A New Year, A Fresh Start

I mostly hate New Year’s Eve as a holiday. It’s doomed to fail from the start because it’s built up as the most epic party of all time, and it almost never is.

However, I believe pretty strongly in the importance of times of reflection, and the coming of a new calendar year is a pretty natural time to think back on everything that’s happened in the previous year and where you want the next year to go.

“My mom says it’s not 2008 that sucks, it’s growing up.” –Misha Heller, 12/30/2008

While I feel like it’s pretty self-evident that the past year has been the worst of all time, what with losing my husband to cancer and becoming a single mom to a toddler, there were some good things and I definitely learned a lot.

In the new year, here’s what I’m looking forward to:

  • Overdosing on positive things. This means being intentional about bringing in the most amount of good things in my life that I possibly can: positive, supportive people; fun activities; good music; and time for myself when I need it. Banishing guilt about being focused on this.
  • Downsizing. I have accumulated a lot of stuff over the past year(s), especially living in a large space. I’ve completely forgotten about a lot of the things tucked away in various closets I never visit! It’s starting to feel like it’s weighing me down, so I need to organize and purge what we don’t need. Baby stuff included.
  • Being healthy. I know this is everyone’s favorite New Year’s resolution. I used to be good with this one but have recently experienced the classic caretaker’s conundrum where your own health gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Time to reprioritize.
  • Practicing contentment. To me, this means appreciating what I have and not trying to compare my life to anyone else’s. I am super fortunate, especially in the number of great people I have in my life, and I don’t want for anything.

I used to think there’s an order that things are supposed to go in, and you need to be in a relationship, and then get married, then have kids, etc. This is obviously not invented, it’s a social/cultural script. Thankfully, we live in a time where there are many publicly-acknowledged examples of other models.

Maybe my story is be in a relationship, then get married, then have a kid, then be a single mom who lives a fulfilling life with amazing friends and family.

Who knows what the future will bring, but it feels like the only place to go from here is up.