I know it sounds cliche but I genuinely cannot believe an entire year – 12 months! – has passed. Last year, I wrote out my themes for 2019 and shared them here as a way to document them and hold myself accountable. This helped as I went back a few times in the year to remind myself what intentions I had set for the year. Before writing about my goals for 2020, I wanted to spend some time reflecting on my previous goals.
My first theme in 2019 was balance. While I believe that all of my 2019 goals are lifelong ones, this one in particular is definitely one that I will keep working on moving forward. This year, I had a lot of change in my life and keeping focus of what matters most in those times of change has helped me become more balanced. A consistent nighttime and morning time routine still eludes me but in absence of that sort of balance, I discovered that no matter how hectic life could be, I could always be grounded. This also relates to the second theme of evanescence because in these moments, I remembered that this life is temporary and what seems impossible today will soon be forgotten and replaced by another seemingly impossible challenge. I’m fortunate enough that my stressors tend to generally be ones that are fleeting but even in those moments where it seemed like nothing would ever be normal again, remembering that life is temporary and momentary was soothing.
In 2019, I also made an effort to become more determined and work my hardest. As a perfectionist, I have trouble differentiating between doing my best and doing the best which has made it difficult for me to be satisfied with my efforts. But by focusing on why I am doing something, I rediscovered the joy in doing things that are purpose-driven and as a result, I became more satisfied with my end results. I have also realized that just because a deadline has come doesn’t mean it has to be the end of what I have been working on. I can come back to it later and continue to build and improve on it without the external pressure.
Finally, my last theme of 2019 was learning. This past year was one where I actively went seeking new knowledge, wherever it may be. I’ve had conversations with friends, strangers, and acquaintances that have reminded me that each and every person in this world has their own unique knowledge based on their perspective. In addition to this, I’ve continued my formal learning as part of my masters degree and did a lot of learning at my workplace. Moving forward, I want to listen, read, and write more to continue my learning journey.
So, in 2020 and into the new decade, I will build on the themes above while focusing on the following three themes:
- Consistency: I will strive to become more consistent in the practices that are important to me in order to work towards a more balanced life.
- Mindfulness: I will be more consciousness of the things I consume, whether they be the food I eat, the things I wear, or the things I read, watch and listen to.
- Experience: I will make a conscious effort to experience new things and give them a chance before closing the door. I will become more receptive and open, each and every day.
The 2010s have brought me joy and heartache, success and failure, but above all this past decade has taught me the power of being self-reflective. I’m still working on incorporating this self-reflection into my photography but having this blog and documenting my thoughts and the things that bring me joy has been extremely helpful. So, thank you to those that have come along this journey with me. Whether you are new or have been here for a while, I am grateful for your support and kindness.
Happy New Year and New Decade and I hope you stay tuned for more to come! 🙂
“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland
This winter was challenging in some ways but rewarding in others. I finished my second semester of graduate school (!!!) and my part-time job which was such a good feeling, but I let the stress of it all get to me. I’m pretty hard on myself because of my perfectionist tendencies, but one of the things I’ve come to learn over time is that true growth takes time. I’m on a lifelong mission to have inner peace and if I look at where I am now compared to where I was last year, I’m definitely making some progress towards that goal. But I have a long way to go.
Winter 2019 showed me that when faced with what feels like impossible tasks, I can – for the most part – keep my cool and look at the bigger picture. Like the quote above says, no winter (or challenge) lasts forever and no spring (or reward) skips its turn.
Goodbye Winter 2019, and thank you for all that you brought my way.
Alternative title(s): An ode to a less busy life, An anti-hustle lifestyle, When did everyone get so busy?, and Am I the only one tired of being sick and tired?!
Where has the year gone? It’s almost March which means that Spring and Summer aren’t too far off. And to think, that’s the way time goes. I’ve been thinking of time a lot lately and my relation to it as an individual and our relation to it as a society.
We live in a go-go-go, dog eat dog world where “the early bird gets the worm” and “sleep is for the weak” are common mantras and descriptors of the society we live in today. From an early age we are taught to embrace busy culture and hustle until we’re dead. I don’t know about you but this doesn’t sit well with me.
It’s not that I don’t like to work hard (I’m convinced that I’m at my best when my plate is slightly overloaded) but that I don’t think this is the best way to live a life. Being busy shouldn’t be a badge of honour and the default to the question “how are you?” shouldn’t be “I’m busy” with a sigh. Sure, there are times when being busy is unavoidable. Maybe you started a new job and are trying to settle into a new city at the same time. Maybe you are a new parent and any semblance of normalcy has temporarily been thrown out the window. But for others – including myself – we don’t need to be that busy. We can take a breather and slash some things off of our to-do lists, forever.
I’ll be the first to own up to the fact that this is easier said than done. But recognizing that this is not the way of life you want to adhere to is a good first step. I’ve taken some other steps to ensure that my non-work time is protected and I am actively working on filling this time with things that bring me joy such as taking a solo photowalk, catching up with friends, and reading or writing. These are the activities that I know will bring a smile to my face years down the road when I reflect on how I spent this time. Staying up past 2am to pump out one last email, not so much.