new year, more rambling, and the happiness jar

I’m not the type to hyperbolize the past. 2013 was just like a year usually is–there were ups and downs. But, because it’s my life, it could easily be described as simply steady. There were some important points, of course, some of which I’m now remembering off the top of my head: OneRepublic’s new album, Native, was released (and here I’ll refrain from whining about how Counting Stars is only getting popular just now); I vacationed in London, with my family, which was definitely a unique trip; I enjoyed the best August I’ve ever experienced; and I started a club with a fellow nerdfighter at school, signing up more than twice as many people as expected.

Now it’s 2014. Like other New Year’s enthusiasts, I’ve gotten a little swept up in trying to construct the year ahead of me in lists. God, I have so many lists. Lists of what to do, what to eat, what to think about. (I mean things like spending, not… not, like, “well, now I should think about tying my shoes or anything like that. Seriously.) School started up again last week, and now that I’ve settled on two English Lit courses, I also have a long booklist, too.

I realize that as the month goes by (notice “month” is singular) I’ll slowly lose my passion for self-improvement, but I’ve come to terms with it. Some people are so cynical about New Year’s resolutions, but if you set realistic, active goals for yourself–i.e. ones you can begin right away and work on regularly–what’s so bad about not making it to the end of the year? At least you worked towards it for a little while. The percentage of people who follow through with their resolutions for the entire year is so low that it’s a given that you probably won’t with yours. If you do, that’s great, but if you don’t?

Say this year you’re like most people and you’re set on getting fit. You work out all of January, February, and March. Then you start to peter off… but is it reason enough to not bother with the same resolution next year? Or even several months from now? Of course ultimately you’ve failed your resolution, and you should feel disappointed in yourself. But at least you did workout for those three months. Something is better than nothing. At least you tried. Y’know, “you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take,” and “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default,” etc. etc. — Gretzky & Rowling.

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing — trying. I’m off to an okay start.

Can I just say that January is a terrible month, though? Despite it representing a fresh start, it’s totally miserable weather-wise. Yes, the rest of North America is freezing over, but here in Vancouver it’s raining. All the time. It’s dark, it’s cold, and it’s soggy. I mean, it’s Vancouver, so you expect the rain, but it doesn’t do much for anyone’s mood. One of my resolutions is to have a year of firsts, but as I sit here on my bed, surfing tumblr and typing out a blog post, listening to the rain hit the windowpane, I’m actually lamenting the fact that to do new things I’m going to have to leave my house.

I miiiight be in a bit of a rut.

Not that I should complain. It’s up to me to get out of it. And I will. By doing new things. [Silently clenches fist and looks dramatically up into the sky, squinting at where the sun should be.]

I’m going to do new things and I’m going to get better at curling my hair. I’m going to eat healthier, keep track of my spending, and write on this blog more.

And I’ve added a new resolution recently, although it’s not so much a resolution as it is a good habit. My friend Christy mentioned it in a message recently, and I thought it was such a good idea. It’s kind of like those cheesy tumblr pictures you see while sifting through your dash, but the basic principle is cute and I know it’s the sort of thing that might help put a smile on my face in the future. The practice is this: every day, write down something good that happened onto a scrap piece of paper and put it in a jar. That way you remember to be grateful and have a way to immortalize (ish) moments of happiness. And imagine the feeling you get when you see a jar full of good things!

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And while it’s a couple of days away, I already know one good thing that’ll be going in the jar: Wednesday night is dinner at the French Table with Anatolia and friends. I CAN’T WAIT!

–Miriam

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