2017’s first week has officially come to an end. Seeing as I stuffed myself silly with Indian junk food, met up with some of my oldest friends and ate some more junk food, and then slept it all off, most of this week, it is safe to say that it has been gooood. It occurs to me that I should probably write a new year post. None of my “resolutions” have ever actually worked out in the past, so instead of resolutions I am just making a list of things I’ll do differently this year (pingback to Sanchie at Living My Imperfect Life for this idea!).
Okay so let’s see.
I’ll be kinder with myself.
2016 was a …weird year for me. It brought the highest of highs (travel and experiences like never before!), and the lowest of lows (no job, no creative inspiration, mental health issues hitting an all time low). While my highs brought me an unparalleled gratitude for life, my lows made me critique myself like I never have. I generally tend to be much tougher on myself than I should be, and I am rarely 100% happy with something I do. I acknowledge my efforts as good, sometimes even better than others, but it is never good enough. I overthink everything, and I overanalyze everything, and always always end up blaming myself for something that did not go as expected. I am quick to praise my friends for their achievements but I rarely give myself a pat on my back for a job well done. I have always done what I liked, but I never stop expecting moremoremore out of myself and in the process burn out without even realizing that I am doing so.
I think a lot of us do this exact same thing with ourselves. A lot of us forget to give ourselves a break even though we are willing to quickly do this for others. So here I am, trying to fix it. I am going to try and stop myself whenever I find myself unintentionally indulging in this toxic behavior, and choose to do better by myself. 🙂
Just keep swimming.
The “I will lose weight this year” new year resolution has never worked for me. I fall off the wagon every time, and most of the times it is because my heart is just not into it. It is a combination of laziness, and not having found the kind of exercise that I genuinely enjoy doing. I was never fond of the whole treadmill-spin-weights exercise routine. I have never run / jogged in my life and find it extremely awkward to start now. The only thing that came close to a workout that I truly enjoyed was Zumba, because of my eternal love for dance. But between the move and the brutal east coast winters that make it impossible to walk anywhere approximately 6 months of the year, I fell off the wagon there as well. And then I (re)discovered swimming. 🙂
The guy and I took a swim class (yes apparently adult swimming lessons are a thing in USA, very popular haha), before our Iceland trip. We wanted to snorkel and the guide company specified that we should “know how to swim and be comfortable in a large body of water”. We decided to take this crash course, because neither of us had swam in close to a decade and a half and we really did not fancy accidentally drowning in a foreign country. 😛 By the end of the month swimming had turned into our favorite end of the day de-stressor. Swimming is therapeutic for me and helps me calm down much faster than anything else I have tried so far. The forced breathe in breathe out motion, and the disconnect from the rest of the world when you are swimming endless laps in a pool, can be liberating.
I am convinced a lot of our success with swimming is to do with the fact that we have a “buddy” in each other. I am excited to making swimming a part of my everyday routine this year.
Let things take their course.
..instead of obsessing about why things aren’t going where I want them to, and why they aren’t slotting perfectly into my grand “life plan” like a jigsaw puzzle. Right now, it looks like I am sitting with 5 different jigsaw puzzles, with several pieces missing, there is total chaos and I have no fucking idea where to even begin trying to sort this out. In my obsession to get everything working according to plan (I hate hate hate being out of sorts with life, I hate not knowing whats up and when, and I hate working without plans), I have forgotten to enjoy the occasional serendipitous turn of events. I will let go of plans and just go where my heart takes me this year, instead of spending a humongous amount of time worrying and wallowing about things that are not going according to plan. Plans are overrated anyway right? 🙂
I am a serial hoarder. I am the human version of the Niffler, who keeps accumulating shiny things without abandon. Except these aren’t always shiny things. Sometimes these are pointless and ugly things and add no value to my life. 😐 I accumulate people and their opinions, hang on to memories and remarks, pick up activities that I do not necessarily enjoy but are merely a means for to switch off my mind and go into a sleep slate.
I have finally reached an awkward state of happiness (acceptance?) about my own personal self, my hopes and dreams, and I have been lucky to have a great support system around me. I am slowly getting rid of things in my mind, life and general social circle that no longer contribute to the kind of life I want to live. We carry so much dead weight around – in form of toxic people, negative relationships, things from the past that have no significance on our future, activities that waste our time – not realizing how much easier we could breathe, and how much better off we would be without them. So. I will declutter.
Become more involved in things that matter to me.
I have always been the activist. It gives me the greatest joy to try and fix the world in whatever small way I can. I know it will never be enough, and I know that in the long run it probably does not even matter. 2017 started off fantastic with my foster application coming through after weeks of waiting. I will always be rescuing and caring for animals no matter where I go and how old I get, so I am excited to jump into this after a year long gap! 🙂
The second day of 2017 also unexpectedly made me a board member with a South Asian LGBTQ+ group in NYC, a role I am determined to go full throttle with. As an out bisexual woman married to a man, I haven’t always found acceptance among my Indian LGBTQ+ circles (funnily no straight person has treated me with disrespect… yet), and while I was an active voice for equal rights, I always wanted to do more. Bisexuals of all genders face a lot of judgement and discrimination, especially from within the community and if you happen to be in an opposite sex relationship.
One of the many reasons why I love NYC is how I felt right at home with this this group and the city’s thriving LGBTQ+ community. There is a rich history and culture here that is carefully cultivated and encouraged, in a way I have never seen before. Makes me long for a similar environment in India, but that is a long way from where things stand currently. Obviously, homophobes exist everywhere and there have been a couple of sour incidents in USA as well, but the overall vibe has been the happy sort of overwhelming. I am excited and hopeful of all the amazing things I will be a part of and will work on. The thought of marching in the biggest Pride on the planet this year makes me sooooo giddy! 😀 #DesiPride, forever. 🙂
.. so that is it from my end. What about you? Is there anything you’d like to do differently in 2017? 🙂