I went to lunch today with two 28-year-olds who had such a youthful view of life, it was actually infectious.
One just broke up with her long-distance boyfriend, the other is in the middle of growing her business. Both stressful — and neither situation sounded appealing to me.
And yet, over pork jowls and bowls of pho, they laughed and joked, declaring, “New year, new me!”
I couldn’t help but smile.
It’s been quite a tumultuous year, it seems, for a lot of people. People have been posting things like, “Can’t wait for this year to end” and “It’s been the darkest year of my life” on social media as the year has been winding down.
It’s made me reflect on my own year.
Turns out, it wasn’t exactly the best year for me, either. I started it off with a kidney infection that kept me in a hospital room for almost a week. I ditched a regular paycheck — and benefits — to freelance full time. I struggled with friendships that started to change and evolve. I had my wallet stolen in Greece and had my credit card comprised three different times. I’ve spent more money fixing my car than it’s worth. I’ve lost photos on my phone, worried about my sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer, and euthanized our pet chicken.
I think that all qualifies for a status update along the lines of, “2014 pretty much sucked.”
But I kept thinking about the positive attitude of my two young friends, who looked at this new year with such expectant optimism.
And in order to look forward with such a sunny outlook, you have to reflect in that way, too.
Sure, this year was crazy. I can honestly say I’ve never been more stressed, more anguished, or more frustrated than in 2014.
But look at what else has happened: I traveled to Europe twice, I’ve met some pretty inspiring people, I’ve written more than I ever thought possible. I attended my first writers’ conference, landed a gig on a morning show, and delved into aquaponics and sustainable farming. I’ve seen friends get engaged, get married, buy homes, start businesses, get pregnant, give birth, send their children off to college. I’ve surfed and hiked and even rode a horse. And above all, I met — and married — a guy who inspires me to be a better person.
That’s really not too bad.
So my New Year’s resolution? It’s pretty easy. I’m going to just be happy. I’m not going to dwell on the negatives — easier said than done, of course — and try to focus on all the wonderfulness in this world.
It’s a new year, but the same me — just with a new attitude.
Happy 2015, everyone! And I hope you all find your happiness this year, too!