I find something very refreshing about the start of a new year. I love the feeling of putting away the clutter that accumulated over the holidays, hanging a blank calendar on the wall, and labeling new files for the upcoming year. The year seems to stretch ahead with endless possibilities and despite feeling exhausted from the chaos of Christmas, there is a feeling of freshness and renewal that accompanies the start of a new year.
There are also things I despise about the new year. The magazine covers that boast diet and weight loss secrets, and which scream at me from the grocery line “PUT THE ALPHABITS BACK!” and “Do you really need three packs of holiday M&Ms?” The answer is always a resounding YES. I also hate articles on my newsfeeds with headlines like “Guess what’s turning 20 this year?” followed by an exhaustive list of things I used to love. This reminds me that a) I’m not getting any younger, b) My musical tastes have not changed in 20 years, and c) My geek status has been around for a long time.
I used to love setting my yearly resolutions and blogged more than once about how I did with the previous year’s goals. Then I’d excitedly set my new goals for the year.
Not anymore. In fact, the thought of setting a list of goals for the year makes me want to curl up into a fetal position and rock back and forth for an extended amount of time with Enya quietly playing in the background.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like setting goals from time to time, but I refuse to set a list of New Years Resolutions this year. Statistically speaking, most resolutions will be completely abandoned by February anyways. For me, that abandoned list serves as a constant guilt trip of things that I ‘should’ be doing instead of the things I’m actually doing (read: binge-watching Netflix), and in the wise words of my mother, we all need to stop “shoulding” all over ourselves.
So this year my resolution is to make no resolutions at all. I resolve to not resolve.
Instead, I will set intentions.
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t an intention just a resolution that does yoga and eats wheat grass? Perhaps. But to me, a resolution is a firm decision about doing something or not doing something. It’s set in stone. It’s rigid. It’s immovable and it has the tendency to be a judgmental jerk. In contrast, an intention is setting a purpose. It’s fluid, and flexible, and forgiving. Like your favorite primary school teacher. Or your comfiest pair of buffet pants.
And so I set my intentions for the year.
An intention that I am hoping to be mindful of this year is to savour the remaining months of my maternity leave with my kids. These are precious years that I’d like to capture in a jar and gently shake like a beautiful snowglobe so the memories magically float out all delicate and glittery.
I intend to be a better mom, wife, family member, and friend than I was last year. Not a perfect mom, wife, family member, and friend. Just a better one.
I intend to choose happiness and carpe kairos.
I intend to grow….whether in knowledge, or in strength, or in perseverance…I’m not sure yet. That’s the beauty of setting an intention. It can change with you. It can change as you change.
Now, I bid a guilt-free farewell to failed resolutions, and I set forth with the best of intentions this sweet 2016.
Happy Sweet 2016.