Hold it right there.
I don’t know who January 1st bribed in a back alley, but it’s absolutely owning the self improvement market. Completely monopolizing it, really. You think April 27th ever feels left out? I do! There’s no other day of the year that prompts as much change and motivation, it’s a great deal of responsibility for one day to take on. Perhaps too much.
I’ve tried to take a step back from the “new year, new you” messaging, mostly because it’s lazy copywriting, but also because it’s implying we’re all in need of overhaul. That’s pretty insulting to all the other years of your life, when you think about it. It’s not like we’ve been doing zero work or exerting minimal effort into living respectable lives, I’m not quite sure “new year, new you” is fair. While naturally I’d like to grow and evolve and for sure go to Italy, there are quite a few things I’d like to express gratitude for in the hopes that they stay put.
So for those of us who can make resolutions without imposing pressure on ourselves to step into a phone booth, change, and emerge in the image of some ideal, upgraded butterfly, I give you a list of things I like about my life and self, that I’d be happy to have around this time next year. Make all the resolutions you want, but a moment of reflection spent acknowledging all of your existing awesome would not go amiss.
Things I Want To Keep Exactly The Same In 2020:
- My apartment. I’m six months into a two year lease so I’m pretty confident about this one. I have a trash chute and an elevator and the people above me don’t wear shoes in the house. This is happiness.
- Rising early. I have done more work by 11am than most people will do by June. I like being someone who is up before the sun and in bed before the late shows. I enjoy what these habits allow me to accomplish and I would like to continue maintaining the schedule of a nice lady who monitors standardized testing.
- My job. I’m a writer for a living, I’d like to also be that a year from now. More of it, bigger versions of it, sure — but I don’t want to have to pick a whole new LinkedIn category next January.
- My cat. If she could stick around that’d be great. She’s 12, but I like our chances.
- My affinity for cooking and baking. I’ve tried lots of coping skills for anxiety, building models, knitting, CBD, but the one I like the most is trying new recipes and making people laugh on Instagram as I stir them into existence. I see no reason for this to cease. It’d be cool to burn fewer things, but whatever.
- Undergarment organization. I enjoy my Marie Kondo’ed sock and unmentionables drawer that came into being last January following her Netflix special that one weekend we all threw out like 20 trashbags full of crap. I really like how that’s been working out.
- Podcasting. While I would obviously like to get better at the audio portion of creating my own podcast (honestly why is volume so hard, it’s a simple concept), I’d very much like to still be podcasting and building a community of single women supporting and celebrating each other in January of 2021.
- Reuse. My new propensity for reusing everything from tinfoil to gift bags. While being better for the environment and helping me to reduce my personal carbon footprint, this practice also has the added benefit of slowly turning me into my grandfather.
- Meditation & Self Work. I started meditating, doing shadow work, hypnosis and reprogramming old limiting beliefs around this time last year. The fact that I, a once a self-proclaimed curmudgeon, have not only stuck with this practice but also thoroughly enjoy it is a testament to self work’s capacity to change one’s life. I’d like to continue on with this personal evolution please and thank you.
- Freelancing. I don’t want to go back to a life that involves open office floor plans or monthly subway passes ever again. All Hands meetings can stay gone from my life forever.
- Health. I was pretty healthy this past year. Might have something to do with that whole not-in-an-open-office-floorplan thing, I dunno. I would very much enjoy continuing to not get sick for the duration of 2020 and well beyond. Drink your water, take your vitamins, carry disinfecting wipes. Be well.
- My living room rug. It is a very cute gray leopard print and if it hasn’t been defiled by catbarf or other substances by this time next year I would be both thrilled and surprised.
- Friend hoarding. I made a lot of new friends in 2019. Partly because I started a podcast and forced myself to talk to strangers once a week, but also because I put in effort to move those relationships forward by actually asking people to hang out in real life and by joining things that put me in the proximity of new humans I didn’t know. The formula for making new friends is actually pretty simple: Try. Who knew.
- Hosting. In 2019, I became the kind of person who can throw a last minute gathering without having to go to the store. At 9am on New Year’s Eve, I found out I was hosting my friends for the evening, and rather than freaking out about that and rushing to a local shop where I’d inevitably buy too much charcuterie and hummus, I calmly put a large serving platter in the dishwasher and baked some cookies. I would very much like to always be the friend who has champagne, cheese, crackers, and olives in high supply in 2020.
- Power. I’m not referring to a maniacal need to dominate the will of others, I’m just saying I always keep my phone, cordless vacuum, and wireless headphones charged. I like being someone who never has to ask a bartender to plug something in.
- Reading. I started reading, like actual books, again in 2019 after very lengthy and law school-induced hiatus from the pages of things written by talented people. While I have an affinity for autobiographical self help, it has been really nice to remove the anxiety I’d previously associated with reading and replace it with a cup of tea and Victorian-era music playing on Spotify.