I love New Year’s. I love the thrill of a fresh clean page in a brand new notebook. I love fresh snow fallen without tracks. I love clothes with the tags still on. I love shoes without scuffed and dirtied soles. I love yards of fabric before folding and washing and cutting and creasing. I love new bars of soap.
New Year’s Eve is the true beginning of something new.
Or so it feels.
Then I look around at the cereal crumbs on the rug and the toys on the floor and the dishes I didn’t wash and the cat hair on the duvet and the empty toilet paper roll waiting to be recycled on the bathroom counter and I sort of snap out of it.
But lingering behind it is still, the fresh pure innocence of a brand new year.
2016 was a long and weird and often very stressful year for me. But as 2017 waits in the wings I have learned a lot about myself and I have certainly grown as a person. I have new perspective and appreciation and I’m looking forward to breaking in a new year. I’m not necessarily a resolution person – resolutions are so yes/no, black/white, fail/success when really life is more transient and messy than all that.
So, to close the 2016 chapter and begin 2017, I’m sharing my top 3 takeaways and my top 3 goals. We’ll know in 365 how I did, I guess.
2016 brought me:
- A new appreciation for myself and what I could do. This year I started a handmade business. I learned about SEO, and small business taxes and registration, and social media marketing, and professional photography, and on and on. When you own a small handmade business you have to be good at everything or you have to sell copious amounts of whatever you make so you can hire someone else to do it for you. This year I started running again and ran my first 5k – something I have longed to do for close to a decade. I did it and my time was awesome for where I was then and I’m looking forward to my next race.
- Understanding that the present is important. I spent most of my 20’s working hard to earn my PhD so one day I could land the awesome tenure track job. My husband and I were poor and we struggled but did it because we were looking towards this goal, this future. Then we had kids and we spent years struggling along through the endless hours and days and nights with high needs babies and demanding toddlers. Always in a holding pattern for the next stage when we would be where we wanted to be. Somewhere in 2016 I realized, now is important. Now is the only now I will ever get that looks just like this and I had better hold on to a little now, right now. Everyone in my life needs a little bit of now from me and I believe I can better appreciate the future and the past by investing more of my now, right now.
- Awareness of the preciousness of health and the power of being healthy. This year we lost a lot of people that we felt connected to in some way. My husband wasn’t as affected by some of these as I was as he says that people who live hard don’t see old age. He’s right. But when Prince died, I cried. I straight up cried. Many famous people I had only a virtual connection to were lost this year – George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Gary Shandling, Glenn Frey, John Glenn, Harper Lee, Nancy Reagan, Elie Wiesel, Gene Wilder, like a ton more. People I know and love struggled with their health. I realized that in order to protect my health I had to get active. I had to move. I wanted to lose weight but the science behind exercise was so obvious, so strong that it seemed moronic to be idle. There is only so much I can do to protect my health but failing to take action is inexcusable any longer.
So, page turned. What am I looking forward to in 2017?
- A fresh start in my career. Suddenly and without real warning a lot of shitty stuff happened related to my job and I’ve spent the last year attempting to decide what I want to be when I grow up. This year I decide. I know. I do.
- A new city, a new state. With the new career will come a move. A big one. An as of yet unknown one. With that new location will be endless streams of boxes and packing tape and sorting and deciding, but I’m holding on to the fresh white page, for now.
- Writing. Writing is something I have done since I was little, crafting stories in #2 pencil in endless wide ruled sheets. Throughout school my writing was for class or papers or projects. I want to spend 2017 flexing my writing muscles and seeing what I can do. What emerges from this long hiatus of writing and what I have to share.
Oprah said, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
Cheers to you. Cheers to getting it right.