In my twenties I spent every new year setting elaborate resolutions. There were categories for the resolutions (adventures, skills, business achievements, etc) and every goal had to be set in measurable terms. I would write them down and exchange them with friends so we could keep each other accountable. [Type A? Who, me?] EveryÂ year was going to be my year. I was going to “hustle”, and “crush it”, andÂ through the magic of goal-setting I was going to miraculously transform intoÂ my best self, finally reaching my greatest potential. Every year.
Then came 2016, and it was hard. There were many small challenges, but mostly, I spent the year coping with the miscarriage we experienced in spring. I was devastated. Never had I invested so much hope, and experienced such great loss. It was 12 months of just trying toÂ keep my head above water. So when 2016 endedÂ and it was time to write my 2017 resolutions, I came up dry. I didn’t want to jot down how many books I was going to read, or elaborate on a skill I was going to learn. I didn’t want to set arduous business goals or demand some new level of personal growth. I couldn’t get myself to write a single resolution because I spent 2016 learning how little control I have over the most important things.
I think sometimes we set resolutions – new year’s, or otherwise – believingÂ we can bend the universe to our silly, human will. And as an introvert, I get it. There is nothing I want more than a greatÂ plan whichÂ falls into place as designed. But while we’re busy trying to figure out how to do more and be better,Â we ignore theÂ grace that comes with understanding we can only work for so much. It’s goal-setting season again, and although I’m not castingÂ resolutions aside as humanistic hogwash,Â I am examiningÂ my ambitions more carefully. There will be plenty of good and plenty of bad in my life, and I feel certain that the biggest of eachÂ will not be mineÂ to choose.
So cheers to the year that brought us our beautiful baby girl, a blessing beyond measure. We are one year wiser, two months sleepier, andÂ incredibly grateful for both goals to achieve and giftsÂ thatÂ were never made to be earned.
Top photo by Riverland Studios. Middle photo by KL Creative.