The Way She Sways
I'm sitting in the small cafe of the hospital, drinking a surprisingly not so bad cup of coffee while slightly annoyed that my phone requires an extra jack to plug in headphones and I thought...This is the obvious time to contemplate the inner workings of life...Also known as New Year's Resolutions. On my way to the doctor's appointment, I listened to a message, by Pastor Kevin Cooke from Reality SF, speaking about what it means to be a new creation as a Christian. Individuals who don't consider themselves Christian may consider this as a "rebirthing" process of entering into a deeper you. But either way, his message sparked some reflection on what I wanted my new year to look like.
Some of my friends call 2017 the Year of the Yes - Meaning they would dive into experiences and chances they typically would not have. Others (including myself) call 2017 the Year of *insert body part*; mine is Year of Abs and Shoulders (don't hate) - I don't think I really need to explain this physical appearance goal. Whether you're big on New Year resolutions or not, I think it's safe to say the countdown to a new year tends to ring in self-reflections, small new personal goals and possibly new standards the previous year didn't have. I can totally attest to that. There's a sparkle and "clean slate" feel to the month of January - some of you may have welcomed it with the gross feeling of a hangover. But either way, "New Year, new you" right??
But what does that even meaaaaan? I've been saying that stupid saying the past week and I'm not sure if I even understand what that means. How does a change in year automatically create a new you or persona? And what is it about a new year that makes so many feel there is a clean slate when the weight of 2016 can still be an anchor to your present. That's what I've been wrestling with. I want to start this new year with a new bounce (perhaps one too many pairs of new shoes have helped with that sensation) but I'm not sure where to start that hop. Being the type A personality I am, I've decided to organize it into different entities. I'll be honest and say this inspiration literally happened just as I'm typing this paragraph. I think this cup of coffee combined with the smell of burnt toast with weird ambient music in my ears is my new inspiration mode #solid
For those of you still processing through your own self-reflections, I hope the way I divided my small personal goals help you organize the chaos that runs in your head.
Resolution #1: Personal
2016 was muddled with depression, anxiety and apathy. As a result, I was really avoidant of people I cared about, those who cared for me and those who wanted to build relationships. I pushed people away because I felt like it was too much of a commitment and commitment to anything really freaked me out. If you offered an escape, I was all in. If you offered something meaningful, deuces. So this year, I want to step out of that. I love building new relationships! I used to be that weird person who would ask to grab coffee with a person I just met while out and about. I'm not sure where she went but I want her back. So my personal goal will be to open myself to other people and to begin actively reaching out to friends.
Resolution #2: Spiritual
If you didn't catch it earlier, I am a Christian. I'm not a shining example of Christianity...But then again, is there really? We're all humans, each person carries different experiences, tendencies and brokenness that makes us all equal (Christians and non). But the thing that's a little different for those who believe in God and Jesus is that we carry this thing called hope, that someone beyond us will carry us through this messy thing called life. I've lost my hope. I've been stuck in what seems like the same place for almost 3 years now. It's actually been the same place since I moved up to the SF area. Perhaps I've taken a few steps in random directions throughout the years but internally I've been feeling...muted, numb and stagnant. To be honest, I don't expect these feelings to change overnight nor even in the next year. The biggest thing I'd like to work on, spiritually, is to lean into hope again. To lean into my faith and to allow God to do the catching and control. Okay...This isn't a 2017 resolution, this is a lifelong resolution. But it starts this year, as it will every year.
Resolution #3: Physical
Let me first say that I have no self-control when it comes to food. I snack on all things in front of me. I gorge myself on all food that is presented. I will graze my heart away on the munchings freely (or forcefully) made available for my taking. So the physical aspect of my resolutions isn't to "diet" but to better discipline myself in self-control...Because I have none.
Side note: Funny story, I taught a co-worker the value of sharing by taking his french fries during lunch as I'm in the process of asking if I could have some. He learned no was not an option and is now the BEST sharer of his food *Joyce pats herself on her back*
So this year I am going to learn the power of no. No to eating beyond my capacity. No to munching so much that I can't eat my actually healthy lunch. Self-control is important in all aspects of life but I know that I let it slide when it comes to food and finances (but that's a topic for another time. ONE STEP AT A TIME.) But I also having an understanding that there will be a time and place to gorge myself...Just not every day.
Resolution #4: Emotional
I'm hoping resolutions 1 and 2 will help me be more mindful and in touch with my emotional state. Today's generation, especially out here in the bay, is so focused on the next and just grinding that I think taking a step back to evaluate your own emotional health is often forgotten. It doesn't make one weak to be emotionally aware and healthy because it allows greater room for more, it also increases ones limits. I fall into that often. I'm either busy working or I'm completely brain dead. I allow no room to sit back and evaluate my own emotional meter because I'm so focused on the outward.
2017 is going to be the year where I stand up for my feelings. I am going to voice when something bothers me. I'm going to cry and eat a giant bowl of ice cream if I'm sad. I may scream into a pillow because of anger or frustration. I am going to actually experience the emotions my body is constantly telling me to feel, despite how frightening that can be. I think there's a misconception that being emotional means being out of control. But I think it's quite the opposite. Being emotional means you are aware of yourself, allowing you to recognize your needs and take control to address them.
So that's it guys. Those are my 2017 resolutions. They are all a work in progress and I expect them to carry over into 2018. But it's the first time that I've sat down and made meaningful decisions about what I want to work on and grown in. So I thank YOU GUYS for helping me with that. If I didn't have this blog to word vomit on, I likely would not have sat down to reflect on this.
I hope this post helps or inspires some of you to sit down and really reflect on the meaningful aspects of your life. It's an important practice that can be washed out with the chaos that's around us. But I really encourage you to take the time to do this. It was really helpful for me and I know it will be for you too.
Until next time.