I love the feeling that comes along with the new year. It’s a feeling of being given a clean slate, an empty canvas, a fresh start. I don’t know why on January 1st it seems easier to let go of the past than any other month of the year, but it does. For me, the past few days have been filled with looking back at 2014, remember all of the happy, joyful times with a smile, and letting go of the negative stuff that crept in from time to time. It’s also been about looking forward to the new year with hope and optimism, more than I have had in a very long time. 🙂
This new year started differently than any of my previous 43…with snow! In Tucson! I rarely stay awake until midnight to welcome in the new year. This year started out to be no exception, I was asleep before ten o’clock. Then, a little while before midnight, Austin woke me up to tell me to look outside. It was snowing! We went out onto our little patio and watched the big flakes float down. It was so beautiful and peaceful, it even sounded calm outside…I don’t know how to describe it, but the acoustics were different, more serene than usual. I’ve always lived in the desert so this was a special treat ushering in the new year. Maybe it’s a sign that the 2015 will be filled with peace and serenity. That’s what I am choosing to believe.
This year I am not making any resolutions. I didn’t last year either, instead I tried adding Healthy Habits (you can read about them in earlier posts) into my life by trying something new each month with the hope that the habit would stick, and I would end up healthier at the end of the year. Overall, I think that approaching something healthy, new, and different each month was a success. I learned that I like yoga and meditation, and that when I focus on prayer and gratitude, I feel better spiritually and emotionally. I learned that it’s not as hard as I thought to pack my lunch for work every day, and to get away from my desk to eat it, taking a real lunch break. I learned how to find joy in the ordinary, and even in the adverse. I learned that I am still lazy when it comes to exercise and that I am going to have to continue to struggle to get over that hurdle. But I’ll keep trying.
So, what are my plans for 2015? Well, I met with my sponsor today and we talked about it. Our conversation wound its way around to the difference between completing tasks and working toward goals. I realized that I am not keen to make 2015 about checking things off of my to-do list. For me, it has to be more about working toward goals…some being measurable, but most being things that can’t be quantified. They are things that I already do, that I already know bring me joy and feed my soul. They are things that 2014 showed me I love, but that I feel I need more of in my life.
These are a few of the things that I am thinking about:
- Read more. I often let silly time-wasters get in the way of my love of reading. Toward the end of the year, I got way behind on my blog reading and I am still working finishing the same book that I started in October. That’s just sad. I love reading, it brings me joy.
- Write more. A while back, I decided to write a memoir…so far I’ve only written an introduction and half of Chapter 1. I have pages of recovery-related topics that I would like to blog about. I’ve also been asked by a few different bloggers and recovery websites to write something to contribute to their sites. I’ve yet to work on any of those, even though I know that writing is something I’ve come to treasure and that is good for me.
- Connect with others more. The connections that I have with my friends is absolutely what feeds my soul. I feel like I have the most wonderful friends, and that my relationships are more meaningful than those I have had in the past. The lack that I am feeling about my relationships is completely on me. I am not good at keeping in touch. There! I’ve said it! I always have the best intentions, but I’ll talk to a friend about meeting up for coffee…and then six months go by. Or someone will call me and leave a voicemail, and it takes me a week to call them back. I don’t know what it is other than life getting in the way, but I want to get better about growing the relationships that I have. I am blessed with great friends that never make me feel less-than for taking so long to make it to coffee, or for waiting for their second call to actually talk. They deserve better. So I am going to work on that.
- Pray more. Prayer works. It’s a fact. And yet I still don’t think about doing it as much as I should. I would really like for it to be my go-to response to all things, good and bad, for supplication and for thanksgiving. When my conscious contact with God is increased, my acceptance, serenity and joy are increased. I learned that last year, and I’m putting it into action this year.
I’ll probably write more about each of those things in the months to come. They’re simple goals, really, but they seem so much better than items on a to-do list. They aren’t things that I can complete…they are the things that will complete me.
I’m looking forward to a peaceful, happy year, and I hope you have one too!