2016: In search of Joy

Every year on December 31st and the days leading up to it. so many of us adopt new mantras we are determined to follow. New Year, New You.  It’s amazing how many times you see it on social media: lose weight, find bliss, go on vacation, find a husband, lose negativity, find, lose, go, find, lose… What are we really searching for? I always write resolutions.  I like goals and I love lists.  I find it comforting and satisfying to check things off a list as done.  In our overly digital universe, taking that pen to a tattered piece of paper is delicious.  It feels absolutely fantastic to say this is written, done. I have succeeded. Big or small, these victories feel fucking great.  But resolutions can represent so many different things- are they goals, dreams, reminders, or just an ordinary to do list for the year?  What are they really saying about those of us who write them?

Some goals and resolutions are ongoing, uphill battles.  Every year one of my goals is to lose weight and exercise, something important for overall health.  I tend to get into a routine and then fall off it.  The cycle continues.  The goal this time is not for a certain number on the scale or an amount of hours at the gym; it’s about an effort to be consistent with myself.  I just want to feel comfy in my own skin and fit into my clothes again, you know, the smaller variety that are stored in the dark corner of my closet. Once again it’s my resolution, my reminder, my uphill battle that sometimes I need a moment to catch my breath from. Those breaths are necessary.

Now some of my other resolutions are skills to master and projects to tackle.  Like perfecting French macarons, improving my music theory skills and of course the projects I didn’t finish from last year: T-shirt quilts, emergency books and wedding/honeymoon scrapbooks.   The important thing was that I tried to complete these tasks and I’m more educated now than I was before. There were more failed batches of macarons than I care to share, thousands of pictures and scrapbooks sitting in my closet, and piles of T-shirts and theory books to get to.  These are priorities to me, things I count as part of me that I need to complete. Like recording my album.  Picking up the pieces of what we lost from our first attempt wasn’t easy. I tried once and now I’ll try again.   We’re rerecording the whole she-bang in February.  It’s gonna happen but all the steps to get there just remind me how important the journey was to get here.  When I cross that off my list, I don’t know of anything that will make me happier.

The rest of my resolutions are the really big ones, the dreams, the ones I’ve been working so hard for but working hard never seems to be enough.  Maybe resolutions like this are like The Secret; if you put it out into the world, it’ll happen.  I finally realize that I cannot do anything but try. Try to sell our condo. Try to move. Try to have a baby. Just fucking try.

My whole life is trying and the dual meaning is intended.  I’ve never been a person who had it easy. Eat a carb, I’ll see it on my ass tomorrow.  Stay out too late, I’ll run out of gas. Record an album, lose it all and start from scratch. Sell your home, nope ya can’t yet, yet, yet. Wait, wait, wait, be patient, hang on. Resolutions are not made to be used to against yourself; for me, they are meant to hold me accountable in the moment for the things we want to do, for the things we hold important, for things we want to strive for.  They are not written until they are completed. Giving it your best try is the key.  They might be reminders, priorities, bucket list items and secreted wishes, but they are mine.  I’m not going to break them down and diminish their meaning in my life. I’m not going to wait for them to just happen. I just can’t anymore. The only way to get it done is to tackle them full force.

2015 has been a roller coaster ride of epic proportions.  It has been a year of heartache, pain, disappointments, and just suckage.  The highs brought discoveries, love, laughter, friendship, foreign lands, and so much warmth.  Since returning from Europe, I’ve found myself on the downward descent of this ride, moody and depressed like never before.  Frankly, I’ve been miserable and I cannot snap out of it.  Instead of harping on everything I just couldn’t get done this year which I do constantly, I’m choosing to focus on what I might get done next year.  Lately I feel like a dog who has been kicked every time she is down. Time to mourn the bad shit, take care of myself, and step back into the light.

I’m not cursing 2015 for giving me a hard time. This whole time I’ve been searching for something to make me happy, to make things okay.  I’ve been going elsewhere to find something when all along I needed to take a look inside.  I’ve been searching for all of these things to do to make me happy. Did I achieve that happiness? No. Why? Because I got wrapped up in what I DIDN’T have instead of what I do have. What these resolutions say about me is that I’ve been lost and I need to find myself and take care of me again.  I’ve lost my joy. That’s what all of these resolutions SCREAM about me: find yourself again in things that bring you joy and be grateful. So that’s what I’m going to do. If I fail, I fail and if I succeed, whoo-hoo.

At least I’ll know that I tried, that I am enough….

To ’16, my lucky number, I look forward to you.

To my friends, family, and husband who puts up with me, I’m grateful for you. Let’s all find our joy together in this joyous New Year.









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