Happy New Year! I'm still allowed to say that nine days in, right? It's no secret that I've neglected this space for several months. Looking back, my last consistent post was sometime in April. Yes, April. I'm not here to make any big plans or to make a comeback, and I'm ok with that.
Here's the thing-- when 2016 came to start, I made my list of goals like I usually do each year, some of them incredibly lofty. One of those things was to blog every week day. I was pretty good with keeping up, and then life happened. Considering how many people have reacted to 2017 finally making its appearance, I know that I'm not alone in thinking that 2016 was one of the worst years in recent history.
While I don't want to get into details here, 2016 was a year full of too much adulting for me and Andrew. Our luck wasn't so great and just when we would think things were getting better, another roadblock would appear-- mostly of the house related variety-- leaving us wondering when the boomerang of karma would come back and turn things around.
Somehow, despite the incredibly tough hand we were dealt in 2016, we still came out victorious. We're still alive and well, our house is still standing, and we have a few more life lessons under our belt. We tried our best to laugh at it all and say to each other, "It could be worse!" (Which sometimes it did get worse, but I digress.) And when we had had enough mentally, we were able to escape it all through travel-- Santa Fe, Boston, and Puerto Rico were all checked off our travel list in 2016. And those things were the light throughout it, making 2016 not such a bad year after all.
Last week, as I sat reflecting on the year that had passed, I thought about what would have made things easier when things did go wrong. A lot of that came back to self-care. Often, we can let stress get in the way of living our lives. We dealt with that stress by taking a literal time out, leaving Baltimore, and traveling somewhere new. However, on the day to day, there were no time outs.
In 2017, instead of making specific and measurable goals, I'm focusing on the smaller day to day things-- finding the quiet, the calm, the beauty among the stress and chaos. I want to enjoy life every day, even when things get tough. I want to have fewer expectations for myself and consciously make time to decompress. I want to continue to travel as an escape (and we're already planning trips to France and New Orleans this spring!), but also find a way to escape in my own city. I want to turn stress into productive energy instead of dwelling on things I can't change. I want to feel quietude.
I don't need a specific formula or list of things to do to be happier and healthier in 2017. Instead, if I can find ways to take care of myself, those things will fall into place.
Did you set goals this year, or you taking a more relaxed approach like I am in 2017?