Hope everyone had a safe and happy new year! Which brings me to the most obvious of obvious Inspiration Monday posts.
The new year.
In particular, a celebration of the fact that 2016 is over.
Not because 2016 was the worst year of my life. I had many positive things happen. New experiences, good times with great friends, kept my job and my health, learned some harsh life lessons, grew a little. But man, was it ever a rollercoaster. A sea of ups and downs that at times nearly blindsided me with emotional whiplash. And it seemed as though the world was going crazy around me. Many close to me suffered, as well as many more people I didn’t know. The deadliest mass shooting happened practically in my backyard. A particularly vicious election occurred, quite possibly the most divisive I remember, stuff that tore apart family dinners, ruined friendships, caused riots in the streets. Then there were police shootings. Genocides. Syria. A whole slew of childhood icons dying left and right. And that’s just to name a few things.
You’ve seen the headlines, the memes. The tweets. I think we’re all on the same page about 2016 being… well, 2016, a year that certainly deserves it’s own place in history. If recorded history were a high school yearbook, and each year a student, 2016 would be voted “Most likely to f*** everything up”. In fact, it should be alloted a space in the dictionary. 2016 (adj) meaning: crazy, ridiculous, messed up. “Hey man, you seen that guy choke on stage? Total 2016 fail right there.” Works as a verb too. “Hey dude, try not to 2016 that, alright? Just bought it.”
In light of all that, I consider myself pretty darn lucky to have escaped 2016 mostly unscathed.
So maybe this post isn’t about celebrating the end of 2016, so much as it is celebrating the coming of a new year. A whole 365 page blank slate.
What inspires me on this Inspiration Monday? New beginnings. New opportunities. A brand spanking new chance to be the me I’ve always wanted to be. This year, I’m refusing to make definitive resolutions with a clear cut end date. In my humble opinion, resolutions shouldn’t expire. We should resolve to better our whole selves for the long term, not to meet some arbitrary deadline or scale number scribbled in a journal. In fact, since the term “resolution” conjures up images of hordes of Christmas-cookie-stuffed do-gooders clamoring to gyms for approximately three weeks in January, I’m going to stop calling them that, and start calling them… I don’t know, “Life-Shapers”. Like a waist trainer. But you know, for life.
My Life-Shapers go a little something like this. Perhaps yours even align with mine:
- Quit trying to please everyone. Help the less fortunate, but don’t forget to help yourself too.
- Set goals, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet them exactly when you thought you would. You’ll get there at your own pace.
- Love yourself. Love yourself enough to not take crap from anyone. Love yourself enough to enjoy the hell out of your own company. Love yourself enough to forgive yourself often. Be your own best friend.
- Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Hone your craft. Be the writer you want to be, the writer you were meant to be. Quit comparing yourself to others.
- Learn to love the present. The past is the past. The future is uncontrollable. The Now is what matters. Savor each moment.
- Thou shalt never underestimate thine abilities.
Life is kinda like a pier. You can take a long walk off a short one, or a short walk on a long one. Or, you can cast a line off it, see what’s out there. Reel in something big. Or dive in and explore the waters for yourself. But you’ll never know what’s out there if you don’t have the courage to take that plunge.
Folks, I intend to explore those waters this year. Do you?
Until Next Time,