It’s that time of year again! Today is December 30th, and this year New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day take place conveniently (or not, depending on your perspective) take place over the weekend. You can give yourself up totally to partying or whatever you usually do on those days, and start the New Year on a day when most of us kick off a new week anyway.
Since I like to get a headstart on a brand new year, I always start thinking about the things I want to accomplish during the year in the waning days of the old one. I made a few resolutions  for 2011 at the end of last year, and well…I didn’t get to do a whole lot of them. My year was dominated by three things: the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, my continuous health problems, and late in the year my sudden though not totally unexpected father’s passing. The first event totally changed my plans for my spring trip to Japan; instead of doing things normal, fun things like the long ekiben  - eating train voyage around the country I was originally intending, I spent a lot of time talking to people about the aftermath of that terrible event (you can see some of the related articles on Just Hungry , as well as on the Japan Times, BlogHer  and so on). And once I got back home in June, my health problems started to take over, and I got the “C” diagnosis . And just when I thought the worst was over, literally as soon as I got home after my hysterectomy surgery, I got the news that my father had died.
2011 was “my” year in a way, as I explained last year  - it was the Year of the Rabbit, and I am a toshi-onna (a woman born in the year of that particular animal sign). There is a superstition that good things tend not to happen in “your” year, and I guess that was kind of the case for me this year! What a bummer. But maybe 2012, the Year of the Dragon, will bring new energy and better karma.
But anyway, back to bentos and resolutions! For 2012 my top priority is getting my body healthy again. And you can be sure that bentos will play a big part in that. I never really thought that I ate unhealthily on a regular basis - I rarely go out to eat a fast-food places and such, and most of our meals are cooked at home. But I can do a lot better, for myself and for The Guy. When you get seriously sick, you really realize just how important, and how fragile, the state of your body is for simple day to day happiness. So more than ever, the bentos around here will have a health focus - with plenty of fun thrown in too of course!
The one great thing that happened this year to me was the success of The Just Bento Cookbook . I thought it might do well, given all the wonderful people (that’s you!) who support this site so enthusiastically, but I didn’t anticipate it doing so well that it’s gone to 5 printings in just one year, despite being out of print briefly due to some shuffling of publishing companies and such. And now I’m thinking out loud, but…is there anything I didn’t manage to cover in that book bento-wise, that needs to be? Hmm…we’ll see. ^_^
So what about you? Are you already thinking ahead to 2012 too? Please share your resolutions, bento related or not! And let’s ring out this year in grace and style.