Trickling in Resolutions

Maybe it’s the fact that I have been in school for most of my life, but for me, New Year’s Day never feels as “new” as the month of August does. Realistically, it actually is the beginning of an entirely new year with a new date, new and uncelebrated holidays and a feeling of freshness that permeates the world but I can’t help but feel a little less shiny and new than most people do. Also, I feel like 2012 ran away so quickly that I’ve yet to properly say goodbye to it.

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January 1st came and went, but the resolutions I used to write have still yet to find their way to the paper. I’ll get there eventually, but for some reason I am starting the new year slowly…very slowly. Maybe this can be a metaphor for the year to come. Perhaps I should aim to do things more slowly, allow time to breathe and time to enjoy each moment. Since high school, I feel like I’ve been in a constant rush. A rush to move out, grow up, start college, figure out life, decide on a career, finish college, find a job, find another job, create a home, etc etc. In this past year alone I’ve: graduated from college, started my “career” (give or take two stumbles down the wrong path) and I’ve moved cities (again). Meanwhile, my relationship is on the fast track to growing up and getting married, I have occasional dreams about children and I applied for (and got accepted) into grad school with very little time in between to simple take in what I’ve done. However, I am absolutely in love with each accomplishment and I wouldn’t take them back for the sake of savoring each one a little longer. Life moves fast, whether we like it or not.

But do we have to run to the finish line quite so fast? Is there an amazing reward for running full speed through life? Having a chronic illness (or two in my case) makes slow a regular requirement even though I tend to move at a hurried pace until I drop. And even when I’m having rough days and dragging along, I rarely try to appreciate the calm pace, instead opting to freak out about what I haven’t accomplished. I want to work on that.Here’s my challenge for everyone: slow.down. Life is chaotic and messy and complicated and there are some things we must do but we can all enjoy life a little more by taking a few slower steps, a few less rushed mornings or hurried lunches and remember the simple things in life.  For me, that means taking a cue from my lazy pugs who are rarely in a hurry for anything other than food.

 

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Handling the Holidays

My version of the Holiday season has definitely been varied over the years. The only consistency has been the inconsistency that the holidays have often brought throughout my life. That being said, I wouldn’t change a single year. Some years were spent with family, others with friends and even a few were spent with just my sister and I, with the memories spanning across several states and many, many houses. Even with the chaos that surrounds this time of year, the holiday season has always felt magical to me, even when I’ve been crazy broke or crazy busy or very ill (thank you month-long pneumonia, three years ago). Perhaps it’s the changing of seasons and sense of a fresh start that the impending new year brings or maybe it’s the hours of Lifetime Christmas movies that start playing on Thanksgiving Day, but there is something about this time of year that makes almost anything seem possible.

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As we gather for dinners, shop for presents and attempt to stay sane while surrounded by nosey family members, remember the magic. Beautiful music, random acts of kindness, peaceful nights and catching up with old friends make up for the craziness that can ensue. And when the stress gets too much, remember the simple things. For me, that’s playing with my little pugs who never hold grudges or get grumpy and are always happy to see me.

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