Instead of writing about Christmas or Winter this month, I’d like to look ahead to New Year’s. Most people end up on one of 2 sides regarding New Year’s Resolutions. You have the people on one side waiting eagerly with their glass of champagne for the clock to strike midnight, wistfully hoping for a snowfall and a midnight kiss to make the magic exceptional, then wake up the next morning hitting the gym and calling that sister they haven’t seen in years; checking off those New Year’s resolutions. And on the other side you have people (like my husband) who think ‘eh, one night doesn’t change anything. The calendar is just a way to organize time.’ These people feel that they see very clearly the flaws in making new goals (that will inevitably be forgotten) once a year just because of tradition.
I can definitely understand the point of view of the Realist and the Romantic in this situation. I think that I fall somewhere in between. That being said, I am a committed Resolution-Writer. And I hope I always will be.
It started when I was a teenager. I would sit down and write a list of all the fun things I wanted to do the next year, because life was still such a mystery at that time. I couldn’t see a year ahead any better than I could time travel. My list would contain things like “Take a Train Ride”, “Visit Chicago”, “Write a Song”, “figure out what I want to study in college”, etc. 10 years later, I have still never been to Chicago, and my list is more realistic than to contain vacations I know I can’t afford or don’t have time for with my 2 little boys. The purpose of my New Year’s list now functions like a mental time capsule. It gives me the opportunity to look back and see how I have changed in a year, how my hopes and fears have been challenged, how I spend my time, what sort of things get prioritized over other things. My New Year’s list is essential to my understanding of myself, helps me to stay aware of my goals when the monotonous aspects of life are rolling along. I will look at that list and remember that I wanted to read 4 books this year so I will sit down to read instead of turning on the tv one night. And then reading will become a steady and beloved hobby again, making me a better person.
Today, I look at my 2016 list and I feel proud of the way I handled this year’s curve balls. I followed through with my plan to regularly practice Yoga during my pregnancy. And even though my birth experience was not what I expected, my commitment to my health enabled a smooth recovery. There are some things on my list that i didn’t accomplish, but I see that as insight into myself rather than a failure. Last December, my husband and I were self-studying violin together so I have on my list to “Be able to play my violin etude all the way through”. Somewhere around February, I stopped working on that Etude, but it’s not because I gave up or quit. Playing the violin here and there (very poorly, I might add) gave me a different perspective on music, which in turn reignited my love and appreciation for my primary instrument, the Piano. So while I am not able to play my little beginner violin etude, I am able to play 2 more Chopin Nocturnes and I am working on a Bach Fugue as well.
The actual day of the New Year is not very magical for me. My husband marches in a parade every year, so we have not shared a New Year’s kiss on midnight since before we were married. But the start of the New Year holds a special place in my heart. I look forward to writing my expectations of myself with my little sister over Skype, then hang the list on the wall to glance at here and there throughout the year.
And since I can’t leave you without a Repertoire list, here is a short running playlist. Why running? Well in October, I started trying to reach my running goals for the year, and on Thanksgiving I ran my first 5k EVER! I’m beyond proud of myself for this one. And since I don’t have a jogging stroller, I only run once a week when my husband is home. It has become a cherished alone time I look forward to. I turn on my Spotify-generated playlist and keep myself entertained by discovering new songs. So here are a bunch of songs I wrote down after my runs that I enjoyed listening to for the first time. Enjoy!
Impossible – Lion Babe
Give Me All Your Lovin – Madonna
I’ll Fly Away – Flatfoot 56
Dirty Harry – Grace
Knock You Down – Keri Hilson
Brother (Feat. Gavin DeGraw) – NEEDTOBREATH
Still Breathing – Green Day
If you are disappointed by the lack of Christmas music on this post, check out our Winter Songs post from last winter.