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STORIES FROM PATINA MEADOW
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STORIES FROM PATINA MEADOW

A NEW OUTLOOK FOR A NEW YEAR

It’s a new year, which has come to mean many things, but the thing that stands out the most to me is setting New Year's resolutions. 


I stepped away from New Year's resolutions a long time ago. While I think they can be helpful to get a grasp on the steering wheel if you’ve veered off course, to me, that was not the result. 


Image by Kate Dearman

On January 1st, I would make a promise to myself to be “better”, to work “harder”, and to become the person I was “meant to be” on this year’s journey around the sun. 


I would then spend the next 11 months and 30 days with their loftiness hanging over my head as I impatiently attempted to change my very character. 


Image by Kate Dearman

Rather than serving as motivation, I found the idea of carving goals into stone on the first day of the year quite overwhelming. Each resolution served as a reminder that I could always be doing more, that I could always be more. With each passing year, the goals would stack up.  I would complete some, weaving more helpful habits into my tapestry of life, but others would sit, and still do sit, gathering dust on the shelf in my mind.  Rather than focusing on the small ways I improved myself over a year, I would pontificate on how I could have done more. 


Image by Kate Dearman

When I got older I began to distance myself from the holiday of New Year's, ditching the cultural phenomenon of a new year for a personal celebration of a new day with each rising sun. This abandoning of yearly resolutions made room for the creation of attainable daily goals, and chances for me to make more of everyday moments rather than a hasty demand to make more of myself.


Image by Kate Dearman

Instead of seeing myself as a problematic appliance that needed a thorough inspection and system update every 365 days, I started seeing myself as an ever-evolving human being who didn’t always need to be more than she was. While I still make time to think about long-term goals,  it is no longer an act of self-mutilation, but rather an act of self-appreciation, an exciting chance to dream. 


Image by Kate Dearman

There are still moments where I find my mind mulling over the ways I haven’t done enough during a year. Still, rather than focusing on my perceived shortcomings, I turn my attention to the abundance of beauty and opportunity that lies in every moment, not just midnight on January 1st.  


Image by Kate Dearman

I hope this post inspired you to give yourself some grace, to take a step back to see how far you've come and not how far you feel you still have left to go. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


I look forward to connecting more with you all this year.


xx

Brooke




10 Comments


So good to hear from you!

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I agree wholeheartedly. I used to beat myself up if I didn’t achieve whatever lofty goals I set; now on New Years I remember all the growth and time spent with friends and family over the last year. I then ponder what good things will happen in the New Year! Happy New Year to you and your family!

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I do appreciate how you express yourself and I am encouraged to address the new year in the way you have decided. Each new day is a gift and we can learn something new every single day. I find comfort in nature and meditating on the goodness of God in my 70 years. Thank you for sharing with us!

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Thanks Brooke.

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Thank you so much for this. It’s the encouragement I needed today. Blessings

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