I've always found New Year's Resolutions a bit problematic. On the one hand, it feels perfectly reasonable, natural even, to set aside time to look back on the previous year and think about what or how you might improve in the next one. This is an opportunity for development, for growth. On the other hand, resolutions always run the risk of being fleeting. They are often dealt in absolutes -- a struggle when life has other plans. It can be disheartening, devastating even, when the end goal suddenly appears unreachable. This makes it hard to stick to it.
So, here we are, nearly a month into 2015, and while I haven't exactly resolved to anything, I've been thinking a great deal about the next 11 months (and beyond). It's no secret that 2014 was not the best year I've had. In fact, if I could swipe a big, magic eraser across the entirety of it, wipe it clear from existence, I just might do it. Sure, there were learning experiences. As stunted as I felt, and continue to feel, I have to believe I gained something -- knowledge, patience, memories. There has to be value in that.
At the same time, I struggled and I suffered, both with physical ailments and the emotional exhaustion that followed. I felt isolated and lost. I didn't accomplish things I thought I would, things I really wanted, and I wasn't always the person I wanted to be in the face of those obstacles. It made the year drag on, but also caused it to fly by, almost a trick of light. And, here I am.
It's hard to know where to go after a year like that. In many ways, I'm still recovering, rectifying the notion of where I thought I'd be in 2015 with where I actually am. There are feelings of sadness, frustration, and even shame that I continue to work through, and my mental plate feels overwhelmingly full.
At the same time, as much as I'd like a "do over," I can't just repeat the goals I had for the last year as though everything is the same. In some ways it is, but if I set my sights on becoming unstuck, I can't dwell too much on why that is. And yet, because of the way things have also changed this year, the thought of making some kind of resolution, placing on end goal on 2015, terrifies me to no end.
So, here's what I can do. I can approach this year as the fluid and ever-changing progression of days that it is, knowing full well that I can't predict the future, but I can try to be the best version of who I want to be on any given day, strive to make the most of what I have to work with. I can stand on the side of optimism and hope. I can continue to take pleasure in small victories, moments, and search for beauty on daily basis. I can continue to love and to grow in that love -- what it means and how it can transform. And, above all, I can be grateful. I am here and I am alive and sometimes, more often than not, this is more than enough.