Ordinarily, I am not one for “New Year’s Resolutions.” I believe that they can be a great springboard, but let’s be honest; If you are really serious about making a major change in your life, any arbitrary day of any arbitrary month is a good enough time to start something new. Or to end something.
I often wonder if coining something as a New Year’s resolution is, for many, just an excuse to put something off and enjoy the way things are just a few months more. On the flip side, perhaps using this term allows you something to blame when March Madness begins, and you really want that drink with your buddies.
For me, it was the former for the back half of 2015. I kept telling myself that I needed to get out more, explore my new bivouac, meet new people, dedicate more time to those people and ultimately just remove the Xbox from in front of me and live life to the fullest. Of course, being in a new town where you know next to no-one is pretty scary, and can be quite paralyzing at times. It can be so much easier and is often more comfortable to get to know Walter White, Wilfred and the cast of Daredevil than it is to have real conversations and foster something far more satisfying.
Some time in December, nearly four months after I had moved to Bloomington, I identified the source of a growing dis-contentedness that had been festering and gnawing at my soul. Here I was, in this beautiful new place to which I had looked forward to exploring for months now, and I found that the majority of my time was spent sitting in front of a television, in my bedroom no less. And I like to refer to myself as “adventurous.” For shame.
At this point a decision was made; I would change things. I would break these self-centered and lonely habits and really go enjoy the world around me. I was going to make friends, make memories and make life grand… once December was over. Of course, with my new full-time job, the constant nagging of seasonal affect, and my upcoming week long trip home for Christmas, it could wait until January. I had unintentionally created my own resolution for 2016.
So, I decided to run with it.
To celebrate New Year’s Eve: 2015 Edition, I picked up an overnight shift at work. Yep. Starting at 10:30 pm, I began my year off right. I spent my night with some of the most awesome people I know, the clients who inhabit the group home I am blessed to work for. We brought in the new year with sparkling grape juice, a cornucopia of snackage, and a fantastic game of Settlers of Catan. Don’t think for two seconds you had a better New Year’s than me.
Following this most excellent of nights, I resolved to truly pursue a life that I might see someone else living and think; “Wow. Now that’s what I wish my life could look like.” I made lists of things I wanted to do, hobbies I wanted to experiment with and locales I wanted to explore.
In the following month, I spent many an hour trying new things, seeing new places and spending time with great people. In this short time, I discovered the joy of exploring God’s underground beauties, tested my fear of heights while bouldering and high-rope climbing, explored the art of acting (okay, so I was just an extra…) and even joined dear old friends at my Alma Mater to view a film we were previously in. This is just scratching the surface of what a person is able to accomplish in a month, and these are the kinds of tales I hope to document here, for my own remembrance and perhaps the enjoyment of dear friends and family.
As I’ve stated, I have never been a big fan of these resolution things… but perhaps they aren’t so bad. As American author Isaac Asimov once stated:
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
I dusted off the ol’ windows this year to let some new light shine in, and I am oh so glad that I did. Here’s to a (belated) New Year, and a life lived to the best of my ability every single day.