I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I used to be – until I discovered something about myself many years ago: I have incredibly limited will power. When it comes to resolutions or any type of change in general, I am severely stuck in my ways. I am by no means proud of this little piece of self-discovery but I am aware of it and therefore, choose not to fool myself into thinking otherwise. As a wise man once said:
Although I may not be on the New Year’s resolution band wagon like the rest of you, I do believe in making changes – just make them throughout your life. Why do people wait until New Year’s day to be all like, “I’m going to lose weight and stop drinking! Enough of this shit!”. . . why didn’t you say that a month ago? Or six months ago? Bitch, please. Recognizing your shitty qualities isn’t a bad thing, as long as you work towards changing them. That’s kinda the point. . . .
When I look back to January 1st, 2016, I can remember that day very, very vividly. New Year’s eve of 2015 was nothing short of a fucking disaster (for me anyway). What was supposed to be a simple house party turned into a circus resulting in screaming, crying and an overall write-off of an evening. In a nut shell, it was fucking awful. I remember waking up new years day to still have people in my house, high on drugs and drunk as fuck. I told them all to get out and realized then and there that things needed to change. This was not me. This was not my life. This was not ok. I was so mad and so upset that I said “fuck this shit”, checked myself into a hotel, swam in the pool and soaked in the hot tub all myself. I ordered food galore and let me tell you, I’ve never been more relaxed and at ease than I was that day. I felt entitled and I felt after the night I had and lack of respect that was shown in my own house, that I damn well deserved to treat myself to whatever the hell I wanted. While watching “Waiting to Exhale” on the tv and stuffing my face with beer battered fish, complete with grease soaked fries – it was like God himself agreed I needed a fucking break. I wanted and needed a vacation and although I couldn’t afford a trip to Mexico or some other beachy joint, I could afford a one night stay away from it all. And it was great.
This year was quite different. I was sleeping before midnight even came and I awoke with no anger and perhaps more importantly, no hangover. Things had changed. Throughout 2016 I made it a point to not take shit from anyone. Stop being a push over and stand your ground. At the same time, I also realized how sour, bitchy and down right hateful I was becoming. I was filled with such spite and it was showing. I knew that wasn’t me. Nor did I want to continue living a life with anger and hatred in my heart. I’ve had some shitty things happen in my life and unfortunately, I let it all get to me and break me down. The person I became was awful but it made me understand how other people can be that way. It made sense. I was that person. I vowed in 2016 to change my ways. Be more compassionate, don’t be so quick to anger, learn to smile through the pain and be there for others. But in the same breath, I also promised to make more time for myself. Whether it was writing, playing guitar or just vegging out on the couch – I had to make time for ME (and not feel guilty about it!).
Like a lot of people, 2016 was a shit fucking year. Not just because of all the celebrities who died but because my mom battled lung cancer the whole way through it. 2016 was the last year of life my mom had and 2016 would be the last year that I would have a parent in my life. I never imagined that I would see the things I saw or did the things I did in 2016 with regards to my mother. I have regrets, I have a lot of sadness and words left unsaid. I have reoccurring images that won’t leave my head – in fact, I’m not sure if they ever will. I am that person that people always tell you not to be. “Live with no regrets!, Tell them you love them!, It’s never too late”. Yep, it actually kind of is. I did not heed the wise words of advice that you see splattered everywhere these days. Now, with both my mom and dad gone, I look to my siblings to keep the idea of “family” alive. Siblings who fought and disagreed while their mother was dying. Siblings who find it hard to come together without being reminded of the loss that our family has had to endure in such a short time frame. It’s hard. It’s really fucking hard. But life is not easy. Life will never be easy. A year ago I could never have imagined saying such a thing. In fact, I would have blamed life and I would probably would have got even more angry with the world and its constant ‘unfairness’. But now, I can look at the tragedies that happen, and try with all my might, to find the good in them.
I don’t necessarily believe in New Years resolutions, but I do believe in resolutions nonetheless. I think it’s important to always keep ourselves in some sort of check. I realized I was a fucking bitch and I worked on that (still am working on it). I realized that even though I may never become an editor or a famous writer or even a fucking papergirl, I should never give up on writing. I also realized that helping people in need and showing even the slightest bit of compassion goes a long way. Charity starts at home and I’ve been lucky enough to lend a hand to a few good friends throughout the year whether they needed a place to lay their heads for a while, or just needed some groceries for the week. I’ve been helping a relative who also happens to be a severe drug addict. He now has employment, and has been clean for a month. I don’t do this to become some type of martyr or to get praise – I do it because it’s what we ALL should do. Help if you can. I do it because I hope that in the end, if and when they see people down on their luck, they will remember the help that was extended to them and carry it forward. If I’ve seen anything throughout 2016 it’s how evil, manipulative and down right nasty people can be in this world. My advice, don’t fucking be like that. Be kind. Be understanding. And SHOW COMPASSION. Have a fucking heart and put yourself in other people’s shoes once in a while. Stay humble and stay true to yourself. Your older self will thank you.
Now, as for my own resolutions, I haven’t planned out anything too extravagant or flamboyant. Just a few reminders really:
- Drink more water
- Really try to quit smoking (like make a really good fucking effort)
- Drink more wine (it has less calories)
- Go for more walks (working out is a total bonus but mainly, just walk)
- Stop spending money foolishly
- Continue to be strong for others
- Go somewhere warm for Christmas and New Years this year (so save your fucking money you glutton!)
- Slow down.
- Contemplate making babies
- Play with the cats more often
- Continue to SEE and APPRECIATE the small things in life (for small moments make for the best memories).
For those who have set New Year’s resolutions for themselves, I wish you all the best. Perhaps you can lend me some helpful hints at how you keep them going throughout the year?
Until next time,