The interwebs are all abuzz with all things New Year and "starting fresh", so much so that I nearly reconsidered posting on the topic altogether. I had long been gathering thoughts on what I'd share, stashing away pretty pictures and thoughts that would evoke big plans, renewal, growth.
Browsing some of my daily reads over the weekend made me think- what is one more catchy inspirational image, one more published list of resolutions going to add that has not already been said?
But today I feel a need to throw my two cents into the ring anyway, if more than anything to pause and reflect on the past year- and perhaps not foremost to inspire and motivate others, but myself. Stay with me here...
See, 2011 was a bit of a jarring year for me, an eye opener if you will. There were some major lows over the last year- the stuff people don't share on blogs focused on "cool and pretty". Just as I had at this very same time last year, I find myself not presented with the desirable blank slate that everyone is talking about, but some very real, tough obstacles that will undeniably bring some more lows to push through- and that's not pessimistic thinking people- it's just reality, just life. It feels ever so lonely amongst all the positive energy and get 'er done gusto that has suddenly arrived.
And yet, I crave that blank slate- that fresh start that has everyone so excited. I'm a planner, a list maker, a multi-tasking taker on of chaos. So this time of year speaks to my very nature. It's also sort of been my defining mission over the past few months- moving forward, aggressively pursuing new challenges, crossing some things off that bucket list, realizing joy, even in the mundane. And just as I felt on the verge of "getting there", 2011 delivered one last curve ball. C'est la vie. It's just that it's been the preverbal hamster wheel...and I want to get off.
Don't get me wrong. It's certainly not all doom and gloom. There are some incredible things to be grateful for and happy about in this Hipster's life. But where I get stuck is in knowing how to move forward in the wake of foreseeable tragedy, however relative. I know they write books on the stuff, that there are steps and strategies people use to push on through and that bigger tragedies have and will unfortunately happen. I've gotten some great support and advice from so many people that love me and I'm trusting every single word. But this life wants to be lived- really lived and a daydreamer's downfall is that I am always waiting for a perfectly clean slate to make it happen; a time with no family dramas, the time when everyone is healthy, when I have enough money saved and bills are paid off, when work isn't so busy, when I can fit into those skinny jeans again, when the calendar turns over onto a new year. No wonder it never seems to happen.
And then amongst all of fancily scripted quotes floating around out there in blog land, an epiphany of sorts fell into my weary little lap. I think that most people are out there actually just looking for a second chance themselves; a chance to do better, to be better, to live better. Some may just do it better than others and not let themselves get weighed down with the trials of daily life. Some simply don't have as many trials in their daily life at the moment- and good for them. But I've realized the New Year mantra is sort of a collective call to action, to take stock, draw a line in the sand and resolve to try harder to achieve those things we let reality keep us from the other 300+ days of the year.
Suddenly, it all doesn't feel so lonely.
I promise not to go heavy too often here- this blog has been my little refuge amidst all of the chaos of late and I want to keep it that way. But I know I would feel like a poser to launch into a deluge of posts on getting organized and eating healthy without at least stopping to acknowledge that this sparkly fresh season sometimes brings with it the stinking hangover of last year. I think it's inevitable. It would be nice, but life doesn't really ever hand you a clean slate does it?
But the optimism is surely contagious and I'm slowly...slowly catching on.