I really love New Year’s Day. It lines up nicely with my enjoyment of fresh starts and blank pages.
I enjoy setting intentions for the new year, and I enjoy reflecting on the year that’s just ended. The year I just finished was just like every year before – moments of sweetness and moments of sorrow, lots of joy and stress, all mixed together.
My favorite thing about 2017 was mommying a toddler. Teddy started crawling on Valentine’s Day, and it’s been really fun ever since. I love the everyday joys of parenting a toddler – so much to teach, so much to discover, so much joy and laughter and personality.
My least favorite thing was all the ANGST – mostly over the direction of my professional career. I’m still at a crossroads, not sure which path to take next. I’m sick of thinking about it. I’m also sick of how stressed and anxious and ANGSTY I get when I’m thinking about it.
Here are a few of my intentions for 2018:
-Meditate. This doesn’t always have to be the kind when I sit quietly in one place, though I do enjoy that kind. For example, yesterday I swam laps for the first time in years, and it was the most meditative thirty minutes of my week.
During 2017, one of my wise and gentle helpers suggested that it’s my anxiety, rather than any specific problem, that really gets in the way of my happiness and peace. I’d like to take this seriously in 2018 and make a commitment to calming my monkey mind.
-Keep writing. The OTHER best thing about 2017 has been my commitment to writing. I submitted THREE stories for publication – all rejected, as far as I know at this point. But I wrote them, and I sent them out into the world, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for over a decade.
When I’m overthinking, I worry that it’s too late for me to have a writing career. There’s a wonderful advice column piece from Roxane Gay in the New York Times explaining that this is not the case.
-Choose self-care over angst.
I found this post-it note stuck in my latest Louise Penny library book this week:
I decided that this was the universe telling me to let go of my angsting. Angst has not been my friend. It was not my friend during the adoption wait. It was not my friend during 2017, as I struggled to figure out what to do next with my career.
I often get tripped up by justifiable angst. It’s perfectly understandable that the adoption wait was upsetting, right? And it’s perfectly reasonable that I feel upset and stressed when my job is not a good fit.
However, my angst is no less awful when it’s caused by real things. So I need to let that stuff go. Every single last lime and kiwi – in the trash can of 2017, no longer getting in my way in 2018.
I made a decision this fall that. whenever I feel disturbed, I need to do something nice for myself or an act of service to someone else. Hence, this intention – self-care over angst FTW.
-Be intentional. Make your choices carefully and mindfully. Spend less. Do less, with more purpose. Shop less, and when you do it, shop local. Use every moment you have; don’t lose them to mindless activities.
Tee sent me an article by Ann Patchett to read called “My Year of No Shopping.” That’s part of what inspired this intention – thinking about how often I mindlessly spend money, or order things on Amazon instead of making more satisfying purchases that support local small businesses. Or, not making purchases at all.
I’d like to continue my quest to keep things simple in 2018. Simple, sweet, and significant.
What’s your intention?