In these waning days of 2018 I feel it’s important to reflect on the year that is passing. It’s of equal import to consider the new year that is about to commence.
In my life, 2018 has been a year of transition. It was the year I decided to step off the hamster wheel and leave the rat race. I made the decision to pursue a life where I will decide the terms of success and happiness in direct opposition with the common viewpoints of society. This year I decided to redefine my ‘American Dream.’
2018 was also the year I stopped flailing around in the universe. I have recognized my dream, which is a huge piece that has been missing from my life. That dream has given me purpose. My purpose has helped me to create goals and shape habits. I now have a vision, unlike my past self, who just wandered aimlessly.
2018 was also the year I redefined money. I am constantly learning to differentiate necessity from desire. 2018 was the year I made the conscious choice to stop being financially well-to-do, to begin a journey of becoming spiritually and emotionally well. I believe this ongoing journey will bring me far greater riches than any money can purchase me.
This year I stopped saying I want to volunteer and I started regularly doing it. Through volunteering I am able to spend more time with my daughter and my wife. I am also becoming more connected with my community as a whole.
In 2018 I decided to place my family above my own desires. I have made efforts to accept my own selfishness. I am moving to become a better person, father, and husband. I stopped pretending my family was the reason I worked those long hours or needed to acquire all the money I had chased before.
This change is perhaps the most difficult one I undertook. I still slip into my old habits of selfishness. I still have failures of communicating effectively and, at times, at all. There are still many times where I get lost in thought or distracted and stop listening, much to my detriment.
In congruence to these transitions and personal improvements I’ve seen much failure in 2018 as well. Failure has been with me in both large and small portions. It is waiting to catch me slipping, so it can laugh in my face.
I’ve learned to laugh right back with failures. I celebrate them as learning experiences that become added strength, resiliency, and intelligence.
I will carry 2018 forward as a special year I am unlikely to forget any time soon.
So what’s in store for 2019?
2019 will be the year I plan to truly move past my self-centered position to one where I consider others first. I humbly admit this is one of my major character flaws.
I will ask first what I can do for others. I plan to give before taking. I will concern myself with others’ perspectives and use empathy to argue less. I will aim to become more agreeable and cooperative.
In 2019 I plan to continue to learn. Whenever it is possible, I will teach others who have a desire to learn and acquire knowledge as well. It’s said the best way to learn is by teaching. I believe this to be true.
I will increase my actions in environmental stewardship as well in 2019. I will continue to look for more ways to reduce my consumption. When I must consume I will aim to do so through sustainable means and with renewable energy. I will encourage my daughter and nieces and nephew to do the same because they are the guardians of the future.
My future is bright. Through writing, reading, and listening in 2018 I have begun a journey down a path I plan to stay on for the rest of my life.
There have been and will always be bumps in the road, but that is no different than it has ever been before. I just decided to take control of my life and become a better version of myself.
Now I am equipped to sustain my happiness and sense of contentment. I am also able to control and quell my periods of depression and anxiety. I can keep them fewer and farther apart.
I have faith in the power of goodness. I believe in the value of serving others; not just from a reciprocal position, but truly from a “the universe takes care of things” kind of way.
As the sun sets on 2018 and day breaks on 2019 I have clear eyes and mind. I am grateful and humbled. I know that in 2019 I will be okay, even in those moments that I am not okay.