2017 was a good year for me but it was also bloody hard.
In the last few days I’ve seen a raft of social media posts paying tribute to the year that was 2017. It was nice to see people reflecting and taking time to celebrate the year, except that some of it felt disingenuous and left me feeling somewhat like I’d been left behind.
Dripping in a sickly sweet veneer, some posts presented a perfectly crafted year to go with a perfectly crafted Instagram feed. The blood, the sweat, the tears, the grit and grime of daily life cropped out of frame, filtered into oblivion, only the sparkly bits left behind for the world revel in.
It was overwhelming.
For one thing, where did anyone get the time to sit and write down all the amazing things they’d accomplished in 2017? I was running full speed ahead until the end (alternating with burying my head deep within the pages of my latest read, shutting myself off from it all).
And secondly, what about the gross and hard bits? I saw one post where the writer was grateful for ticking off every goal they had for themselves in 2017. Every single goal. Cue feelings of inadequacy.
It was the first time in memory that the impending new year had left me feeling off balance. Usually I’d either pay it no mind, or look hopefully ahead, the new year an open space beckoning with the promise of new adventures.
So it was refreshing to read this from Rosie Waterland who admits to having had a pretty shitty past few years. This year, instead of setting herself up to fail with lofty and unrealistic resolutions, she’s saying F@#$ it and cutting herself some slack, to accept the good times and the bad.
Last year I didn’t set a traditional resolution, I came up with a single word – embrace – to guide me through 2017. I did pretty well, I embraced a whole heap of stuff – interstate move, new job, new experiences, new friends, new hobbies (hello homemade sourdough bread!) but all the newness was also exhausting. The settling in, the distance from loved ones, the feeling of playing catch up in an industry I wish I’d discovered ten years ago.
With all this swirling around my head, I didn’t know if I’d set a resolution this year.
But, on sitting down and really thinking about it, on giving myself a few days (hence the slightly belated resolution post), I realised I do know what I want from 2018.
I want this to be another year of growth – personally and professionally, continuing to build on the progress I made in the past year. Of solidifying my life here in Sydney, embedding my role in my team. A year of learning to appreciate the quiet times and staying strong through the many not-so-quiet (hectic, crazy, busy) times. And, like Rosie, cutting myself some slack.
And so my word for 2018 is breathe. It’s a little strange, I know, but stay with me.
In 2018 I’ll remember to breathe deeply like my yoga teacher is always reminding me is so good for both body and mind. I’ll breathe to steady my nerves, and find confidence in challenging situations. I’ll breathe in the salty beach air of the many beaches I intend to visit this year, and the air of places I’ve never been before. I’ll breathe in the excitement of doing a job I love. At the end of the workday, I’ll breathe in the relaxing comfort of home, and breathe out the tensions of the day.
- The year of continuing to embrace, but also learning to release and just breathe.
What do you think? How do you feel when a new year rolls around? How are you approaching the new year?