I have, in years past, jumped at the chance for a fresh start, a clean slate. I relished the opportunity to become a new and improved me. New Year’s resolutions seemed like “Get Out of Jail Free” cards, forgiving my failures and allowing me to shed my guilt.
But as I get older, I’m starting to feel less guilt. And I’m trying to appreciate my failures.
Of course there were frustrations and difficulties too, but even so, I don’t want to wash 2014 away. I want to build on 2014.
A year is a useful unit of measurement, but it’s not something that can truly be taken in isolation. Each year is a brick, a step. Put together, one after another, they form the path of our lives.
I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, but I feel good about the direction I’m heading. I hope to continue on this challenging, rewarding route through 2015, and beyond.
But just because I’m no longer seeking any “Get Out of Jail Free” cards doesn’t mean that I’m not striving for self-improvement. I want to write more. I want to write better. I want to read more. I want to listen better. I want to have more patience with people. I want to be more informed. I want to take better care of my body. I want to volunteer again.
These things aren’t quick or easy to accomplish, so my 2015 resolution is simply this: To put in the work.
That’s the first, hardest, and most important step. Everything else will follow.
If anyone is looking for a fun and easy way to reflect on their past year, I suggest chibird’s adorable checklist.
“15 Things to Stop Doing in 2015” is an excellent guide toward a happier, healthier mindset.
And just for kicks, here’s my class picture from 20 years ago. Can you spot me?