Moving Forward

When you break it down, a year is really nothing more than another 365 consecutive days (or in the case of 2016– 366!)

December 31st is typically set aside as the date to reminisce about the good and bad times of the previous 365 days.

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What better way to ring in 2016 than at a good friend’s wedding!?

When I think about 2015, I think of so many wonderful things, and also of some of the worst.

The Good: Traveling to 10(!) new countries, welcoming my parents to France, going home for Christmas, having a job and students I love, meeting so many wonderful new friends.

The Bad: Death, and Death again, so many GoodbyesHeartbreak, and So many emotions.

On the contrary, January 1st is designated as a day for people to start afresh– to begin new goals, whether that be in regards to health, travel, fitness, self care, or education. In the past, I’ve made that a yearly public ritual on my blog: 2013, 2014, and 2015

But my views have changed. I’ve changed. I firmly believe that anytime of year is a good time to turn over a new leaf– we shouldn’t merely reserve that for one day out of the year. That’s why I’ve decided not to make any resolutions for 2016.

Sure, I plan to keep my Good Things Jar going, and to try and send a birthday card to all of my friends and family on their birthdays. Additionally, I am really going to try to always put my phone on airplane mode before I go to sleep. I’m also aiming to complete a book challenge in 2016, and I have already signed up to run the 2016 Paris Half Marathon with my friends Megan and Shiana in March! I’ve spent 2015 living with roommates who love cooking, and I’ve really grown to like it too; I look forward to experimenting more new recipes. I’d like to sign up for a pole dancing class, and be more disciplined with my yoga practice. I’m striving to save a bit more money, and I’m going to make a point to enjoy the last eight months of my lectrice contract to the fullest.

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But if I don’t complete these things, or the birthday card comes a bit late, that’s okay.

Because every morning, I choose whether or not I’m going to go for a run or stay in bed. I’m not a failure, or bad person simply because I missed a couple of running workouts, or because I’d rather catch up on sleep. My worth and dignity as a person is not determined by the number on the scale, and my success and productivity isn’t measured by the number of hours I didn’t sleep the night before (seriously, can we stop bragging about how little sleep we get?).

Because every evening, I choose whether or not to make a home cooked meal and pack the leftovers for lunch, or to go out and have a few drinks with my friends and buy a sandwich from the boulangerie for lunch the next afternoon. Sometimes, socializing and going out is more important than being frugal at home.

Because every day during my morning and late night commute, I choose whether or not to listen to music, correct papers, lesson plan, write, stare into space and do absolutely nothing, or check another book off my Book Challenge List. At night, sometimes binge-watching Netflix alone in my room deems more important than anything else.

Some nights, I’m so exhausted that I’ll skimp my nighttime routine– I’ll choose not to floss, or remove my makeup, or insert my nighttime retainer. And that’s okay.

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For 2016, I’m going to try to be kinder to myself, and more forgiving of myself, each and every day. I’m not looking for drastic, all-embracing changes, because overall, I like myself and I like where I am in my life. I’m definitely not perfect– I need to learn how to speak up and defend myself, to be more patient, and to stay off social media. My stomach is not flat, and I’m awful when it comes to going on dates. But overall, I’m proud of my accomplishments, I’m proud of my three years in France. And although I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing later this year, I’m confident I’m heading in the right direction.

So that’s this year’s mantra. What’s yours?

Bisous,

Dana

 

 

8 thoughts on “Moving Forward

  1. I 100% agree with your philosphy! There is so much pressure on New Year’s resolutions and achieving goals and being productive etc etc etc that sometimes it’s hard to feel like it’s okay to just do what you feel you need/want to do for you instead of doing what you are supposed to do. I am a crazy insane perfectionist and I always feel guilty when people criticize me for not doing what I was “supposed” to do, even though I had time, in literal terms of hours in the day. It can be really hard to be kind to yourself, and I think it’s a huge deal to be able to like yourself and be happy with wherever you are in life. You set an awesome example for… like… pretty much everyone, because I think that most people struggle with these things one way or another. 🙂

    1. Thanks!! You’ll have to let me know how the challenge goes! It’s so much reading, but maybe it will help if I have other people doing it with me!

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