November came and went and December is quickly doing the same. This year Father Time did his thing and the days turned into months which turned into “Holy Crap, where has the year gone?”…yet again. Where it goes I have no clue, but without fail, the time passes and for a couple weeks I find myself looking back over the past 50 or so weeks with a mixture of nostalgia, a little sadness and, overall, a thankful heart.
2016. You were the typical rollercoaster, but for this year, the ups definitely outweighed the downs and for that simple fact alone, I’m thankful. There’s little need to regale the details, but the highlight reel contains moments and memories now etched deep within my heart. What I’ve come to realize is, life is a constant balancing act…no one gets it easy all the time, and it’s almost always how you play the hand you’re dealt that determines your happiness. Dad tells me…okay, has ALWAYS told me…not to worry so much, that life shouldn’t be so hard – I’m starting to think that what he means is…stop MAKING it so hard and just live. We muck stuff up. We take simple things and turn them into something they were never meant to be. Anyway, back to the past 12 months. I got to travel again…twice…to two different beaches and be it the sun or the surf or the solace that comes with being surrounded with something that reminds me of just how big the world really is…I found my center, I made peace, I allowed myself to be okay with, and to let go of, things I no longer had control of, nor wanted to worry about anymore. I remembered how much I not only love the beach, but how much I love to travel…to see new places and expand my little world…and how much I love coming home. It had been too long, and I’ve since vowed to not let that happen again so we are kicking off 2017 with a trip to NYC! Again, I digress…
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I do not make resolutions. I am a terrible goal setter, and making resolutions seems like another way to say I’m going to do something (often unachievable) and then end up not doing it which makes me feel foolish and like I’ve failed. So, I don’t. What I do instead is look back over the past year and take stock of what I’ve done, all I have to be thankful for, and what I hope to improve over the next 365 days. This year I was called the V.P. of Sunshine at my new job by our company attorney. That man had no idea how big of an impact that had on me because I have struggled with feeling like I bring that piece of myself to the table the past few years. It truly is the little things. So, here are the things I want to BE and DO in the months to come:
- Be more mindful, more grateful, less negative (where did that side of me come from, anyway?), more genuine, less hurried, more aware, less anxious.
- Have a thicker skin and not take things so personally.
- Laugh more – truly. Life is pretty damn funny if you let it be and if I can work on ^^ then I think laughing more should be a positive side effect.
- I say this (well, I know I THINK it) every year, but I’m putting it on here again…spend and give more of my TIME, primarily with those I share this little life with.
- For practical purposes I have set a couple financial goals that should also help with the anxiety in the long run.
- Read more. I asked for a Kindle Paperwhite and M made sure Santa brought me one so I’m going to put it to good use.
- Try something new each week – this seems a bit like setting a “real goal”, but I read this not long ago and thought of it more as a challenge and it seems like a good one so I’m going to try it. I’m a person who thrives on the familiar and routine aspects of my life and I think this could be really good for me.
- I’m carrying this over from (many years) before…get (something) published. Yes, I’m terrified. Why? Rejection, is the simple answer. But, to me anyway, words are so personal and while I don’t want to feel anything less than that about them, I know that if I ever want to see myself doing something I’ve wanted to do since I was nine, I’m going to have to buck up and get over that (cue thick skin).
- Set my phone down more – be truly present. Social media, while necessary in many ways, has been a killer for our interpersonal relationships/communication skills and I am no less at fault than anyone else but I hate that we have allowed this to become our norm and I want to be more mindful about it.
- Have more intentional family nights (no phones, play a game, cook something together, learn something new together, explore a new place, etc.)
- Continue making our house more “us” - including getting rid of the things taking up space rather than serving us.
I’m sure I could think of more, but that’s a pretty good list for someone so against resolutions. I want to set the tone for a positive year, to roll with things rather than react to them, to not let stupid things affect my attitude and overall be more mindful, genuine and authentic. I have always said that love is the great motivator, the one thing we all need almost as much as we need air…if we want to receive it we must be willing to give it…and I am thankful to end 2016 and begin 2017 full of, and surrounded by, just that. I am looking forward to the next two days…I will spend time with those I love dearly, closing out one year and opening the door to another with nothing but hope paving the way for what it will bring. God speed, 2016, and make way for 2017!