Looking to the Future

Well, we’ve said goodbye to another year and welcomed a new one. 2022 flew by in a blur for me, and although I am so proud of finally publishing my book this past year and it will be a year that I remember specifically because of that, I am glad to leave the year behind me and start new. But it also has me reflecting on the way I have approached the new year in times past. This time of year always finds numerous posts and articles about starting fresh, setting new goals, looking ahead and just being better. And I was the master at all of that. If the previous year had been challenging, I looked at January 1st as a time to start new and with a fresh slate. And it is very much that energy which I love. I like the reset and the thought that we can start again. 

But as the first week of the new year passed, I used to feel more melancholy; after the rush and bustle of the holiday’s, January always had a little bit of a let down vibe. It’s usually grey, overcast or snowing where I am. It’s cold. Everyone is regrouping and hibernating after the indulgences of the previous month. And all of the lead up to time off and having fun with friends and family had left me feeling like, okay, what’s next? Once the rush of my initial new start bravado and goal setting wore off, I was left with a little bit of an empty feeling. 

And then, many times, the anxiety would set in. Yes, I was excited for a new year to start and to set the goals and milestones I wanted to reach throughout the year. But as I looked to the future year ahead I sometimes felt like I just wouldn’t measure up. That somehow I was still behind while everyone else was out there killing it, doing their thing and making it work. I was playing catch up, forever stuck in a thought pattern of being a better version of me and thinking of all the ways that I needed to improve or change. The mis-steps and mistakes that happened the year before would play in a loop in my head and I pressured myself to really make this new year the year that everything, finally, came together. 

This year, I vowed to be different. This year I committed to looking ahead but not forgetting where I am. I used to get lost in the past, going over what I could have done better or handled differently, or I would muddy the future with unrealistic ideas of what I should be doing. I wasn’t settled in the me of the moment. The me that is quiet and in touch with the soul inside. In reaching for the future, I was letting down the now. 

There is so much hype and talk about living in the moment that the message can get lost or blurry or overused. Living in the moment for me means to remember what I am still working on, to embrace the steps I have already taken to get me to the spot I am standing in right now. A new year doesn’t mean I have to set a whole new set of things and then benchmark myself against any progress. A new year can simply be a new month, a new day, a new morning to continue growing what I’ve already started. To continue to live in conscious awareness of all that I have accomplished but also of all that is still moving it’s way through. And it’s okay to not set new lofty goals. It’s okay to be okay with where I am.

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