Once during college, sometime in the middle of January, I had lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen for a few months. We chatted a bit, began the ‘catch-up,’ and it was time to order. I don’t remember what either of us ordered, frankly I don’t even remember where we ate. But I do recall that I ordered something pretty healthy, which was unheard of for me at the time. As probably 90% of those reading this, my diet for the first few years of college consisted of Taco Bell, cereal, and ice cream. (The Glory Days, I call that time.)
My friend, who was a VERY healthy eater, noticed I’d ordered out-of-the-norm for me, so I awkwardly said, “oh yeah, I want to try to start eating a little healthier.”
He seemed proud. “That’s awesome! Please just don’t say you’re doing it as some sort of New Year’s resolution. That’s so annoying to me. People put all this hope in a new year thinking they can make all these changes. If you want to be healthy, just be healthy. Don’t use a new year as an excuse, you know?”
I suddenly felt embarrassed, not really sure how to reply. I didn’t want him to think I was just another person hitching my hopes of being healthier to a new year and in that, setting myself up for failure like any of those other “annoying people.” I shook my head no. “Ohhh no, I’ve been trying to be healthy for awhile now and uh, I’ve just really started getting serious about it.”
False. It was definitely part of a goal for the new year. But his sentiment made me feel so foolish, I couldn’t even say what was true. And you know what? I let myself feel foolish for awhile. I’d like to go back to that day and give college Tori a little slap in the face. And tell her friend who was so ridden with annoyance from people with New Year’s resolutions to get a life.
There’s nothing more promising, refreshing, exciting than a clean slate. A blank page, yours for the scribbling. Or in the case of a new year, 365 blank pages. A chance to re-define and re-invent. To start fresh. Of course, we are given fresh starts more often than we realize– that old adage “tomorrow’s a new day!” couldn’t be more true. Because… well our calendars tell us so. But mostly because tomorrow actually is a clean slate. We get 365 clean slates each year to have a better attitude, to try harder, to be the people we want to be.
January 1 however– we get far less of those. Personally, I plan on getting like 200 January 1s (hey, I’m curious and there’s a lot I’ve gotta see.) Who wouldn’t be filled with excitement with the gift of an entirely new YEAR. Of course we should set out to make the most of it! To make changes and be our best selves yet. 12 months of new. Y’all, that’s pretty freaking awesome.
I’m not one to set specific resolutions for myself, and I swear it’s not because of my cynical college friend who made fun of them. I have some goals, of which I’ll spare you details, and some changes I’d like to make. (I promise WRITING MORE OFTEN is on the list.)
This year for me is about an overall change in attitude and perspective. Because those resolutions and goals and plans are wonderful to have, but inevitably as always, life happens. In 2017, I’m striving to have a more open mind towards life’s curve balls. To face the challenges and struggles with a positive and practical attitude instead of just getting frustrated and screaming and calling my mom to complain. (Sorry, mom.) The be more patient. To be more open to opportunities. And most important, to be more curious.
Here’s to a clean slate. May 2017 be your best, most curious year yet.