I think of them — but they somehow never end up on paper where I can review them and remind myself of what I need to do differently. Nope, instead I end up repeating my negative habits until I suddenly remember half-way through the year (in a deja vu state of mind) that I should have stopped doing this six months ago.
But this year I think it’s going to be different for me. I’ve encountered some incredible circumstances, met some extraordinary people and made some hard-to-forget mistakes that have left a footprint on my heart in a way that is hard to express in words.
I think everyone has heard of a mid-life crisis, and perhaps even the newly tagged quarter-life crisis which defines 20-somethings like me who are figuring they’re way through adulthood.
But at 24, I’m not having a quarter-life crisis. Rather, I’m having a quarter-life awakening.
I recognize that there are areas in my life that I need to improve and I’m actually ready to do something about them instead of wishing they would change on their own.
I think that’s what they call “growing up?”
So, first the time in a long time, well, actually ever, I’m making a list of New Year’s resolutions that might include a few of your own.
1. Help others more. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your life, and what you want and need that you forget there are people who need help a lot more than you do, and anyway it’s so gratifying to the soul.
2. Learn something new. It’s time to finish that book you started long ago or finally take on that new dance class. I started salsa almost two years — the problem is I never finished.
3. Get out of debt. Financial responsibility is knocking, so answer the door. The economy was a tough ride for everybody this year, but the ride can be a lot smoother by making necessary sacrifices that can make you a few bills shorter in the long run. For example, do you really need the highest priced cable package, or how about stop turning up the heat and invest in a space heater.
4. Just do it. A while back my friend told me, “If you’d really wanted to do something, you would just do it.” So, stop wishing on a star and put a move on it. Don’t let fear or doubt stop you from doing anything what you really want. God helps those who help themselves.
5. Let go of the past. Grudges are a waste of time and energy. I’ve never known that emotion to accomplish anything except ill intentions. Don’t wallow over past hurts and mistakes because it doesn’t change what happened.
6. Enjoy life more. Laugh at yourself, laugh with others (not at others), and spread smiles. Find some artistic and recreational activities or take up a new hobby. The Surry Arts Council and Reeves Community Center are at your fingertips.
7. Go green. It might be a costly adjustment to reinstall certain “green” appliances in your home, but it will shorten your bills and extend the Earth’s resources.
8. Of course, I have to mention, battle the bulge. I believe you are what you eat and right now, I’m a strawberry milkshake, pile of fries and a burger, so it’s time to hit the gym. On average, fit people live four years longer than those who don’t exercise and that’s reason enough for me.
Whatever your New Year’s resolutions are this time around, I hope you succeed. Happy New Year!
Erin C. Perkins is a staff reporter for The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at email@example.com or 719-1952.