2016 Awakens

No need to panic – there will be no spoilers in today’s post. But I do recommend going to see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. You may want to familiarize yourself with the original trilogy beforehand, but you don’t need the prequels. Save yourself from Jar Jar Binks and Hayden Christensen’s terrible acting.

But, we all know that 2016 is upon us. In some parts of the world, it’s already here, hard to believe as it is. I’ve lived in Rochester for a solid year now, though I’m back chilling in Seattle for the holiday break. Ashdown is very kind and gives us some ample time off for this time of year. 🙂 I spent Christmas Eve here, then a few days down in Beaverton, Oregon with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, mostly watching football and eating delicious food, while sharing good fellowship and celebrating the upcoming baby Crichton. 🙂 That’s what it’s all about for us. Tonight I’ll ring in the new year with my high school friends at a church party, and on New Year’s Day, I’ll see the final movie installment of the Hunger Games series with them.

So it’s been a significant break from reality. I’m ready to go back, though, despite the recent snowstorm. It should be cleaned up by when I get back 2 days from now, if I know Minnesota well. I plan to minimize my driving during the winter because icy roads terrify me. I’ll have enough going on in town anyway.

Now, perhaps you are wondering about my New Year’s resolutions. I’m still working on them. I’ve come to realize that the most effective resolutions are ones that are less concrete. For instance, you can resolve to lose a certain amount of weight and do what you need to accomplish that, but if that’s the end goal, what’s going to motivate you to sustain it? It makes so much more sense to resolve something that you have to work on every day in the future, a mantra to keep repeating to yourself beyond just the one year. I think this comes from the part of me that wants to always be improving at something. I am a perfectionist, but I take pride in improving at what I do. I discussed in my last post that I enjoy reflecting on my life, and from this I can see where I’ve improved.

One of my favorite parts of coming home is reading through my old journals. I have all of them that I’ve written in since the age of 7 stored in a large bin. I’m so thankful that I’ve recorded my thoughts and life philosophies, because this allows me another opportunity to see self-improvement. I know that I’ve spent too many hours agonizing over what I’ve done wrong in the past, trying to figure out why I wasn’t a better person and why so much didn’t go my way. Reading my old journals gives me insight into that and faith that I am improving. It’s also difficult, though – I see my moments of depression and anxiety and relive them, traveling back in time. But the encouraging part of it is that I understand these feelings now, which I didn’t back then. I’m giving my former self the love that I didn’t give myself before. My previous post describes the self-awareness I’ve come to, which has allowed me to understand and forgive my past errors, to have more patience, and to trust myself and others. I’ve found channels for the empathy I’ve always felt. I guess you could say I feel a maternal instinct towards my younger self. I want to comfort her and tell her she’s okay the way she is. Maybe self-acceptance is just part of maturing. I know I made more long strides in that progress in 2015. It was quite a good year.

Well, I’m going to get a head start on good physical health in 2016 as well as mental and emotional. And let’s hope that last week’s dud from the Seahawks was an aberration.

May 2016 be a year of improvement for us all!



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