As usual, I'm late to the party. No really, if you know me in real life, then I do tend to run late, unless my husband is invited and then I'll be early. But it comes as no surprise that it's taken me this long to really reflect on the past year and the future.
For me personally, 2016 was... just a year. We made our house more adult and then moved in 2014. I got promoted and we adjusted to our new home in 2015. And then in 2016... well, it was just a year. I mean it was the year that my husband started Doubleback BBQ but that's for him to reflect on, not me.
I started to feel kind of bummed about 2016. 365 days and so little to show for it. Thank goodness for my friend Bre and her post about how Elizabeth Gilbert said that people are not like corporations. She says that we're humans and we don't have to improve over last year. Sometimes we try things that don't work and sometimes, we don't produce anything new at all and that's just how life works. And I started to feel some contentment. 2016 was my year to be supportive and to try to learn to cook and to care more about politics and the world. It was the year of making goals and realizing I still don't like them, of trying to be a more thoughtful friend, and of finally feeling like maturity is a thing that can be learned, or at the very least noted when we start to realize we're getting some measure of it.
But, that said, I don't want 2017 to pass me by. My newfound maturity is making me realize that these are some of my best years; old enough to know better, but not old enough to feel stuck. I'm not into a word of the year and we've established that a list of goals doesn't fulfill me, but an idea to stick to and to measure my progress against sounds wholly appealing.
I just want to work to do things that Future Lauren will be happy about.
I admit, it's one of those weird things you see on pinterest that often pertains to fitness. But I'm thinking of me as a person. Is Future Lauren ever going to care about Buzzfeed lists, who in Hollywood is dating whom, or endless selfies of someone I knew in high school? Not likely. So I should spend less time scrolling through those things on my phone. Future Lauren will thank me for doing the dishes tonight even though I want to sit on the couch. She'll thank me for taking thirty seconds to clean up a mess instead of letting it pile up, or having an easy meal in the freezer to heat up when no one wants to cook. Future Lauren will be glad she read those books and listened to those podcasts so she has ideas and opinions and things to discuss outside of her sliver of the world. She will love reading blog posts she wrote to document the mundane because time really does fly by and who can remember all of the details that make up a life? So I'm going to try hard to make my future self happy. Do a few squats while I brush my teeth, take a second to text a friend so that those relationships last, save a few bucks where I can, and try to consciously act in a way that will make me proud to be me. I have a tendency to get caught up in moments, both good and bad, and react so full of adrenaline that I can't fully remember what I said or did. I want to work harder to really be in each moment and not already mentally on to the next thing. I think my future self will appreciate the memories.
I feel like talking about 2017 without talking about the U.S. in 2017 is ignoring the huge elephant in the room. The state of our government has me all kinds of uncomfortable and I'm worried. I want to know things, but not be so inundated by it that I have to bury my head in the sand. I want to have informed opinions for myself if nothing else and stop enclosing myself in a space where everyone agrees with me simply because it's more comfortable. I still want to be wrong about the President-Elect, but two months later, things aren't looking so good.
So - cheers to the new year, twelve days in. I'm off to make good on my promise and put the electronics down in favor of a book. Future Lauren promises to tell you all about it.
Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff and Things.