With the New Years often comes resolutions; resolutions to lose weight, exercise more and save money are common.  Though I do not generally make resolutions I do take time to reflect on what I value and how I can focus on what is truly important.

Three things I will focus on in 2012 are (1) building more friendships, (2) being open to new perspectives and, most important to me this year, (3) being a better listener.

I am going to use my time on the bus to focus on my resolutions.

Building more friendships

I have already made some strong friendships on the bus.  My book club, The Seventeenth Line, was formed on the bus (we are even named after the bus line we met on) and I recently pulled together a small happy hour gathering for other friends I met on transit.

In 2012 I hope to connect with more strangers and by the end of the year count them among my friends.

Being open to new perspectives

Riding the bus give me a chance to rub elbows (sometime literally) with people from all walks of life.  There is Peter the window-washer who refuses to get a driver’s license because he does not want to government to track him and Maryanne the artist whose paintings are inspired by people she sees while riding transit, each sees the world differently that I do.

In 2012 I hope to be open to different perspectives and learn to see things from new points of view.

Being a better listener

I love listening to people’s stories, it is one of my greatest pleasures. I shared in my About Me page that I appreciate the work of Studs Turkel, I also regularly listen to Fresh Air (what is it about Chicago!) and to The Sprocket Podcast, Portland’s own Brock Dittus and Brandon Rhodes irreverent conversationalists. For me, being a good listener helps opens the world up and teaches me so much.

In 2012 I hope to become a better listener, to quiet myself and give others the time and space to share their thoughts with me.