2017: A Special Every Day

We are very quickly reaching the end of 2016, and while it’s a little hard to believe how quickly the year has flown by—but not too hard, because it often doesn’t feel that way until the end, but now here we are—I’m okay with it, because Christmas and New Year’s are my two favorite holidays. I particularly look forward to New Year’s because it’s my anniversary with my boyfriend, but even before it was, I always looked forward to it because the first day of a new year always felt like an opportunity, a fresh, brand-new start. It still does.

I know I already touched on what a year it has been, and some hopes and dreams for the new year, but I want to revisit that, and I hope you won’t mind. Maybe it will inspire you to reflect on your year, too, and to pen some hopes and dreams for 2017—and in turn, maybe you’ll even want to share some of those with me.

My year in review…

  • Two successful semesters at UH done, putting me that much closer to graduation
  • Took on a double major, a summer internship, and now a part-time job with the company I interned for
  • Traveled to Athens, Greece, Vienna, Austria, and Isla Mujeres, Cancún, Mexico, as well as Saudi Arabia for the second time
  • Finished one journal and started another
  • Adopted a beautiful red heeler mix with Dylan
  • Created this blog
  • Was accepted into UH’s undergrad Creative Writing program
  • Accepted an invitation to be a bridesmaid in my best friend’s upcoming wedding
  • Two concerts with Dylan
  • Spent time with family and friends

I should really keep better track of the things that happen during the year…

And here’s a thought: there is one special day that happens…well, every day. Not Christmas, not your birthday…

Every day is the first day of the rest of your life.

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty special. So maybe we should treat it as a special day—every day. I will with mine—you do with yours, too.

Hopes, dreams, and resolutions for 2017

  • Treat every day as a special day, because every day is special
  • More tranquility and self-care because “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ~ Audre Lorde
  • Be more careful about my use of “Yes” and “No”—perhaps also less of “I can’t” and more of “I don’t”
  • More productivity, less stress, and more FUN
  • MORE WATER, and yoga
  • Continue to study French, as well as other things/topics I’m interested in, such as reading Kimberly Wilson’s books and Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours
  • Save more money, and more TIME because “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” ~ Jim Rohn
  • Journal and WRITE
  • Finish Gilmore Girls and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix if I don’t finish them before the end of 2016
  • Graduate

Now it’s your turn to reflect and dream, and to picture your own 2017. What do you want it to look like?

A Thankful Holiday Season

Every year, I love the holidays. I look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s, and not just the days themselves, but the days in between, where there is just this sense in the air of hope and anticipation and joy and truly “the most wonderful time of the year.” Christmastime, of course, is my favorite.

I hope this Christmas will be seasons better than this Thanksgiving turned out to be.

No, no details. Suffice it to say that my Thanksgiving ended on a very emotional note that left me saying, and at least partly meaning, “I hate the holidays.”

No. It isn’t true. Thankfully, because Christmas will surely sneak up on me, as it does every year now. I probably won’t be ready, but I guess all that matters is spending time with the people I care about, and not so much being ready with gifts. Gifts can come later.

Thanksgiving left me feeling not at all thankful, but the truth is I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. Let me count the ways…

  • That there is even a holiday season to celebrate
  • My relationship with Dylan, and our fur baby, Penny
  • My parents will be home
  • My job at Arte Público Press
  • Having stumbled upon the lovely Kimberly Wilson—my new lifestyle guru—and her beautiful website, podcast, and blog
  • Bella Grace magazine—and a special thank-you to my Nonnie for gifting me a subscription for Christmas!
  • Seven Deadly Sins anime, and SDS fan fiction, my new guilty pleasure (Dylan said I jumped into an entirely new level of “nerd” with that one, a level that neither he nor any of his friends—whom I would often collectively refer to as nerds—have never reached)
  • The freedom to be myself in that respect, and to admit it on my blog because it makes me happy and damn it I don’t care who knows

and many, many more. It would take too long to list everything.

But now, let’s revisit that last one for a moment, to kick off a list of hopes and dreams for the holidays and some for the New Year:

  • Maybe to be myself a little more, without caring so much about what other people think, including my parents—not disrespectfully, of course—(#sorrynotsorry)
  • Write more, including blog posts, my fan fiction story, and work more on other ideas I have
  • Read more, including one or two French books, or at least watch one or two French movies
  • Try not to over-schedule myself quite as much, but I anticipate a lot of trouble with this one
  • Be calmer and more present in the moment
  • Go through my clothes and clutter; possibly try to create more of a capsule wardrobe
  • Do more inexpensive things with Dylan, such as picnics or museum outings, movie nights in where we cook, etc.
  • Buy healthier options next time I’m at the grocery store
  • DRINK MORE WATER—which is exactly why I bought my motivational water bottle, after all
  • Finish paying off my credit card and next time, buy an iTunes card instead
  • Get the church library books (900+) back on the shelves and organized before Christmas Eve service

The holidays always feel like a very busy time of year. Now that my fall semester at UH has ended, it has slowed down some, and that helps, but I always find myself a few days before Christmas running around trying to put together presents last-minute, finalize plans, bake cookies, etc. On top of that, the past two years, I’ve gotten sick with allergies or a cold or mild flu around the same time, so I’ll have to run around while not feeling 100%, and each Christmas Day, I’ve ended up having to take a nap at Dylan’s house in the afternoon to recover a little. Prayers, well wishes, and good vibes would be very much appreciated, in the hope that that doesn’t happen again this year!

As it is, this week already feels a little busy; the featured photo is from the planner page I’m currently on. I’d like to include a link to my Instagram in order to share what I wrote about that this morning, but my account is currently private, so I’ll just pen it here:

“I used to keep track of things in my head. But as soon as I went back to work at #ArtePúblicoPress, I had to start writing them down again. Now I write down things I want to do as well as things I have to do, and I think this way, it makes them more likely to happen. Thank you for cute planners and colorful highlighters, because it’s always easier to look at a pretty, fun #todolist and not feel as overwhelmed. Like life. Life is short, so make it pretty and fun as much as possible. You’ll feel better for it. I know I do.”

(Also, a special note to Dylan now, who commented Sunday night that I use too many commas: you’re right, as I noticed while copying that quote from Instagram to this blog post; I had to edit that piece on Instagram twice to get rid of two unnecessary commas.)

Maybe I should add that to my list above: be more comma-conscious! 😉

And a thank you for pointing that out. 🙂