I have said every year for at least the better part of a decade that I don’t make resolutions. What purpose is there in making arbitrary resolutions on a certain date and time? When I want to make a change in my life, I make it. Whether it’s a Saturday in August at 3pm or in the depths of Winter in February on a chilly evening, when I feel like something in my life has lost purpose, makes me unhappy or no longer fulfills a need, it’s gone. Why hold on to dead weight?
Something that my internal voice seems to scream louder and louder at me every year, is the infinitesimally small amount of time we have on this beautiful, mixed up, crazy planet. We spend so many years coming of age, finding a career, looking for love, raising children, paying bills, driving, sleeping, eating, watching Netflix, but how much time do we spend reflecting on how we, as people, enrich the lives of those around us? Or how beautiful this tiny green and blue marble really is, how special, how utterly unprecedented it is to live on this rock flying through space around and around a radioactive ball of fire? I mean, think about that for a second. Remember how tiny and completely insignificant we all are, but oh the things we can achieve in this short time!
I don’t want to shuffle through this mortal coil with only minimal aspirations, I want to leave an impression, however small, that means something. I’m not looking to be famous, to be written about or even to be remembered for generations. What I want is to look back on my life when my time comes and feel satisfied, to know I did the things that scared the shit out of me, that made my heart pound in my chest, that other people looked at and said “Nope.”. When I see a challenge, I want to tackle it, to make it my bitch and make sure I do it with flare and charisma. When I walk through a room, I want people to notice me, but not because I have an ass for daaaayz (all the squats and lunges) but because I walk with confidence, humility and a smile. I want to live every day like it is the most beautiful day I have ever seen, and I want to finish each day knowing I did all I could to reach that goal.
I’m not saying every day is a glorious day filled with Cinderella-style birds landing on my fingers and singing me sickeningly sweet songs, but you’d be damn right in thinking that I wake up doing anything I can to achieve that feeling. Some days I have to clean the house, fold the laundry, pull down the Christmas lights, go to the grocery store, pick up the kids from school, make dinner, make the next days lunches, collapse on the couch with a fat ass bowl of cereal and go to bed, curling up in defeat and reading until my eyes won’t let me read one…more…word, but those days are followed by a recharge. I walk in the woods, I hang out with friends, I say “Fuck making dinner! Let’s go to our favourite burger shack downtown! YEAH!”.
Whatever you have to do to make each day a new and thrilling adventure, you should do that. You want to try surfing? GO DO IT! You want to learn to speak a new language? GO DO IT! Just get out there, know your fears for what they are (a feeling expressed with bodily symptoms that you can overcome) and go blow yourself away. Not only will you feel awesome for conquering something you never thought you could, but your self esteem will sky rocket knowing that you are making yourself a better person. If we all just spent a little more time making ourselves better people, we’d all feel a little more tolerant of those around us.
Go read all the books you’ve always wanted to read, travel to far off destinations, learn to drive stick, learn a new language or a musical instrument, take acting lessons, learn to grow your own food, become a big brother or sister, give all your change to the next homeless person you see, buy a coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive through, learn to cook, to dance, to sing, to be truly free. Get rid of the things in your life that mean nothing but pain, suffering or angst, you’ll feel lighter, happier and better able to tackle anything and everything that comes your way.
XO – Elizabeth