one year. three hundred and sixty-five nights, three hundred and sixty-five moments when the clock strikes midnight, three hundred and sixty-five new days. with three hundred and sixty-five so-called fresh starts available, why is it, then, that i, like many others, wait for that one turn of the clock, that one new day when the calendar year changes to think about how i can improve, take action, and make positive changes in my life. the irony of waiting for this one moment and expecting it to suddenly spark some sort of inner revolution is that countless opportunities are wasted or missed in the in-between.
as one year ends and another begins, though, i am grateful for time to reflect on the past year and recalibrate in anticipation of the new year. rather than set specific resolutions, i choose a word that embodies my intentions, and i use it a compass throughout my year. it isn’t a foolproof practice, and i often find myself far out in left field if i don’t regularly pause and check in to see how well i’m upholding it. accountability helps me stay the course more than anything else, so i’m publicly proclaiming my word for 2018 to you.
in a superficial world, what would it mean if i intentionally chose less? less worry, less selfishness, less consumerism, less stress, less inconsistency, less wine, less procrastinating, less over-committing, less greed, less netflix, less picking apart flaws, less sugar, less fighting, less passivity, less pretending, less fear, less control.
it creates space for the right kinds of more. more peace, more selflessness, more contentment, more rest, more follow-through, more water, more action, more time for myself, more generosity, more reading, more celebrating imperfection, more vegetables, more patience, more vulnerability, more truth, more courage, more trust.
it really all boils down to consciously swimming against the current. i want 2018 to be the year i look back on and remember, “less really is more.” the year where i can pinpoint markers of transformative moments in my soul because of how God has changed me and where i can let go of what doesn’t matter.
i started my new year’s day morning with an exfoliating treatment, facial mask, a cup of coffee, and day one of a new year-long devotional book. i literally shed the skin i no longer needed and nurtured what remained. i slowly sipped my coffee as i read and lingered over the few paragraphs about becoming a person who is “unshakeable”, and i thought about how becoming that person is nearly impossible when our lives, brains, closets, stomachs, schedules, and everything in between are filled to the brim. it is time for less.
today feels much the same as any other slow winter day, and that is probably because it isn’t that different. it doesn’t mark the start of a new diet, a new fitness regime, a resolution to stop swearing, stop doing whatever-it-is-that-i-know-i-probably-shouldn’t-be-doing. it is simply an opportunity to pause, refocus, and regain perspective. welcome, 2018. i look forward to slowing down and appreciating you and the opportunities you present.
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in wrapping up last year, i looked at 2017bestnine.com, a website that compiles any instagram handle’s most popular posts over the course of the year (i’m mostly explaining this for my mom since i’m fairly certain she is the only person who reads my blog). while i don’t love the idea that the “best” posts are considered so solely because they garnered the most likes from other users, i was glad to see that others celebrated some of my favorite parts of the year along with me. from left to right, top to bottom, the photos are as follows: atlanta’s first snow of the winter (december 2017) and our front door’s new paint job–a major upgrade from its previous chartreuse, a cake i made for a collaboration with my friend katie of bloom | atlanta, a camel ride in morocco, finishing my first sprint triathalon, coffee to-go on a late summer trip to alys beach, a birthday cake for my mother-in-law’s surprise birthday party, eating m’semen in morocco, a tribute to my husband on our 2nd wedding anniversary, a final photo of me in morocco. apparently the people of instagram love morocco.
these are just a few of many memories made this past year. 2017 was full of challenges, victories, learning curves, deepening of some friendships, letting go of others, spiritual growth, a lot of laughter and occasional tears, adventures with my wonderful husband, too many “that’s what she said” jokes, and countless good meals and glasses of wine. i’m thankful to have a few photos to remember some of the moments within it.