Because New Year Resolutions are ~so~ much fun…
I started 2016 on a beach in paradise with my best friend.
I started it with adventure and hope and possibilities.
I started this year feeling rejuvinated and reborn.
Looking back on the year I see the hardships we have all faced as a society: wars, deaths of beloved icons, famine, crimes against humanity, disappointment and fear for the future. Needless to say, 2016 was not a great year for the world as a whole.
But ignoring all of that (as hard as it is), I tried to look back on MY year. It was good. I mean… I DID go to Thailand, bungee jump, meet some fitness goals, and, oh, I dunno… Publish a book…so I can’t say it was terrible, but I had very specific ideas of how I wanted my year to look as I waded into the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Thailand on January 1st, 2016.
It happens to the best of us, though. Grand plans for a new year and a new you. All the things you want to do, become and change. Half the time you change your mind, half the time things just don’t pan out and the other half (yes, that’s three halves, I feel like after that clusterf*ck of a year we all deserve 3 halves.) you’ve forgotten that you have even made a resolution to change.
But here’s my question: Why are we trying to change our selves? Why do we think, as the year draws to a close, that we need to change? Why are we so desperate to leave the “old us” behind, and become a 2.0?
I think self improvement is important. I think, until the day we die, we can always learn, always grow and always experience.
I think the symbolism of a fresh start and clean slate that comes with a new year is also a great time to reevaluate the path(s) that you are on.
It’s not that I have a problem with resolutions; I have a problem with holding yourself to a standard and putting so much pressure on yourself to be someone different, that you are ultimately preparing for your failure.
You are you. That won’t change. And really, unless you are Donald Trump, it really doesn’t have to. We are constantly searching for things to make us different than who we are and that makes me kind of sad.
Who you are is just fine. Perfect, actually. You were made from love, so who you are is, in fact, love. So instead of thinking that you need to change, maybe think about things in your life that you would like to…adjust.Things that will make life for you and those around you better and more fulfilled. Not things that encourage the constant desire to follow the masses or keep up with the Jones’s, but things that satisfy your heart.
I have decided on a few of the things that I would like to adjust, do more of, or see less of in 2017.
- I want to throw out less food. I am pretty good at using what is in my fridge, but I also love to cook. So instead of buying ingredients day of, for a recipe I want to try (which is mostly what I do), I’ll come up with a recipe to use what I already have before it goes bad. Throwing out food is an insult and a waste and getting creative in the kitchen is fun and economical.
- I want to carry less guilt. I am guilty by nature. I feel like I never do enough, say enough, express enough or give enough. I feel like I am constantly letting people down, and that if something goes wrong, it’s my fault. I second guess any decision made in my best interest first and I always feel like it’s my fault if relationships aren’t being nurtured the way they should be. I want to do less of that. I want to make a selfish decision every now and again and be okay with it. I want to grasp the concept of a “two way street” when it comes to relationships. I want to know that I am enough, I do enough, and that if I am not, or do not, that the people I am affecting will TALK to me and tell me so I can deal with the repercussions and not just automatically feel guilty about something before I even know it’s something. I want to be kinder to myself in that regard.
- I want to be outside more. I work inside, I live inside (obviously), I write inside. I am inside practically always. I want to be outside more. Like sit on a park bench, go for walks and explore, hike and sit on a patio for happy hour. I want to switch off, breathe in more fresh air and soak up more sunshine.I want to explore my own back yard and I want to spend more time in the rain.
- I want to find my direction. I am searching, constantly, for direction. I’m like a toddler who’s just dismounted a marry-go-round at the park. I can’t take more than two steps without falling or running into proverbial (and sometimes literal) inanimate objects. So I want to find my direction, or at the very least PICK one and commit (at least for a little while) instead of picking one, wondering if its the right one, probably googling for 3 days, writing out a plan, ripping up said plan and picking something else.
- I want to do more things out of pure enjoyment. Not everything has to have a reason. Not everything needs to be the best thing to do in that moment or the right thing to do. Actions don’t always need a “should” or a “because.” I want to do more things for enjoyments sake, for fun and for no reason at all (which, often, becomes every reason).
- and, finally, I want money to be less of a thing. Money makes the world go ’round. Money gives freedom to do and be and whatever. But I want it to hold less of a spot in my life, in my future and in my happiness. Do I need money? Yes. But not having a certain amount doesn’t have to fuel my decisions as much as it does right now. Yes, I need money to travel the world, but I can explore my world in the mean time. Yes, I need money to live, but I don’t need money to really live.
You see, the thing is, I don’t want to change myself. I want to give myself more. I want to give myself more time, more love, more opportunity. Within those things are actions, like work hard, exercise, save, set goals etc etc, but to label what that looks like when I have no idea what tomorrow will bring is impossible.
2017, for me, will be a year of life. Just like 2016 was.
2017 will be a year of consciousness. Just like 2016 was.
But the difference is that I have lived through 2016 and with it came accomplishments, disappointments, pain, fear, joy, love and, most importantly, lessons.
The slate may be clean as our clocks pass the threshold of 11:59pm tonight, but please, whatever you do, don’t think you need to change who you are in order to be happy.
If you are unhappy, you need to give yourself more. What that looks like is up to you. But if you enter another year thinking you are not enough just the way that you are, 2017 will be like 2016, all the lessons you learned will be for not and no matter who you are kissing, you will enter a new year lacking acceptance and love because you will be refusing to give it to yourself.
So while you think about the resolutions you want to make, take what you know, push to learn what you don’t and vow give yourself more in 2017.
Because we can not go back.
We can not go into tomorrow.
We can only be in this moment and that is the most calming, liberating and exciting thing about life.
When you stop feeling like you need to change yourself, you open up that thought-space for endless truths, ideas and for love.
To each one of you reading this (Hi Mom) I wish you self acceptance, self love, the ability to freely give love to others and consciousness to be in each moment in 2017 as it comes.
I wish you clarity, peace of mind and enjoyment with no rules, no why and no because.
and I wish you all, as always, more moments to Dance In The Rain.
Happy New Year.