January 1st is often a starting line for refreshment and change, as we all know. We come up with new things to do and ways to be, in reflection of the versions of ourselves that are in no way good enough for a brand new, squeaky clean, fresh and shiny new year!
I've really been looking forward to 2018. Just the look of the year written out looks bubbly and fun to me with all the curvy shapes - much better than a rigid 7 if you ask me.
A few days before New Year's Eve, Tyler and I put a list on our fridge of the areas of our life in which we'd like to see growth, things we want to do around the house, and how we want to live each day differently. Our goal is to feel more productive, healthier, inspired, and just simply slow down. We feel like we rush through life and don't take enough time each day to breathe, appreciate, read a book, and just be.
I do love the idea of a fresh clean slate, especially since I can be such a perfectionist, and it's natural to look back at the turn of a new year towards the old one and wonder what worked, what didn't, what made it so great or so not-so-great, and often times - how we can pick up the pieces and move forward. We've been doing a lot of reflecting on this past year, like most of us probably have, and are looking at the upcoming twelve months with high hopes, a couple new dreams, and thankfully - a few fresh words of wisdom.
This year wasn't the greatest, I'll admit. And it doesn't seem like it was for a lot of people. 2017 was a rough one in many ways. It wasn't all bad, but this year has been very emotional and just simply challenging. 2017 started with my dad in the hospital for a pretty major surgery, followed by the sudden passing of our dog Myah which most of you know about, and has entangled itself with countless other "sub-par situations" seemingly since it began. Tyler and I have had a lot of changes take place this year, and have found ourselves searching for joy when we'd normally find it with a bit more ease, and began looking forward to a fresh new year more and more each day.
It's silly that we sometimes put so much ownership of our happiness scale on "the year" in the same way we put so much pressure on 2018 to be so much better and brighter than this past year was. But of course, my outlook and happiness in life, no matter what is happening around me, really is all up to me and where I choose to put my faith.
A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not do something. Well I firmly decided to work rather than go to morning Yoga more than I should have last year. I decided to skip going for a walk outside more often than I should have. I decided to eat certain things that maybe I should have resisted. I chose to hold onto anger, criticism, parts of the past... when I should have just let them all go. It was me that decided against certain business decisions, or to spend 15 minutes scrolling Instagram for no reason when I could have been writing a new recipe or getting lost in a good book. But I also did choose to go on walks, attend lots of Yoga classes, make some amazingly healthy meals and create some new and delicious recipes. I've treated people kindly, generously, and warmly, and have forgiven and extended grace (to myself and to others) where it was indeed due. I've been "resolutioning" all along, in good ways and in bad - welcoming positivity and sunshine into my day-to-day, as well as allowing negativity and ugliness to bury itself into the cracks in my heart's foundation.
But good wouldn't be so good without bad, would it? White wouldn't look so crisp and clean if it weren't for the rich stark darkness of black. A joyously uncontrollable belly laugh wouldn't feel so freeing if we didn't know what it was like to be entrapped by pain and sorrow, drenching our faces in cold salty tears... All of those memories, happenings, emotions, choices, intentions, daily resolutions that I have made in 2017 have led me to this new year and I would be doing myself a disservice by not credit every single one of them in some way. Each one added to the richness of the way I feel, the process in which I think, and form the structure around the reasons behind choices I will make in the future. So while it's good to make them, I want to be careful to not let the idea of a New Year's Resolution become just a pretty version of telling myself I wasn't good enough, or I should have done that differently - or I wish that never happened, or if only that went better than it did. Because even if I or it "should have", the GRACE that ABOUNDS is much bigger and so much more powerful than anything I should or shouldn't have done, or could or couldn't have happened.
INTENTION # 1 : EXTENDING MYSELF GRACE WHEN THINGS DON'T GO AS PLANNED
It's funny, Tyler and I were all set to go with our new schedule, household responsibilities, and positive beginnings - posted on the fridge like I said. And in true form - as it does - life threw us a curve ball - I got the flu. So our New Year's Eve was spent with him waking me up for the 30 seconds it took to watch the ball drop from his phone so I didn't have to get up, sipping a glass of sparkling grape juice, and going back to bed. The next two days were pretty much spent the same way, and I'm still moving slow today even though I'm better. Tyler's also been dealing with some back pain too, so neither or us have been on our a-game. He's still gone in to work but when he's gotten home we've been on the back-mending agenda. But it's just plain OK and we can start our new things like the gym routine, me making his healthy lunches, and whatever else we had planned to start doing together - next week. Because why? GRACE. Through this upcoming year, I want to bestow more grace to myself for not living up to any expectations I may set. I can be really hard on myself and need to learn to be kinder. Yes, to others too, but really - I'm hard on myself big time. I need to know that in my heart, I am trying. If I don't succeed, at least I know I'm trying again, and that it's just plain OK.
INTENTION # 2 : MAKING TIME FOR REST AND SAYING "NO" MORE OFTEN
None of us do enough of this - I assure you. I'd say the majority of us are in constant "go mode". This year, we want to keep one day a week to ourselves to just be home, regroup, light the candles, curl up with a good book, and shut off all TECHNOLOGY. It's so easy to load up our schedules with events and dinners, errands, and "obligations", but sometimes enough is enough, especially after the holiday season when everyone is just fried. Nothing really is that much of an obligation. It's OK to say no and give yourself what you really truly need.
INTENTION # 3 : IGNITING MY CREATIVITY AND BUSTING OUT THE OLD HOBBIES
I want to cut back on the screen time and bring back some of my old hobbies like painting, sewing, jewelry-making, and drawing... I used to make cards and draw all the time so I think it's something I want to create time for again. I need to set stronger work hours so that my evenings can be spent inspiring myself to get creative in new ways! I've allowed my business to take over so much of my time, and even though I'm pretty disciplined with it, I don't do enough of the other things I used to love! I also want to start reading more too... and spend more time being inspired by nature, patterns, colors, emotions, memories, hopes and dreams, neighbors, our grandparents, water, air, the sky, the birds... flavors, scents, sounds, all of what we have around us - and in turn, share it with those I care about.
INTENTION # 4 : MAKING MY HEALTH A PRIORITY AND REMEMBERING TO STAY ACTIVE
Taking care of ourselves is really just so important! I've recently picked up dry-brushing and have already been seeing improvements in my skin! Salt baths are my favorite, spending time in the sauna at the gym, and being more active are all things I need to keep up this year! Long walks outside, spending time in the sunshine and fresh air, and moving by body are all so important. We eat little meat, all clean, and mostly organic. But I need to make myself eat more often. I also need to remember my vitamins! It's also so easy to think I need to keep working and skip the gym when obviously I need to move and groove! Sitting behind a desk for multiple house out of the day isn't good for any of us.
So thank you so much for reading... I really need to get up and walk around now since I"ve been sitting here so long, but I hope you feel inspired to think about a few things you can hope for - not just for the YEAR - but for the right now! And let me know if you make that latte! One thing I've cut out over the past year is coffee, and these lattes have been a wonderful substitute!
Happy New Year!