Take a moment and try something with me. And I promise, only a moment, this excercise should take you all of 1 minute.
Take a big breath, exhale, and close your eyes. Now, picture your future. Remember only take a minute or less. What do you see? What is the first thing that comes to your mind?
December flew by in a whirlwind of pine and peppermint scented flashes. It was one of my best Christmas seasons to date and I tried to lick up and savor every little moment. In fact, this whole year has been pretty spectacular. On Friday, I posted about my top 5 memories. Yet, I’m finding myself in an all to familiar state of mind on this second to last day of 2013.
Where have I been and where am I going?
This week between Christmas and New Years provides amble time for reflection. Honestly, I’ve been pretty down these past few days. Call me out for being a baby, but I’m so sad December is over. You see, all of the anticipation, joy, and love that surrounds Christmas fills me with hope. Hope that the future is bright. Hope in the power of love. Even when I would be feeling knocked down at work, or when I would feel the stress of bills and money being tight, the thought of going home to my tree or looking forward to a family tradition or gathering would get me through the day.
I wallowed a bit more than I’d like to admit this weekend. With the magic of December fading away, I felt like we were getting stuck back in the daily grind. Ryan going back to his night-time law school classes (1.5 more years sounds both short and long), saving money, and getting through the stressful days. But like most good wallowing it allowed me to reflect and look ahead to the New Year.
Ah yes, that time when we all make grand New Years Resolutions. Well, I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. They are empty promises. I think going to the gym on January 2 and then going again on February 2 will prove my point.
Instead, I like to keep things simple. And by simple, I mean breaking down your life into what makes you happy and what makes you unhappy. Why not choose happy?
The question, “What are your plans for the future?” has the tendency to make my heart rate go up and my palms sweat. We are trained to look at our life in 5 year increments. Our future looks like a tall ladder with rungs marked with stages like “Graduate”, “Find your perfect career” “Get married” “Buy a house” “Kids” “Retire”. Really, none of us has a clue. You can’t plan out this life.
What you can do is have hopes. I choose to hold on to my hopes as I navigate through this messy life. My hopes are what make me happy, what get me through the day.
This is what I seen when I close my eyes and think of the future:
Ryan, myself, a dog, and an undisclosed amount of children (sometimes it’s 2 sometimes it’s 3) lying in a big bed with the fluffiest white pillows and softest white sheets you’ve ever seen. My vision is in black and white and we are surrounded by photos of family and dear friends.
Everything that is important to me is in and surrounding that bed. Plain and Simple.
Who knows when that image will become my reality. This year? The next? Five years from now? Nevertheless, that is my hope for the future, that is what makes me happy. That image will replace my beloved Christmas tree, music, traditions. I choose to carry the joy and hope that Christmas brings with me through the year. What I see when I close my eyes will be my beacon – my north star guiding me to stay on track to my future. Why put off happiness?
Because, it’s time to face the music. Today IS yesterday’s future and I’m ready to choose happy, no matter what.