As we come up on the close of yet another year, many of us like to reflect on the past year. Some of us may feel like we “have to” reflect on the past year because maybe we feel like that’s what everyone does on new years eve before they go out and have fun with friends and family. On top of reflecting, we feel like we need to set goals for ourselves so that we can better ourselves for the coming year. Ya know, create “Caitch 2.0 or something…” Then, all the sudden you’re freaking out…panicking that your new years resolution list is not complete and you haven’t had time to truly look back at the year past and truly appreciate it. I know I have done this in years past. But, that is not what I am going to do this year.
This year, instead of making long, unrealistic/untangeable new years resolutions/goals lists, etc, I am going to keep it simple. I am going to make a few commitments to my life, and stick with them. Commitments is something that I struggle with in just about every area of my life because i desire and selfishly crave my independence. But, this year, and for the rest of my years to come I am going to commit to a few things to truly better my life.
Whatever I do, or whatever I am, I am going to be the best I can be at it. If I am going to be a teacher still, I am going to be the best teacher I can be. If I am going to travel, I am going to be the best traveler I can be. If I am going to be a writer and truly dedicate my time to that this coming year, I will pour my energy into it, and be the best writer that I can be. I will not put unnecessary pressure or unrealistic expectations on myself for any of these roles in my life, but I will simply enjoy them, learn from them, love them, and grow and advance because of them. I will be changed by these things that I will do, and I love that!
Secondly, I will continue to act on my dreams. Often times, people tell me that they can’t travel or do what they really want to do because of money or they can’t leave home. Is that really your excuse? Yes, money is tight for a lot of us…especially those in my generation with college loans…this girl writing is sitting on some big old college loan debt, so I get it. But I have never once let that stand in my way. There is always a way around things, and always people that can help you. Your federal student loans will be patiently awaiting your return when you come home, and your private loans you can carry along with you. Set aside money as you save your travels that are specifically for your student loans, and when you get to where you’re going, if you’re staying for an extended period of time, get a job! It doesn’t have to be your dream job, but something simple like waiting tables, slinging ice cream cones, serving coffee…just do it, find a way to even enjoy it, and be the best at it that you can be. I know this may sound crazy to some of you, but changing your way of thinking and your perspective on life can really take you far in life and push you. So, if your dream is to go to graduate school on the West Coast, start realistically researching, planning, etc, and make it happen! Recognize your support network around you too, and don’t be afraid to ask for different forms of help and allow others to encourage and motivate you. Or, if you’ve always really wanted to go overseas and teach English, go for it! (I’m speaking to myself as well here 🙂 Don’t be so quick to rule out “big” dreams.
So, as you fall asleep tonight, and wake up on New Years Eve, the last day of 2012, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a long list of goals and resolutions. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t taken the time to sit down and properly reflect on 2012. Let that happen naturally, and in due time. Maybe a moment will come up a month from now where you realize you need to make changes in your life because something wasn’t right in 2012. Better late than never…at least you’re recognizing it! Just know yourself, know what you have and where and with whom your blessings lie, and be thankful. Remember times “of long ago.” as the old Scotish song “Auld Lang Syne” says. Remember old friends and new friends and remember to tell them how much they mean to you…and that goes for family too. Remember the past year, look back on it fondly even if it brought trials. Because the trials tested you and your faith, and eventually gave you hope for the future! Look back on the fond memories with love and excitement for what’s to come in 2013 and beyond.
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne…
Happy New Year!