Letting Go

It’s the time of year where everyone revisits their New Year’s resolutions only to realize they’ve completely forgotten, ignored, or avoided what they wrote about 11.5 months previously.  I’m the type of person who will create new goals and hit the reset button on the first of every month.  Sometimes it involves giving up sugar (then inhaling a cookie three hours later) or waking up too early to work out (but not going to bed on time and ultimately becoming a huge crank towards the end of the week).

I’ve already seen posts about how to survive the holidays (dysfunctional families, binge eating or drinking, etc.) and I can’t wait for the resolutions articles.  I honestly don’t know how they keep making new magazine articles about the same ‘ol information.  It’s just re-written in a different format, by a different author and viola, you have a new magazine to sell.  Confession – I still flock to buy the magazines, only to realize it’s the same information.  Too bad I continue to dog-ear the articles, thinking I’ll be better about my resolutions.

Something, maybe you’d call it a resolution, that has been important to me has been the task of relaxing.  It’s more of a mental goal to not stress or overanalyze but rather enjoy the moment; a little bit of carpe diem and hakuna matata as my dad would say.  Granted I’m not there 100% (and probably never will be) and it’s taken me over 8 years to get here.  I’m finally at a place where I’m comfortable with my life – my job, my friends, my style, and my hobbies.  I’m not exactly sure how it happened – leaving school, leaving the known state of California to the unknown concrete jungle of New York, being forced to survive in a city where I knew practically no one, learning to live independently and loving it, etc.  I could go on for days, but let’s just say it wasn’t easy to get to this point. 

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What I’m trying to say is resolutions take time and support.  I knew I wasn’t happy being stressed out all the time and couldn’t figure out how to live my life.  I felt I was doing something wrong or living life incorrectly.  I compared myself to my cohorts all throughout high school and college.  I tried to push my boundaries, understand what made me happy and read copious amounts of blog posts and books on the matter.  I can’t thank my parents and aunt enough for listening to me, talking to me, and sending me perfectly phrased quotes and articles.  Well, as you may very well find out there – it comes down to accepting one’s self and letting go of all the obsessions, comparisons, and negative thoughts.  Easier said than done, right?

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Well it’s proven that women are over-thinkers (mostly because we are more attuned to our emotions) and so we spend a majority of our lives reliving the past or worrying about the future.  If a problem arises, or you want to make a change to your life, DO IT.  Nike was right on the money when they created the slogan “Just Do It” because there is no better time than the present.  If you spend enough time ruminating over what to do, chances are you will be stuck in the same place, just a bit older and probably less happy.

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Make a list of things that make you happy and things that stress you out.  Start to piece together why those items make you happy or unhappy.  Slowly cut out the bad and increase that which brings peace and joy to your life.  For me that could mean reducing how many times I compare myself to others and instead focusing on working out for my own health and sanity.  I thoroughly enjoy working out and it should be a passion rather than a chore.  I also love to wander grocery stores, bake for my coworkers and friends, and take in the sights of the city.  I may be a little different than your average young adult living in NYC, but it’s what makes me truly me.

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Oh goodness, I could go on for days on this subject.  Maybe I’ll pop in to elaborate more some time.  Maybe I’ll stop back in to share a post on my goals for the year.  Nothing set in stone, no disappointment if I don’t make it around to every single one, but something to target, to reach for, and look forward to.  Remember, it’s all about the little joys and pleasures in life 🙂 

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“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit… we become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
– Aristotle

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13 thoughts on “Letting Go

  1. One of your best set of observations. Too much “navel gazing” can do one in so just list a few things , as you have here, and concentrate on them.

  2. I adore this post. I know we have talked about it at length so I don’t need to go into detail but I am finally realizing the same thing with this happiness thing. It’s easier to achieve when you just let go and accept that we are who we are and that’s pretty great 🙂

  3. I think taking time to relax is a great thing to strive for. In our culture, you are made to feel bad if you are not super busy. I feel the opposite way. I *hate* being busy and not having time for myself. And you know what? It’s not selfish at all. You only have one life, you may as well relax, slow down, and enjoy it!

  4. B-E-A-UTIFUL. I don’t know if this is common post-grad phenomenon, but looking back I truly feel like high school and college were toxic environments. There is so much competition and I think its an awkward time in life were your insecurities cause ridiculous amounts of stress. I can totally relate yo you and am confident when I say that I am 100000x happier now that I can enjoy the little things in life.

    • Many many thanks Theresa! I think you hit the nail on the head – these times produced so much pressure and awkwardness that there was no time for the little things. At least not from my over-anxious, type-a, teacher’s pet personality 😉 I’m glad that we can look back on those years and now grab a beer and enjoy the sunset.

  5. Pingback: Power On in the New Year | California Endless Summer

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