Creating New Year’s Resolutions is an Act of Bravery
We’re a day into 2013 and things have been pleasant and restful. I have another week left of vacation and now that the holidays are officially over, I’ll be spending it writing and cleaning the house.
2012 was a great year, but it was rough. My family lost my grandmother to cancer. This occurred early in the year, while Vasant and I were still recovering from miscarrying in 2011. We could barely breathe as the two losses collided within twelve months of each other. We also launched our small business in the midst of a tough economy which, while exciting, has been terrifying.
It is, however, not the hardest thing we’ve ever done. The physical, mental and emotional juggling that went on from 2006-2010 was, when we went back to school, getting two degrees each, building our home and finishing my novel. Launching and establishing Samudre Media is tough, but it’s not the toughest.
As brutal as 2012 has been, it’s actually felt like the year when we’ve finally gotten traction on things. We earned our degrees in 2010, but 2011 was submersed in our grief from the miscarriage and our search for jobs that would open doors in our careers. We had no time to appreciate what we achieved in 2010 in 2011, and much of the achievements of 2011 were lost in the wave of sadness that overcame us.
This year, however, we’ve been able to hold onto the victories, both big and small that have come our way. I turned my volunteer position at Richard Hugo House into a staff position. My time there has introduced me to amazing writers, actors, producers and directors. I’m constantly inspired in my craft while there and I enjoy what I do. Vasant has taken our media production company, which we’ve run on the side for years, and taken it full-time this year. He’s loved the people that he’s met and the projects he’s gotten to work on this year.
Best of all, the grief of this year and last has finally subsided into a quiet peace and acceptance. The five stages have been traversed through and conquered. We did the work. We sought out healing. We wrote our stories, shared our nightmares, drew, did yoga, slept, worked… until we passed through. So many times throughout 2011 and in the beginning of 2012, we felt like we wouldn’t. But we knew what we had to do in order to get through, and we did the work to find healing in faith that we’d get it if we reached out.
And we did.
Then the fall became a time where we pushed out of our fragile recovery and got back into pursuing our dreams of writing and filmmaking. Our next steps? Take Samudre Media full-time and begin sharing my writing in public. Both happened, and it’s remarkable. I look back at 2012, and such grief separates the winter, spring and summer from the fall that it seems like we all came through three years just to finish this one.
I feel like 2013 is going to be a year where we return to joy. 2011 felt like 12 months of drowning. Much of 2012 felt like we were just beginning to get our heads above water. This fall has felt like we’ve climbed up out of the waters and onto the shore. 2013 feels firm. It feels exciting.
Because of this, I have a long list of resolutions. When you grieve, you can crawl into a hole and wait everything else out. Nothing is as important as recovering. You have one job. Get better. Everything else can be put on hold.
This last fall, we began to take things off hold. The last several weeks have been filled with discussions about, now that we’ve regained our strength, moving forward and moving fast. What do we need to get rid of to move quickly on the massive things we want to accomplish? What do we need to add to our lives to get us where we want to go?
The list of resolutions has grown long and every item added thrills me. At first, the idea of a New Year’s list tired me out. While we’re gaining traction and strength, we’re still so tired. There’s a difference between gaining strength and having energy. That lays beyond us for now.
But resolutions are so important. Every year, around the New Year, we sit down and decide to keep growing. Every year, this becomes more important than the last. Growing up is hard. We begin to say that in our twenties, but we still don’t fully know what it means. The jobs we gain and lose, the paths we take and abandon, the hope we have and forsake, the people we love and lose… they wear on us. We gain friends, find new passions, heal ourselves if we do the work.
Joy is happiness that’s gained through and in spite of pain. It’s tough to achieve and transforming to attain. And you can’t get there unless you do the work, unless you’re willing at the end of every year to take all the shit that came against you previously and choose to let go. Choose to do better. Choose to take responsibility for your lot, change what you can, be brave enough to dream that something better is coming.
Being brave enough to dream for something better is the hardest part after you’ve grieved. And that’s why New Year’s resolutions are an achievement in and of themselves. As soon as you’ve done your meditation on the last year, dreamed for the next, evaluated yourself and made the list, you are instantly better off. There are some people who can’t make the list. It becomes harder to do every year. Making resolutions is a defiant act of hope against the march of time, the grind of human existence in a world of gun massacres, brutal storms, disease and short lives. To be aware of all the cruelty of this world, and to make a resolution that you, yes, you, small you, tiny human that you are, will make a difference in your own life, in the lives of those around you, is one of the bravest things you will do all year.
I’m excited that I’ve pushed off my weariness and made my list for 2013. As soon as I’d finished, I felt an energy and excitement that has been out of my reach for far too long.
I hope those of you making lists feel that too. If you have, you’re brave and better for it. If you haven’t, make one. Dare to dream of a better year than the last. Even small resolutions to secure a brighter future make a huge difference in your life.
I can’t wait to see where Vasant and I will be on January 1, 2014. This feels like a good year.