There is such weight placed on the first words of a new year. They are supposed to be profound observations and wishes of ourselves and our world. Optimistic words resolutely marching into being. Wisdom gained from the past year’s trials and hope evolved from the year’s joy and celebrations.
Dang. That’s a whole lot of pressure. Particularly from those of us who are pretty sure we’re fumbling along in our messy lives, faking it til we make it. If you’re reading this, I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re a bit like me. (And prone to rambling while you find your way through your thoughts and words).
2014 was a process.
You learned things this year. You challenged yourself in ways you hadn’t thought of. You forgot half your resolutions before the Super Bowl arrived. You rationalized a bad habit or two (I’m sure it is you and me keeping Starbucks in business). You had deep conversations with your cat. You marathoned (the TV kind). You fought for something (your body, a friendship, a cause). You won some. You lost some.
It was a year. It was both good and bad. Joyful and heartbreaking. Painful and carefree. At times it was more of one and less of the other.
The real story? You lived. You’re alive. So there’s work to be done.
You want to be more organized. Be in better shape. Have more savings. Look more put-together (hoodies and yoga pants are not the wardrobe of a professional thirty-something…well, until it became the hot new thing). Drink a few less lattes. Share a few more days with friends. Tackle the big picture. Win your battles. Live your life. Be a better friend. Share kindness.
So? Make it so.
But not with lists and plans for that pie in the sky
There is so much of my life that is out of my hands – it’s what happens when you’re sick – that a goal of 10,000 steps a day or trying a new fitness craze will inevitably lead to disappointment or a feeling of failure.
This year, instead of a list of lofty goals or resolutions, I am going to save myself the heartache and strive to live the best life I can every day. I am going to be present in the moments of my life. I am going to face down this pain when it rears its ugly head. I am going to embrace the people in my life.
From there, the other things grow. If I’m facing this disease, I might just eat more kale to give my body the power to fight. If I’m savoring the moments, I might just be a better friend. If I go my own way, I might just find the path I was looking for.
Now that’s a resolution.
When I started working on the graphic for this post, I was going to use one of Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s Wishes, but I stumbled upon this quote, and I think it says it just right:
“Kiss a lover, dance a measure, find your name and buried treasure. Face your life, its pain, its pleasure. Leave no path untaken.”