready to drop everything. My little girl gives me opportunities each and every day to live in the now. There are new and incredible things happening daily for her. If I tap into that, I am supremely satisfied.
Looking forward to what 2014 has in store. Photo Meghan J. Ward.
Looking forward to what 2014 has in store. Photo Meghan J. Ward.

I wish all of you the very best this upcoming year, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of this project since its inception. Your comments, idea and encouragement are what keep me going, so please continue to keep in touch. Here’s to another year of adventure-filled memories in the great outdoors!

What are some of your hopes and dreams of 2014?

Author: Meghan J. Ward

Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Meghan has written several books, as well as produced content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications. She has a forthcoming travel memoir (Fall 2022), to published by Rocky Mountain Books.

8 thoughts

  1. I want to simplify my life too and spend more time with nature. Just like you. I also want to be a better mum, a better photographer and a better student. Let’s hope we’ll manage somehow. Have a good 2014!

  2. Loved being with you to ring in the New Year and see you into a new place. A real God send. Love Dad

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