About the best that could be said for 2017 would be that I survived it. I want to say really awful things about the year; so much was lost. I lost one of my oldest friends. I lost innocence that I hadn't even realized I'd had left to lose. I lost things I can't even talk about. It was a year in which the world felt devoid of all grace. But when I think about it and look back at the pictures I took, the friends I embraced, the places I visited, I see there is still grace in the world. There is still beauty and magic and love in my life. My world may have done a darned good impression of falling apart, but the wider world kept spinning.
And so, I go into 2018 with simple resolutions: Make. Do. Be.
Make more, buy less. Make the things I need and want, rather than buying them whenever possible. Make room in my life and home by letting things go that no longer fit or have a purpose. Do more. Be more present, more alive, more active. Be strong. Be healthy.
I'm going to take a page from the book of my friend over at Acorn Cottage and develop SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) throughout the year, as well as keeping track of the things I make and do. My goals for January are:
- Buy nothing that isn't necessary (unless there's a truly ridiculous sale on something I've wanted for a long time, and even then, there will be soul-searching). No shopping for entertainment.
- Undertake a 31 day decluttering challenge in which I discard more items every day throughout the month. Yesterday, I put a book in the trade-in bag. Today, I'll find two things to donate or discard or recycle. Tomorrow will be three, and so on, through the end of the month where it'll be 29, 30, 31 things per day.
- Make two new items of clothing - pants, and a shirt or dress to wear to work.
- Practice my old "five things per room per day" tidying plan.
- Mindfully go about small rituals to help me connect with the deeper world.
And if I make it through 2018, in 2019 I want to remember this: rebuild, renew, recover.