Happy New Year! It’s been approximately forever since I published a blog post (although I have a few half-finished draft posts written up…) and I figure the New Year is as good a time as any to buckle down and focus on writing more regularly. As you may have guessed from my last post, things haven’t been 100% great over the last few months, and while I was trying to figure out what to do with myself I kind of got overwhelmed.
A recent example of how much I let my life and goals slip away in the second half of last year is the fact that I spent the last 5 days of 2017 reading 7 books. Why? Because at the beginning of 2017 I set a goal (publicly, on Goodreads) to read 30 books in 2017. I was reading around 1 book a week at the time, and 30 seemed like a safe goal to set. Then “life happened” and I spent too much time doing nothing, and not enough time reading (or doing anything else.) I had a bit of a reading upswing in October/November, and was almost back on track with my goal when life happened (again.) Then the last week of 2017 rolled around, and I realized I was still 7 books away from reading 30 books in the year.
With minimal work to do during the holidays, I buckled down and decided I was going to hit my goal. I spent hours reading and finally, at 11:34pm on December 31st, I read the last page of my 30th book of the year. As soon as I finished, I wanted to smack myself over the head with the book. I had set a realistic goal and I still ended up speed-reading multiple books a day in the final days of 2017 because I had let other things (some that I can name, others that I can’t even think of anymore) take priority over my reading goal and so many things in life.
My life is not that busy. I like to think my life is really busy, and when other people ask how I’ve been (which happens a lot around the holidays) I usually end up saying “I’ve been busy, but good!” I’m trying to be polite by saying I’ve been busy instead of “My life is a fucking disaster!” because that’s not exactly what people want to hear when they ask how you’ve been. My face gives away too much emotion for me to fully lie so I just bend the truth a little. Being “busy” is the easiest way to explain away the bags under my eyes, the way I’ve let my eyebrows grow wildly, and the fact that I haven’t seen other human beings in a while.
It’s hard for me to blame the chaos of my life entirely on myself, but it’s also hard for me to believe it’s not my fault. Trying to get my depression under control took up a lot of time and energy in the last few months of 2017. Depression is pretty exhausting in general, but I spent a lot of time hoping it would go away on its own, which is when my life started to crumble a bit.
Candy Crush Soda Saga, texting a boy I shouldn’t be texting anymore, Buzzfeed quizzes, browsing the Chapters website for new books and journals, and checking my work email approximately 623 times a day (including on weekends) are just some of the ways I distracted myself from the possible resurgence of my depression. The time required for things like reading or exercising (even my beloved barre3 classes) seemed like way more than I could handle, but spending 5 minutes on a Buzzfeed quiz was easy. The problem is, 5 minutes here and there added up to a huge amount of my day doing things I didn’t care about instead of doing things I actually enjoy.
For 2017 I made New Year’s Resolutions that were documented in multiple blog posts that I later deleted when it became clear that I wasn’t working towards any of them. I hardly even remember them. I was all about the #NewYearNewMe thing, and ready to change my life, but then life changed on its own and nothing made sense anymore. Life doesn’t happen on a January-December basis, so this year I’m just going to work on being the best version of the same old me, and I’ll continue dealing with whatever life throws my way as it comes.
I’m all for fresh starts and new beginnings, and January is an excellent and seemingly natural time for that, but I’m not going to take the fresh start of this new year to try to change who I am by setting wild resolutions (although that does work for some people, which is awesome.) Instead, I’m going to use the start of this new year to relax, evaluate what things are actually priorities to me (‘reading > Candy Crush’ is an easy one) and keep on working on all the things that actually matter to me right now.
Rather than trying to change myself this year, I’m trying to do more of the things I know I enjoy: Reading, barre3, writing, taking photos, going to hockey games, and hanging out with friends. #NewYearSameMe