By Bailey G.
Amidst the jingle bells, holiday parties, and family gatherings, underneath is the ever-boding feeling of another year gone and a new one taking its place. As a child, I would think that time took forever to pass, constantly impatient and anticipating the next part of my life. “I just can’t wait for summer,” turned into, “Once I get to high school,” then “After I’m in college,” to “As soon as I graduate and get a job….,” and so on and so forth until you get the picture.
Needless to say, my busy schedules did not and still do not leave a lot of room for self-reflection on the year. It’s funny that the time of year where you’re supposed to be wrapping up everything, strategizing for the next, and reflecting on your life is also the time that is often busiest between work, family, and the holidays. I often do not pause to take that extra breath, to stare myself down straight in the mirror and really evaluate where I’m at. Sure, I’m a planner. I’m a decision maker, and I’m constantly assessing which goals I want to conquer next. But I often bury the worry, anxiety, thoughtfulness, and clarity of reflection deep down.
When I reflect on the past year, and all that I’ve accomplished, it’s been an incredibly successful and challenging 2018. The first half of my year was filled with: 18 credits, two internships, two jobs, a leadership role in an organization, trying to graduate while turning 21, and wanting to still have fun. The second half was filled with finding a job, choosing the right job, moving into my own apartment, learning to live with my boyfriend and live alone, adjusting to a 9-5 schedule, and realizing that life as I’d known it was forever changing. It’s been a year of change, possibility, and immense growth to which I am forever grateful.
It’s satisfying watching the goals and the dreams you’ve had for so long finally come to fruition. But once they do, it can be hard to pick new ones and start on a whole new journey towards them. It can be extremely scary venturing into the unknown, hoping with all your heart that you’re making the right choices. But I think in the past, I have been so concerned with what my future would be, that I forgot to practice the mindfulness of the now.
My New Year’s Resolution for 2019 is:
To be mindful of living for today. Mindful of the behaviors I’m practicing, the people I’m meeting, the goals I’m setting, and the experiences of each new day. While I thrive off of being busy and running at 100 miles a minute, I want to practice being less on auto-pilot, and more on manual.
I think mindfulness presents itself in a lot of healthy ways that we often forget because we are so wrapped up in our lives, the technology of today, and our ever-changing society. For 2019, I want to practice three types of mindfulness:
Mindfulness of the Self.
We are often our harshest critics, and I never know if I’m being too hard on myself or not hard enough. I want 2019 to be the year that I push myself, but also practice forgiving myself if I’m not always perfect. I want to be mindful of the great opportunities I’ve been given, the amazing people in my life, the health and youth I’ve been blessed with, and the concept that I need to be satisfied with myself. Along with mindfulness of the self, I want to be mindful of the way I’m treating my body. I want to push to become stronger, both physically and mentally. This involves being mindful of the food I’m putting in my body, the sleep I’m getting, the positivity I’m surrounding myself with, and the weekly exercise routine I’m aspiring after.
Mindfulness of Others.
I love people. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I can be overly sensitive, and I often care too much. And on the flip side, sometimes I become so busy with work and life that I forget to be truly mindful of my time with others. For 2019, I want to practice really appreciating those I love and making sure they know that, while also having the mindfulness to realize to let the little things go and not get caught up in petty things like gossip or not being able to spend time with someone constantly. To all of you - my friends, family, loved ones, coworkers, and Ramblers - I want to practice accepting you and valuing you fully.
Mindfulness of the Now.
As I said above, I have a tendency to plan five years out, scheduling everything in my calendar down to fun times with friends. Sometimes, my anxiety gets the best of me and I become so worried and anxious that I can’t possibly see the light at the end of the tunnel. 2019 will be the year of letting some of that anxiety go and living for each individual day. I have so much to be grateful for, as do most of us, and it’s a pity to waste that away worrying about tomorrow. I’m only 21, these should be some of the best years of my life, and I want 2019 to be mindful of the fact that each day is a gift.
In the previous years, I’ve always said my “New Year’s Resolution” was something basic that I would often never stick to, i.e. like hitting the gym more (which I should really do LOL). I’d like to think that by writing this down, here, publicly, it might help to enforce that resolution and stick to it past February. I hope my vulnerability of sharing my thought process for my New Year’s Resolution will help you in your own self-reflection as you look upon the new year. No matter what you decide to do or not do, at the very least for 2019, remember one thing:
"Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present."
To the Auld Lang Syne my Ramblers, which fun fact means “Days Gone By.”