I’m not alone in spending some time thinking about what this year might bring. It’s a common thing to do, feeling a sense of renewal in knowing there’s a brand new year spread before me. Looking at the beginning of a calendar year, 12 blank months on which will be written another year of my life. It just makes sense that we’d use this turn of time to start some new things and end others. I have a very different outlook on it this year, though. The last half of last year was so difficult for me, and it ended in the loss of my father. My world was turned, ever so slightly, on its axis. No doubt the seasons of my life will be a bit different from here on out. The tides will move a little differently.
It’s interesting, though, how it’s all happened. I’ve been on a path trying to better myself, to learn to solve my own problems, to live wholeheartedly in a world where I often feel like I don’t fit. I have done some gut-wrenching soul searching in the last couple years. I’ve paid a lot of money to an absolutely incredible therapist who has so patiently listened as I ironed out some wrinkles. I can say with absolute conviction that through my hard work, I have absolutely changed my life. There are no two ways about it. I am not the same person as I was when I came home from grad school. No, I am not. I’ve worked hard on a lot of things: not caring about what people think about me, separating who I am from what I do, not giving two shits about what size jeans I wear or what size anyone else wears, not giving myself a hard time when I’m not immediately the best at everything… the list goes on. The interesting thing is, though, that although I understood all of it logically in my head, there were some things that had yet to manifest themselves in my heart. And then my father died. That single event catapulted me into a very different place. A wonderful place. Many of the areas I was struggling to fully incorporate into my life, to truly understand with my heart, were suddenly there. I can’t explain it any more than that. It just happened. I’m sure it doesn’t happen that way for everyone, but for me, it did. And as always, when I start to come out on the other side of the fire, the pain, the struggle, I find myself thankful. I miss my dad every day, and yet I’m so thankful that I have had this opportunity to learn and let my heart continue to absorb the truth for which it continually yearns. I would have picked to learn it a different way, but maybe my soul had different plans for me before I started this life this time around. We choose how we respond. I choose to grow.
All of that was preface to explain my take on this new year before me. This year, without a doubt, has the potential to be the most different and wildly wonderful year of my twenty-nine. Most of my New Years Resolutions in the past have been elaborate check lists, spreadsheets of material things I’d accomplish. Not so this year. I’ve learned that life is more than a series of check boxes to check at the end of every day. Success and failure do not depend on checks in any boxes. Sure, I’d like to drink more water and contribute more to my 401k. And I probably will. But that does not a successful year make.
So what are my goals for this year?
1. Get rid of the things in my life that do not serve me and add to my happiness.
2. Focus and spend time on people and things that do.
That’s it. And the best part is that I get to decide. No one can tell me what serves me and what does, what should and shouldn’t. That’s where the Part II of this will come in, but that’s for later.
So this year, if something doesn’t feel good, I’m not going to do it. If someone’s company leads me to feel poorly about myself or other people, I’ll choose to spend my time elsewhere. If a blog or an article gets me all riled up for no reason, I’m unsubscribing. If something brings me peace, feels good, if I enjoy someone’s company, if it adds to my life in any way, that’s what I’m going to focus on. It’s really as simple as that. No guilt over what I let go. Just a continuous journey towards peace and truth. It won’t be easy, for sure. Nor will it always be seamless. I’ll still get mad (and I can get REAL mad). But hopefully with these goals at the forefront of my mind, I can guide myself towards a life I’m content to live.
I’ve felt very drawn lately to start writing more often, and more of what I actually think and believe. It will more than likely piss people off. It might make you uncomfortable. But my truth is my truth, and I’m going to share it.
So, everyone, I hope that 2014 is a peaceful blessing in your life. I challenge you to make it that way.