I remember going to a wedding as a kid and seeing this three tiered beauty of a cake. It was covered in pearls and flowers, the icing was a smooth creamy white finish, and I could not wait to eat that thing. I was later informed that it was only a decorative cake. It wasn’t actually for eating. What. The. Fudge. New Years Eve is like that soul crushing decorative cake. It is beautiful, over the top and makes false promises of how delicious it will be. New Years Eve is made of cardboard, just like that cake.
New Years Eve has this glow of possibility, as if something magical happens at the stroke of midnight. Instead, you get some cheap champagne, sore feet (thanks NYE heels), and the onslaught of New Year, New You fills your head with laundry lists of how last year you was complete garbage.
These clothes, this work out, that new job...every year seems to start with an almost ritualistic itemization of how much we’ve fallen short the year before, and how we are going to rectify the sheer horror of our inadequacy in the upcoming twelve months. But as 2018 rolls to an end, I want something better for myself and others. I want us to turn away from the challenge of churning out a new and improved self, and instead look back at everything we’ve done. We’re here. We made it.
This New Years, I am looking back over a year that is unique in its strangeness, and acknowledging the guts it took to get through it without ruining my life. I am looking at it and saying yes! I am listening to what my heart is trying to say instead of holding fast to the lies that depression and anxiety convincingly tell. I am learning that I am not a bother or an inconvenience. I am seeing teachers and lessons all around. I am opening my heart up to healing.
Now I am not knocking the ol’ New Years Resolution. The new year has this feeling of a blank slate, and is a natural time to evaluate old habits and priorities to see what is still working for us and what isn’t. But this year, I am taking a new view on resolutions. One that sees them as tools to cultivate our unique contribution to the world, instead of heavy handed mallets we use to knock ourselves into shape. A view of kindness towards others and myself that is steadfast, no matter the missteps or challenges.
We rocked 2018.