In so many ways, New Years just isn’t my holiday. I’m really not one for staying up late or going out on the town. I never seem to have plans on New Years–everyone I’d spend it with always seems to be doing something else. This year, I spent New Years Eve painting, taking a hot bath, rewatching Downton Abbey, drinking one too many glasses of wine, and going to bed before midnight.
However, I love the chance for introspective self-reflection. For that, New Years is ideal. Entering a new year offers an opportunity to pause and reflect. While there really isn’t much difference between December 31 and January 1, the flipping of a calendar symbolizes new beginnings and fresh starts.
Resolutions aren’t my thing. Obnoxious reading challenges aside (see previous post), I find goals restrictive, daunting, and unhelpful. Instead, I take a big-picture approach, facing each year with hopes. Each year, I hope for similar things. I hope to be true to myself and grow in my faith. I hope to pursue a healthy lifestyle. I hope to put my best into my work, my studies, and my relationships.
Yes, I still hope all these things. But, this year, I want to take a new slant on New Years.
A lot has happened in my life over the past year. Many of the big, unanswered questions that have held sway since entering the workforce have been resolved. Barring my unfinished master’s degree, I’ve achieved everything in my five-year plan. So… what now? This position is both comforting, terrifying, and liberating. Aside from finishing grad school, I have no idea what comes next.
In 2019, I have the opportunity to ask new questions. I’ve learned that it’s foolish to try and predict what a year has in store. Instead of forming questions of direction or destination, I’m going to lean into questions of attitude. Here are things I’m asking myself this year:
How can I live each day with intentionality and wholeness?
How can I live from a place of fullness, not a place of scarcity? On days when I just don’t have what it takes, how can I trust that God will provide?
How can I expand this wholeness and fullness to reach beyond myself and touch the lives of others?
How can I bring my best self into each new day?
How can I respond to challenges, surprises, changes, and disappointment with humility? How can I respond in a way that honors, not degrades, those around me?
How can I bring light into the world in my every day practice?
What do I need to leave behind this year? What do I need to move towards?
So much of what goes on in a year is outside my sphere of influence, but as Aaron Burr says in Hamilton, “I am the one thing in life I can control”. I don’t know where 2019 will take me, but I know the kind of life I want to live this year. These questions are a place to start. They give me lenses to wear as I enter each day.
When I posted the following photo to my Instagram feed this summer, I captioned it with Cloud Cult lyrics that feel appropriate for this moment:
I don’t know what dreams lie in store this year. So I lean into my new questions, lean into the unknown, and I wait.
What questions are you living into in 2019?