By chance, my birthday falls at the tail end of the year.
The last time I remember wanting to be an age forever, I was sixteen. Well, actually, I was newly 17, hiding in my bed hoping to avoid the garish numeral now tacked alongside my identity. My friend came bearing polar bear-shaped frosted sugar cookies and we stayed nestled in my bedroom oasis, binge-watching Friends, until my mother came to coax me out to a celebratory dinner. And that was it. My life as I knew it was over. I didn’t want to be 18. I didn’t want to be 19 or 20 or the godforsaken 21. I stumbled through birthdays year after year, hoping my friends would forget them, trying not to celebrate the passage of time. There were other things that marked my lifetime. Studying abroad, graduating college, deaths of loved ones, moving to a new city. Birthdays; what are they good for anyway?
And then I woke up suddenly and I was 25. I was reminded that my birthday coincides with the end of the year and subsequently the beginning of a new year. I already felt a tug of wantingness for the new year, like it will be MY YEAR. The Breakout Kid. The Bad Kid Breakout Kid. I’m calling it: Year 25. When I made the move to California, it came with many inspiring thoughts and ideas, but the magic wore off quickly when logistical complications set in. How was I going to make money? Where were we going to live? How long would we live there? Should I see a therapist? How often should I make it to the beach? Or go hiking? Why did I leave my family and friends, again? The newness of “figuring it all out” overtook me and I succumbed to it. Not in a negative way, per se. I was adamant about “getting my shit together” so I could feel stable enough to utilize my free time to try out new hobbies, rekindle old ones, and take advantage of this new path in life. And now, those things are fulfilled, and playtime can begin!
Year 25 is for Sridaiva, beaches, local travel, some not-so-local travel, new hobbies, good books, and taking action. I am no longer going to be afraid of my future. I will let go of my food insecurity and money insecurity and latch onto adventure and having enough. I won’t make excuses. I will first try, and then try again, and if necessary, try something else. I’ve spent too much of my short life saying I wasn’t ready for x, y, and z. I don’t know that I’m any more prepared, but the zing in my heart is a new element that wasn’t there before or hasn’t been there in a long time. The things that hold me back are only my things; my ruminations and self-depreciation and unwillingness to forgive. I’ve felt the good vibes creeping in for quite some time now, but I think it really hit me on my birthday this year, and even more so on day one of Year 25. I’m ready to break the chains that keep me bound to my demons, use my hands more, create something in which to take pride, live with more inspired generosity and kindness, and spring forward into my future.
Here are some simple questions I am contemplating as I set my intentions for Year 25, and some small to-dos that can start to steer you in the right direction.
TOPIC: Health, Money, Business, Employment, Hobbies, etc
GOAL: What would I like to manifest / bring to fruition this year?
FIRST STEP: What can I do today to begin working toward my goal?
MILESTONES/DEADLINES: When shall I complete the goal? When shall I complete the first step? What might big next steps / mini-goals look like and when should they be completed?
POSITIVE ENERGY / INTENTION: Why am I pursuing this goal? What will it bring to my life? How can I remain focused, engaged, and optimistic about my goal despite any challenges?
- Create a weekly schedule and, just as you would mark in time for work, exercise, and events, mark time for keeping up with the budget, exploring new hobbies, and little things to help you reach your goals (like batch cooking, blogging, journaling, meditating, etc)
- Clear out your physical space to help clear your mental space: It’s catching on, but why? Minimalism is not just an interior design format; it’s a way of life. If you are less cluttered and attached to things at home, you can free up mental space to spend time dreaming, creating, playing, and less time stressing over poor exhibitions of physical labors (i.e. spilt milk). On New Years Eve, as part of my cleansing ritual, I spent time reorganizing my closet. It meant two trips to the store to figure out exactly what I needed, spending money I had been talking myself out of spending for a long time, and pressuring myself to remain economical while in the store. Once the project was complete, however, I could breathe a huge sigh of cleaning-induced relief. I no longer had to fret about what was behind that closet door. One physical change like that may help me clear out my mental demons and unforgiving ruminations on the past.
- Post-holiday cleanse: I’m not trying to steer everyone toward a juice cleanse post-holiday festivities. Particularly in the ayurvedic tradition, cleansing in the light, dry, VATA time of year isn’t necessarily beneficial to your overall wellbeing. But we can simplify our diets. Warming soups with small sides of protein, green smoothies, warm elixirs, and water water water are a great place to start. Personally, I’m on a sugar cleanse, so I’m even keeping the fruits at bay. It’s all greens and vegetables over here.
- Take some time off from planning. This is a big one for me, since I love to plan and will always be planning until it’s time to actually do something, which of course I’ve likely procrastinated due to all the planning. It’s nice to lose myself in a project, book, movie, or culinary venture. I always seem to put planning and cleaning above actually doing and living, so this year my intention is to get to the action part a little quicker. I’m planning to not plan. Classic Bre.