As another year draws to a close, I catch myself falling into the “New Year, new me” trap. Now, I’m the first to roll their eyes at everyone making their list of generic resolutions. And yet here I am, calculating macro-nutrients and looking up new yoga routines as I salivate over the thought of a Slurpee. But it’s cool because I’ve been taking my vitamins religiously for the past three days. I’ve got a new planner I’ll forget about by February and I’ll quit budgeting by the third consecutive trip to Taco Bell in a week. Lets be real; the more I try and live up to this unrealistic ever-growing list of resolutions, the more likely it is that I’ll be the same dysfunctional shit show in 2018 as I have been the past 26 years of my life.
Maybe setting New Year resolutions helps some folks get their shit together. Maybe it’s just the motivational push you need to finally get into shape/quit smoking/stop listening to polka/quit that job you hate, or whatever it is that you’re looking to accomplish to feel like you didn’t squander the past revolution around the sun. But I think for a lot of us spoonies who already have the weight of the world on our shoulders before our feet even touch the floor in the morning, it’s just too damned much to ask. And that’s fine.
This is the (incredibly) ambitious New Years resolutions poster I made on New Years Eve, 2014. Because instead of going out and partying with the cool kids, I decided to stay in like an old person and color. (A tradition that has held strong through the years, I’m proud to say). It wasn’t until I decided to exhume it from the pile of eternally unpacked things in the garage that I really took a step back and reflected on it.
I can still remember, albeit vaguely, working on this poster. It’s not often that I’m able to throw myself completely into a project, but I can remember clearly the fervent… I don’t want to say madness but I don’t know what else to call it honestly. It coursed through my veins and propelled me forward with such intensity, I felt unstoppable. It may have had something to do with the absolute desperation for change I felt at that point in my life. So perhaps it’s a good sign that I don’t feel compelled to make one this year.
And I suppose I can’t complain on the vast improvements I’ve seen in my life since, despite having only achieved 2 of the 30 goals I had made for 2015. So many of which, I now realize, weren’t even truly my resolutions. Many of which were things more or less directly revolving around the ideals instilled in me by my still fairly-new-at-the-time boyfriend. Not by any intention or manipulation on his part. I’ve just got a bad track record of not knowing how to be my own person, is all.
I’m trying to figure out who that is, and how to nurture it. Not with as much effort as I feel like I could be putting forth, but no time like the present, no? (And here I said I wouldn’t fall for the cliche “new year, new me” crap). But I suppose it’s not technically a new me if I still have no real idea who “me” is to begin with, right? (Hooray for loopholes!)
I guess what I’m trying to get at, in my own roundabout, winded way, is that it’s okay not to have a set list of goals for the year. Because life has a way of working out the way it will, and what you want at the beginning of the year may not add up with what you’re feeling by the cusp of the next new year. We are eternally changing, complex, beautifully fucked up human beings. There’s nothing wrong with doing what you can, with what you have, so long as it’s ultimately for the greater good of all involved.
I don’t know what the year ahead holds. There will be laughter, I’m sure, but also its own share of trials and tribulations. Maybe I won’t be able to do a one-handed handstand push-up. Maybe I won’t have a book published with my name on the cover (but wouldn’t that be something?) And maybe I won’t get to see Ireland like I’m so desperately hoping to. But I’m going to do my best to be the best person I can be, and try to shed a little bit of light on an otherwise too dark world. And hopefully that will prove to be enough…
How about you? What do you hope to see in the upcoming year?