Images from To Resolve Project by Aaron Eiland, Eliza Cerdeiros, Chris McAuley, and Chris Stetson.
As we entered the new year, I've been thinking about resolutions- in a nebulous, rambling, and mostly morose way. I think I'm having a kind of seasonal depression, and my musings have probably been affected by my temporary gloom.
The last thing I want is to wind down your excitement for the coming year. If you're feeling all refreshed, energised and excited, ready for sweet surprises in the year to come, I'm so happy for you! I truly am. You're going to make 2013 amazing!
But if the new year brings you stress and anxiety, I hear you.
The major reason why I've been feeling a bit down is that as 2012 closed, I couldn't help but think of the past year. I tried to evaluate what I had accomplished over the year- well, not much. Close to nothing. It hasn't been an awful year, nothing terrible happened. My heart goes out to those who have experienced terrible losses and in no mean am I comparing my year to theirs.
Looking back, I see it this way : the year 2012 began, I had a lot of sluggish days (even when they were hectic), and a few awesome ones. Then before I knew it, the year was gone. Nothing had changed, nothing had happened. I had a few amazing projects I have been wanting to accomplish, I had a lot of thoughts and plans about moving, starting a business, volunteering. But I never turned them into action, and in a blink, they went from pure excitement and hope of change to vacillation, overwhelming doubt, and ultimately, renouncement.
As 2013 started, I thought, back to the pure excitement state: this year is going to be different. This year I'll be better, physically and mentally, I'll be my best self, I'll live my life actively, and I'll enjoy it. I'll read more, eat more healthily, get more organized, work better, travel to a new place, learn something new. I'll finish my studies, get a full time job, move to my own apartment, master my camera, walk shelter dogs every weekend. Promises bound to be broken.
Ive taken some good resolutions throughout the previous year. I've written my goals, I've broken them down into weekly commitments. I've made an action plan for each goal, I've determined strategies to achieve them.
I applaud (oh yes I truly do) those who make goals at the beginning of the year and stick to them all year long, or until they're accomplished. But for me, looking at my "goals" notebook just caused stress, feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and anxiety. If, as I think, the true goal of these resolutions isn't really to organize my desk or master my camera, but to live a happy, meaningful, fulfilling life- they were completely counterproductive.
I believe that I can have what I want (I don't want crazy things: get a job, be able to rent a modest apartment, have a small but decent wardrobe, pay off my bills without help from my family, and have some free time to 1. do what I love (like blogging!) and 2. volunteer at an animal shelter. Since I'm already in my late twenties, I think this is quite reasonable). I can have what I want, I can have it all, but I can't have it all at once.
I've decided to do things differently this year. I've decided to make only one resolution. My resolution is to finish my thesis. If you relate to my rambling thoughts above, and want to try and make only one resolution this year, I suggest you try to find out if there is something you have to accomplish before you can move on to any other goal. Is one resolution already too much? Try to practice acceptance. Try to love your imperfect self- and maybe you'll be the best version of yourself when you're not even trying to.
I wish that for all of you, as I wish that for myself. If you made it to the bottom of this post, thank you for reading, from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to the year to come!