I don’t want to heap on the pressure—after all, we just met. But I have to say, you really need to be kind of awesome. 2018 was not my favorite year. Filled with fear, doubt, uncertainty, and loss, it was happily put aside at exactly 12:00:01 on January 1st.
And now it’s your show.
Of course, I know you can’t do it all on your own. While at its core the phrase “everything happens for a reason” is nice, it also implies a person can just sit back, and the rest will take care of itself. I believe we make our own reasons. We all have a choice every day to do our best to make the most of each challenge we face.
So, if you promise to give me some of that hope that was lacking in 2018, I promise to do my part and try to turn it into something amazing.
I think this is the moment where I’m supposed to list off all the things I intend to do or accomplish during your reign. But between you and me, that feels so 2018.
I absolutely hate resolutions. There’s so much pressure to come up with something impactful that has a great deal of meaning and depth. And by February or March, if it isn’t going the way we expected, the frustration sets in. That thing that was supposed to motivate us to be a better person now has us feeling like a total failure.
But this year I have higher hopes for you, 2019. I don’t want to set myself up for failure. So instead of listing off all of my resolutions, here are some of the general themes on which I would like to focus. There are just three, but what they lack in numbers they make up for in personal importance.
Number 1—be more aware of what my mind and body are asking for. Some call this “self-care” while others think it’s a selfish waste of time. But if there’s one thing I learned from your predecessor, 2018, it’s that I do not function well under stress. That does not make me weak or fragile, but instead it makes me human. Last year I had the worst skin issues of my life, I was sick all the time, and my hair actually fell out in one big clump. Considering all I was going through at the time, no one can convince me those issues didn’t have everything to do with stress.
So, for you, 2019, I choose to be mindful of what I need. I’m going back to yoga and I might even try meditation. I will continue my bi-weekly therapist appointments, and when I need a few hours—or even an entire day—for myself, I will take it. And I won’t beat myself up about it or call myself lazy.
Number 2—appreciate you, 2019, and the life I’m currently living. 2018 was filled with fear of the future and everything it might hold. All I could think about was how my life would eventually turn out and all the ways it could come up short of what I expected. Because all my energy was placed there, I didn’t spend nearly enough time appreciating everything I do have.
There are joys in the everyday. They might not seem worthy of mention, but they exist just the same. And they all add up to a life well lived. That moment when I’m just sitting on the couch with my dog curled up in my lap and my husband by my side? It’s pretty damn magical. No one will write a poem about it or consider it an epic accomplishment, but my life is my life because it happened.
Number 3—consider my impact on the world around me. I know what you’re thinking, 2019, there is the obvious responsibility we have to take better care of the world around us. And this is entirely true. Becoming more environmentally conscious should always be the goal. But in this case, I’m thinking more in the abstract.
What is the message I want to convey to the world? How do I really want to connect with the people around me? In 2018 I started to find a voice. I finally decided to speak my truth and stand up for women’s rights and human rights. I want that to continue. And I want to find even more ways to authentically connect with my digital community, as well as my actual community.
I don’t want to be that person who just tries to sell a cozy sweater or a great pair of boots. We are a society obsessed with consumerism. I want to consider the ways I’m contributing to that culture, and how I can make what I do about more than just what’s in a person’s closet.
And that’s it! If there’s one word I want to sum up my focus this year, it’s “mindfulness”.
What do you think, 2019? Are you up for the challenge? Together I think we can totally kick 2018’s ass.