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The time of year for fresh starts, fresh beginnings and New Years Resolutions has come and gone, and like the last half of 2013 I’ve fallen behind.

After I graduated, I told myself that I wanted to take the summer off to recoup. I moved, had two jobs and wanted time to enjoy life instead of living the structured routine I created for myself.

Memory Jar

image from athriftymom.com

The last couple of weeks I had a negative outlook on 2013. Looking at my memory jar, it looks like I hadn’t done anything with my life since May, and to be honest I hadn’t kept up with my jar of accomplishments either. I wanted to start blogging again, but if I hadn’t done anything since May what could I talk about since I clearly failed at completing goals I had set out to do.

In reality though, I accomplished a lot.

I started the year off traveling to the Middle East, where I fell in love with the Middle Eastern spices, and was enraptured by how beautiful rocks and sand can be. In the ten short days I was there, I created not only a strong bond with people on the trip, but with my host family, the Abazas.

I graduated at the top of my class in the Division of Communication & Creative Media, the largest division at Champlain College, and thus began working six days a week between Champlain and Shelburne Vineyard.

Since it was now the vineyard’s busy season, we had a whole new crew, and very quickly I had new friends. I got really close to some of the girls at work throughout the summer and we began our quest to become members of the Wine Century Club (which I’m halfway there.) To help, we started Wine Club, which was really an excuse for girls to get out of their houses once a week, drink wine, catch up and have a potluck.

wineclubThrough Wine Club, I did things I probably never would’ve gotten around to. I explored the south end of Burlington at the South End Art Hop, an annual event that I had yet to go, and I attended my first red carpet event. Granted it was a fundraiser for the U.S. Olympic Luge Team, but there was a red carpet nonetheless.

Wine Club and the vineyard made me realize how much I love wine and that I want to become a certified wine specialist and eventually a sommelier.

That brings us to 2014. For Christmas, I got some of the necessary training tools to start studying, and hopefully by the end of the year or next summer, I’ll feel prepared enough to take my first exam.

But wine is not my only focus for 2014. I’ll write about my goals in my detail later, but here are just a few:

  • Go on Birthright: Every Jew from the ages of 13-26 has a chance for a free trip to Israel. I had multiple questionnaires and a phone interview and was accepted into the program, but I was waitlisted for the culinary-focused trip I wanted to attend. With luck, in 2014 I’ll get to go, and make a stop in Jordan to see my Jordanian family.
  • Become a member of the Wine Century Club, a not-so-elite club where members try 100 different grape varieties to enter.
  • Ski enough times to pay off my ski pass, and I’ve already gone once.
  • Read at least forty books, and I finished my first one for the year today.
  • Learn how to crack an egg with one hand.

What do you want to accomplish in 2014?