Five cafes that count among my regular haunts. Three are named for animals. Well, two are named for animals and one ought to be.

And one is the kind of place where I just can show up and say: FEED ME. They know what I like.

But mostly they know that I like being surprised.

Wait! That is not true, I do not like being surprised. But I like certain kinds of surprises very, very much.

Hmm. Speaking of surprises. I like this kind. Wheee! Digression! Where are we going?

Let me follow this rabbit hole for a minute and see what I know about this, because who knows, maybe it’s useful in the context of 2013: Year of The Mysterious Mystery Bagel.

Surprises I do not like:

Parties. Oh dear god never make a surprise party for me.

Also definitely do not propose marriage to me in public! Or at all, actually.

Unless you are that super great person from my last teleclass-thing who proposed by email: that was adorable and I like you.

Surprises I like:

What is going to happen next? What kind of delicious sandwich are you making me right this second? What colors are the secret flowers going to be?

What delightful crazy adventure are we going to have today? Oh, hello, day! What kind of marvelous trouble are we going to get up to today?!

Also surprises like the one that is happening right now. I thought I was writing a post about 2013 and possible about bagels, but now I’m investigating my relationship with the word and experience of being surprised. I like this.

I like discovery. Discovery and play. This is probably not news. Anyway.

Sometimes I want to be surprised but not very surprised.

Ahhh. Yes. What I really want is just a taste of the surprise.

Like when I go to the Monkey and get a Wicked Awesome on a mystery bagel.

The sandwich is not the surprise, just the bagel. And really it’s not a surprise at all because they’re kind of expecting it. And then Grey and I will laugh about this, which is also not a surprise.

It’s a tiny surprise, wrapped up inside of comforting ritual and wanting-what-you-want.

It’s warmth and familiarity, with an element of not-knowing. You open doors that lead to unknown places, except you set off for these adventure from a state of great steadiness. Steadiness and comfort.

As opposed to a giant falling-apart-of-everything-you-know, which is a pretty accurate description of what 2012 looked like for me.

So yes. I’m thinking about this new year.

And I’m thinking about conscious entry, and I’m thinking about bagels. Mystery bagels. Also mystery in general.

Because the two main things I want for this coming/incoming/already-here new year are not at all contradictory. But they might seem to be on the surface.

I want things that I’m putting under the category of VITALITY:

Liveliness. Passage. Voyage. Adventure. Pleasure. Delight. Wonder. Exploration. Treasure. Life force.

And I want things that I’m putting under the category of SHELTER:

Ease. Mildness. Oh, beautiful mildness. Sweetness. Resonance. Grounding. Sanctuary. Rest.

Wonderfully exciting things happen. But softly. There is harmoniousness and congruence. Spaciousness and presence. And gentleness. So much gentleness.

And most of all: there is time.

That’s what I want.

With no internal contradictions. All of these lovely qualities of the voyage are related to each other. They’re not mutually exclusive.

I want to believe that I can have adventure and mildness, surprises and familiarity, newness and comfort. In all kinds of different ever-changing configurations.

I want to know in the deepest possible way that these qualities somehow enhance each other instead of being at odds canceling each other out. And I don’t have to know how.

What else to I want to experience in 2013?

A conscious, loving, play-filled relationship between me and myself, between me and everything I encounter.

Extraordinary sandwiches. Not a euphemism.

Voyages and proxy-voyages.

The humming castle. Moving in to the humming castle.

Supporting the hum of the humming castle by humming my own happy hum, by caring for the well-being of my own happy hum.

What it is like to not be depleted, to not run my life from a state of depletion: this is the purpose of year, my sabbatmobile secret-sabbatical, and also of the Year of Emptying & Replenishing. Password: compass

Secret spy op: OPERATION TREASURE.

Because everything is better with secret agent code.

Operation TREASURE is the compass/container that holds everything I want to do, feel and experience in 2013.

It contains all the superpowers of Mystery Bagels, Mysterious Bagels, and mystery in general. It contains everything I like about surprises, and everything I like about safety.

And all the qualities that are not-at-all contradictions.

Also, like many of my secret spy ops, it’s a secret acrostic, because that makes everything better.

In Operation T.R.E.A.S.U.R.E., the qualities come in pairs:

Trust and Tingliness.
Resilience and Receptivity.
Effortlessness and Effervescence.
Anticipation and Adventure.
Sovereignty and Serendipity.
Unity and Uncovering.
Resonance and Radiance.
Ease and Excitement.

Hello, 2013. Come in, come in! With sweetness and delight.

We’re already nearly a month into this new year.

And for me this process of entry has required some time. That’s part of what I’m working on this year: letting things take as long as they take, resisting the urge to hurry them along.

Hello, shining new year.

Here’s my commitment:

To take exquisite care of myself, when I can, if I can, to the best of my ability.

To spend as much time as possible getting quiet, breathing, getting close to the ground.

To spend time with you, my year. To be with you at the beach and at the cafe and at the Playground and at Stompopolis. To taste you in every bagel. To blow you kisses and whisper sweet words of love.

To care for you by taking care of me.

To release rules about how things should be, how you should be, how I should be, what I should be doing with you. To let it all be a wonderful surprise.

Come in, come in, come in. Let’s play.

Play with me! The commenting blanket fort.

You can also play with the new year if you like: plant wishes, whisper the whisperings.

I am also receptive to: hearts, pebbles, things sparked for you, warm wishes for this new-ish year, naming of qualities that you like, silly names for bagels, any or all of the above.

As always, Playground culture applies: we are all taking a break from advice-giving and caretaking. We’re here to be and to play.

Love, as always, to the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers, and everyone who reads.