2010 was pretty event-filled for me. I went to Japan twice, after many years away, for a total of nearly 5 months, re-acquainting myself with my roots. Both my parents went through serious illnesses and operations. I moved into a new (old) house in a French village , then promptly got a serious infection and was hospitalized for weeks . And last but certainly not least, I finished a little book  that so far has been way more popular than anyone anticipated.
2011 is the Year of the Hare or Rabbit (usagi) according to what’s commonly called the Chinese Zodiac in the west (in Japan, the 12 animals symbolizing the years are called eto 干支). That will make me a toshi onna, or woman who was born during the year of the bunny. (If you’ll be 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, etc. next year, you too will be a toshi onna during the Bunny Year, or a toshi otoko if you’re a guy. And of course, babies born next year will be Bunny Year Babies.) Being a toshi onna (or otoko) is not necessarily considered to be all good; you may have good luck, but you may be in danger of running into bad luck too. Either way, if I am to believe such things, it may turn out to be an even more interesting year than 2010.
I know that we can make resolutions at any time of the year, but New Years Day is really the perfect time to shake off the past and make a promise to oneself to start something new, or continue a good thing. I’d certainly like to shake off the bad things about 2010, and arm myself with some good intentions and plans for 2011.
Bento-wise, I’m interested a accomplishing number of things: exploring some traditional Japanese foods more deeply, researching the world of ekiben  further, using bentos as a continuing tool towards keeping my blood sugar in check (it’s working well so far in that respect, barring some lapses such as extended mochi testing sessions ) and improving my decorative food cutting skills. But above all, I want to continue spreading the word of bento around the world, and introducing people to the fun and versatility of the portable meal in a box.
So, how about you? Do you have any bento-related resolutions for 2011? Share them with the world right here!
One of the people who share their bento related resolution in the comments here will get one precious advanced copy of the 2nd printing of The Just Bento Cookbook, signed of course. The book is sold out on Amazon.com  right now, and getting scarce in other places until they can receive new shipments, so if you didn’t get one in your Christmas stocking, now’s your chance. Your resolution/comment must be posted here (and it must be a comment, not an email reply if you’re reading this by email) by the end of 2010 - that is, until 11:59:59pm of December 31st CET (Central European Time). Good luck, and let’s ring out the old year with a bang!
(Comments are now closed. The winner of the book will be announced soon! Happy New Year!)