January Project Updates: New Year Edition

writingThis is going to be a weird and different post. 2016 has been a weird and different year. If you’re here for project updates: First, thank you for taking an interest in my life! This blog would be much less fun to write without your responses! Second, please feel free to bypass the dark hole of my New Year’s resolution rant. I won’t hold it against you!

2017: Brave New Year

I’ve always loved New Year’s Day. Ever since I can remember, I’ve made resolutions for the New Year, striving always to be better and stronger as I continue down the path toward reaching my goals.

This year is a little different. The end of 2016 inverted many of my long-held beliefs about the world and humanity, and forced me to think about many things in a new way. Things feel shakier and less certain than ever before, and I am forced to confront the fact that just because I was raised in comfort in a safe and peaceful nation does not mean that my life will continue this way. I am less optimistic about the future, and no longer believe that “onward” means “upward.” Sometimes good things turn bad and ugly. What this means is that I can’t sit back and let the universe do its thing. I need to take an active role in creating and sustaining a world that’s better, kinder, and more just.

This year, 2017, will be about making the small changes that nudge the world in the right direction. Shopping local to combat income inequality. Avoiding the urge to be lazy about recycling. Being really, really careful about where my coffee, chocolate, and clothing come from. Acknowledging that the ugliness in the world didn’t come from nowhere—my complacency is complicity. I am part of the problem.

This is uncomfortable to write about. I feel like I’m being more provocative than I’ve ever been, and I’m already dreading the possibility of a backlash. The irony is that backlash is good. Challenge of any sort is good: it forces you to grow.

I want to state, for the record, that I’m not expecting this struggle against complacency to be easy. There are a lot of small shifts I’ll have to make in my daily habits, and it will take time to adjust. There will be moments of weakness and backsliding. But if I can stick to these goals even a little, I believe I will be a better and stronger person.

This Year’s Projects:

When I started this blog, I had six goals:

  • Finish sorting through and cleaning and throwing away old things
  • Choose a wedding venue, date, and all the rest
  • Learn to sing and play the piano at the same time
  • Get to a comfortable place in my career
  • Keep my apartment cleaner
  • Maybe someday write a book

I’m proud, and a little bit astonished, to say that I’ve made significant progress on all of these! I’ve cleared a significant amount of clutter from my apartment, successfully planned a wedding in four months (and successfully revised the plan, with the help of my amazing mother-in-law, husband, and wedding party when the venue flooded hours before the ceremony!), spent many happy hours immersed in music, found the courage to quit a job that drained me, accepted the fact that I will never be a neat freak, and started the daunting and exhilarating process of writing a book!

As 2017 kicks off, I want to offer up revised versions of these goals for the New Year:

  • Finish sorting through and cleaning and throwing away old things
  • Nurture my relationship with my husband
  • Find a new, non-teaching job
  • Live according to my values
  • Make time for friends
  • Finish writing my book

Here’s to a passion-filled and productive 2017!

Happy New Year!

What are your hopes, fears, and goals for 2017? What has changed for you this year? How do you hope to change in the year to come?

6 thoughts on “January Project Updates: New Year Edition

  1. I 100% agree with your sentiments – complacency is for a time when we are all safe and secure and confident that the right things will happen without our input. This is the year to step up and make your voice heard. Keep going!!

    Liked by 1 person

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