New Year’s is a time for reflection and renewal. Some look back with joy and satisfaction… some look back with pain and regret. Some choose not to look back at all, but to forge ahead with resolve to make this year the best year EVER.
My first instinct today was to say “Fuck 2013!” like so many other people are. And the follow up to that is to make some pretty hefty resolutions that will ineffectively negate the hurt of this past year. But to do all that is to deny the wonderful things that I’ve experienced, and would crush any valuable lessons that 2013 had for me (Have I mentioned how sick and tired I am of learning lessons??).
While the last 7 weeks of this year have been the hardest I’ve faced in a long time, 2013 was good to me in many ways. And if I can stop kicking and screaming long enough to appreciate the gifts I’ve been given, maybe I can head into the new year with some peace and hope, instead of some crappy hollow false fortitude handed to me by Gloria Gaynor or Destiny’s Child.
Instead of letting the last couple of months embitter me, I can choose to look at them as the culmination of a year lived out loud. This year I went to Miami, Hilton Head, Cancun, Gatlinburg and many more… I’ve loved fully and trusted completely. I’ve felt braver and more fragile than ever before. My happy was happier and my sad was sadder. I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, both physically and emotionally, and I’m learning that rejection isn’t necessarily a reflection on me. No one thing was more or less significant when compared to the rest, and what I’m feeling now doesn’t have to ruin a whole year.
Because New Year’s Day is just another day. Nothing really ends and nothing really begins just because we have to put a new number on our checks.
So this year, instead of creating a resolution, set an intention.
What’s the difference?
A resolution is a concrete item that you vow to accomplish. Losing weight. Getting a boyfriend. Getting a better job, etc. Some of these you have control over, and some are just ideas and goals with no action plans attached to them. Either way, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
An intention is more like a theme for the year.… whether it be self-love, service to others, or something else that you can gauge your actions by. This way, whatever you decide to do throughout the year, you can ask yourself “Does this fit into my intention?” If the answer is no, then you may need to evaluate your actions.
My intention for this year is “Sinking In.”
What does that mean?
Well, over the past several years I’ve been stretched out. I bought a house, but have been unwilling to furnish it completely (after all, what if he moves in?). I’ve been running out on mini-vacations, rather than spending my time in my community and getting to know my incredible neighbors. I’ve focused on a person, an outcome, a geographic, rather than grounding myself.
I’ve chased my happiness all over the world, but how can someone love you if you’re all over the map?
So… I start my kitchen remodel in January. I’m ordering living room furniture next week. And tonight, New Year’s Eve, I’m throwing a party for my neighbors and their kiddos. It’s a start.
I’m sinking into my home, grounding my energy, and planting myself in my own life. No more stretching. It was exhilarating, don’t get me wrong, but that kind of excitement is not a sustainable lifestyle, and it certainly isn’t conducive to creating and maintaining a family… which is what I’ve come to recognize that I really wanted all along.
Here are some other ideas:
Living out loud
Loving without expectation
What’s your intention for 2014?