New Year’s Eve. What a love/hate relationship people have with this day, this evening.
Countless movies have taken place with it woven into twisting plots. Songs have been written about its magic, its potential, its sadness, its silliness.
Some love it. Some hate it. Some could care less.
But no matter where you fall on that opinion poll, there is no getting around the fact that one year is ending and another will begin. It’s a reminder that time marches on, seemingly a bit more quickly each year, and life keeps unfolding.
For some, this time of year brings reflections about the past year, and hopes, goals, or even, dare I say the word—resolutions—for the upcoming year. There seem to be as many opinions about resolutions as there are about the holiday itself.
I happen to be one of those people who does the whole package: the reflecting, the hoping, and yes, even the resolutions. I find it’s a nice way to check in on life, and think about where I want to go.
One of the most common counter opinions about resolutions is the fact that people don’t keep them.
I know that feeling. I’ve been there.
In the past, I’ve gotten to the end of the year, looked back at my list of resolutions, and realized I was one of those people that started the year with such gusto, and fell off the wagon mid-February. Darn. I’ve definitely felt discouragement in realizing I would be writing the same goal again the next year.
But as I reflected this year, I’ve realized in the past few years, my resolutions have started to shift. Sure I still have a few that can be checked off, or can be measured. But more of them now, really most of them, have morphed to include broader, bigger ideas.
They address changes in my actions, changes in thinking: lifestyle changes.
This week as I sat down to write my resolutions for the upcoming year, I realized many of them, were in fact, exactly the same as last year. But unlike in the past, there was no discouragement with this realization. I have decided it is actually a very good thing.
I know, sounds a little counterintuitive—nothing to cross off, no box to check.
While there is, no doubt, great satisfaction in the accomplishment of conquering measurable goals, I’ve started to realize many of the things that I want most out of life can’t always be measured.
The best, most meaningful parts of life can rarely be quantified, and creating a life that contains more of those parts is a pretty hefty pursuit.
So much of the good, rich stuff of life is often more complex. It evolves and changes. We have to persevere, roll up our sleeves a bit and dig into these big, beautiful, life-changing goals.
This year, I aimed to fill my days with more of what I love.
I wanted to consciously attempt to seek out the good in the world. I worked to be kinder and take time for others. I sought to play and travel more, to be present, to slow down and appreciate my experiences. I focused on prioritizing my time to make room for the most important things to me, and just generally waste less time.
Have I accomplished all of these things? Heck no!
I haven’t come anywhere close. But I’m realizing that’s life. Life is a process, a wonderful, messy, evolving journey. I’ve come to believe in my gut, it’s not meant to be filled solely with accomplishments, but more importantly with meaning. The process of finding meaning is going to take different paths, and proceed at different speeds for each of us. But it’s an important process to consciously tackle, and I think we all need to be kind and patient with ourselves as we are finding our way.
This year, I have found greater success with some of my resolutions over others. I have certainly made fun a priority. I have traveled and prioritized play very well, and boy have I loved it. It makes life richer. But I still struggle with staying present, staying in the moment. And man, can I still waste time like nobody’s business. But whether I have made great strides in an area, or there is still much work to do, all of these things are going onto my list again.
It’s work I want to continue. It’s work I need to continue.
I will be content this next year continuing to bumble through my days as a living, breathing, work in progress, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
One of the very best things I read this year was on a tiny plaque in a coffee shop. It was so simple, and so important.
It read: You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Sometimes in the great pursuit for growth, or in the sometimes discouraging work of reflection, it is easy to overlook this most important, fundamental, beautiful truth: We are exactly where we are supposed to be.
So as this year is closing, whether we are reflectors and goal setters, dreamers and hopers, or if New Year’s Eve is simply just another day—let’s all try and make sure to take at least one moment before this year comes to an end, to remind ourselves, that no matter where we each may be on our journeys, right now, right here,
we are right where we are meant to be.
Happy New Year, friends!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Sara Furay
Editor: Emma Ruffin
Photo: John Hain/Flickr