Gratuity: Ending One Year for a New.

by Dori Nicole

It seems only a natural occurrence that at the years end most of us tend to reflect upon the year as a whole. For the past 2 years I’ve been having an overwhelming sense of gratitude at the mark of the end of the year which in turn leads to an eventual spike in my optimism at the start of a new year. This spike of optimism is almost like the starting line of a race for me. Looking around, planning a strategy and bam! the gun fires and you take off. All of the nerves created by waiting for the go signal eventually goes away and your eye is on the prize, executing your strategy and meeting unexpected and sometimes devastating road blocks with deep breaths and meditation. Sometimes. Well, you try your best.

This year, I feel, is the 2nd good year I’ve had in a row. Three and more years ago I never felt as if I had any good years. I felt my life was miserable for absolutely no reason at all other than I wasn’t, at the time, in a healthy state of mind. And, two years ago, as I found myself truly appreciating all that life had offered me over the course of the ending years, it led me to appreciate all of the good and bad things that were to come my way in the New Year. I knew that if it was to become a “bad” year for me, at least I had a great year before it, at least I started the new year with complete gratitude and optimism and at least I will end that year becoming a stronger person in whichever way life chose to challenge me.

While there are so Many Blogs and Vlogs going around about some of my favorite topics : New Year Resolutions, What 2014 taught them, Goals, and reflections, it only seems natural for me to, once again, put myself out there and come forth with my own for my lovely readers if any of you are remotely interested, read on:

1.) This year I learned that no person ever “grows up”. While I was spending so much of my life obsessing over adulthood and wanting nothing more but to make it there then finally being 25 and feeling like I am still just a kid who is working and paying bills. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I “grow up” when the entire idea of growing up is all a myth and fallacy. We are all just children in aging bodies.

2.) At the beginning of 2014 I set a few goals, which I am proud to say I completed (mostly… I’ll elaborate) : With my new job out of culinary school I was excited to have money again and to save. I wanted to end the year with a specific amount of money. I also wanted to purchase a DSLR, a MacBook Pro,my annual birthday trip and my passport, huh, finally. All of these were big purchases for me so to complete all of this and save, it forced me to learn and be crucial on budgeting my money. I didn’t want to work two jobs again ever in my life so spending wisely while still getting some fun in there was one of the most important learning experiences of my life. So I almost failed on getting my passport. It is December 29,2014 and I just submitted an order online. So I kind of failed since I wont complete the process until we are already into the new year, but nevertheless I started it (finally). Before buying it I was struggling with should I complete this goal and fail at my savings goal for the year  or just wait a week… petty, I know. So I began my passport process and fell short of my savings goal by $126 . Buuut, I also chucked whatever coins I got back after paying in cash over the year into a jar and never used it, vowing to cash it in at the start of 2015. Its full, a smaller jar, but about 16oz full of coins so seeing how much accumulated is something I’m looking forward to,

3. This year I had to reevaluate what it is I wanted from my life and I was grateful to find at the end of the year that complete contentment comes from within me.  I had to figure out how and why I had suddenly reached a place of such happiness and contentment despite the imperfections of my life and it was as if I finally learned to not be so damn attached to things. Attached to my past, my future, my present. Attached to outcomes and what if’s. What should’s.

What got to me was looking back at how unhappy I had been for most of my life and how today I can’t even remember what it was that used to bother me so much. This helped me see that focusing so much on the negativity completely shields my eyes from all of the blessings around me. It’s a miracle that I am even living life and witnessing it. So much more good happens than the bad.

This year, I believe the biggest lesson I learned was that even if my life does not go according to my own plans and my own visions, it does not mean that I won’t be happy. It does not mean that I am on the wrong path and have to constantly figure out my next move and stress out over it. I simply have to gauge my happiness level despite all of the external forces upon it that I can’t always control. I can’t be so attached because, in reality, every moment passes. Eventually, the things that are causing so much stress wont even matter.

This year ended with what matters most to me: a stable, happy, healthy home life. This is what I am the most grateful for. I realized that I was chasing the wrong things. Things I didn’t want but thought I SHOULD have. Things that I felt I was entitled to and this caused me to slowly sacrifice my peace. It caused somewhat of a darkness in my spirit to rise this year and eventually, all of this negativity caused more negative things to come my way until I corrected it, healed what I felt I should sacrifice and instead I chose home, over work.

Sometimes we all can get lost into work and everything that comes with it because we spend so much of our lives there that suddenly, that drama and those politics can really get to you. It can be hard to snap out of it and realize that you already have it good and that everything you are being told to strive for just isn’t for YOU. I simply wasn’t willing to sacrifice that much more time and energy and take that away from what was even more important to me. I saw that in order to get what it was I was being told to strive for, and to reach for, I would have to completely change everything that makes me me. All of my values would have to go out the door, all of my other aspirations would have to be put on hold.

This is my day off epiphany apparently.

It’s possible to just enjoy what I do but to keep things as they are until I find what I want. That will come eventually, hopefully.

Ok! Goals for 2015:

1.) ive been eating about 90% vegan and i feel this is the best thing gor me and i plan to continue. I realize im not at that place where i want to be strict vegan to where im avoiding cheese, eggs etc. I eat vegan mostly but im not going to shoot myself in the head whenever i have a vegetarian pizza or eggs with my french toast . Cage free and organic because they taste best.

2.) I’m inspired by my new lifestyle change to workout again and meditate more often. Ive always been into health and fitness but apparently took an entire year off from working out always saying ill work out “tomorrow” or the weekend that never came. Im purchasing a gym membership at the start of the year because it is what i miss and what motivates me. It gets me out of the house, opens me up to new people and experiences hopefully, inspiration from other motivated people. Plus, I seem to have more motivation when I know im paying for something. Im putting my money where my mouth is! Theres work to be done. I definitely dont need to lose weight, im 126 lbs but my muscle definition and energy levels are what i want back. Along with just another activity to add to my daily routine.

I want to join a yoga studio as well this coming year. Hopefully having that in my routine with add an extra boost to my mental , spiritual and physical health. Im always striving for balance and a full life and i believe this is what i need at this point on my journey.

3.)Repeat my savings and budgeting practices and goals including saving all coins in a lovely jar.

4.) i want to travel to a place that will change my life for the better. A place that will reignite any passion or zest for life that i may lose this year. A place that will reconnect me with the earth and life as a whole. A place that will remind me of the true reason I am here.

5.) I want to begin vlogging and continue to blog on a consistent basis. This is a big deal that i have been struggling with for years but i promise, guys, that I am getting over myself.

To all my of readers, i am so amazed by how many of you are supporting this blog after only a short period. This blog is very young so I am both surprised and amazed that so many of you have chosen to support it already! I would love to eventually connect with you all and hear about your resolutions and relections.

Cheers to another fantastic year!

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