author: quinn bell | a&c writer
Trash New Year’s is trash / Pixabay
Changes are a-coming
It seems it’s that time of the year to make changes. The earth has circled yet again around the sun, and it’s a symbolic time to want to improve ourselves. Or, at least it’s the time of year to say we want to, to maybe go to the gym a few times in January. Everyone knows New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep, but why?
We’re trying to do too much. So many New Year’s resolutions are about getting busier and better, as fast as possible. Some want to learn guitar and master Spanish, some plan on getting ripped or beating their 2018 bench press weight, some vow to make more money and score high 80s on all their exams. Some want to do all of this and more. These are great goals, and I applaud people who can commit and see these through, whatever the time of year.
But do we really have the time and energy to do all these things? I don’t know many people who can balance acing their uni courses, working part-time, eating healthy, reading the Carillon weekly [EIC’s note: now that’s a plug!], hitting the gym, tending to the garden, seeing friends, and learning a new language, all while getting a good eight hours of sleep and being nice to mum! Doing the math, even if you sleep only seven hours per night, you’ve already used up two days of your week. Considering this, we can’t reasonably commit to a bunch of new things in the new year. If anyone knows the secret, I’d love to hear it.
Resolutions are pointless if we can’t enjoy our self-improvements. If you can’t stop and notice all the amazing changes you’ve made because you’re constantly running from place to place, it isn’t worth the stress. And rushing through everything will keep you from achieving anything truly significant: your Spanish will be una mierda if you only get to study on the bus to school, and you definitely won’t be the nicest you could be to your mum if you don’t get enough sleep.
Maybe what we need to do this New Year is slow down. We’re always told to say yes, but we need to learn to say no, too. Give yourself more time to be grateful for what you have. Breathe freely and deeply. Smile more. Take some time from your day to take care of yourself, to tend to your mental health, to really focus on what you’re doing. Walk half the speed you usually do: you’re always running to catch the bus or to make it to your class. When we do too much, it’s difficult to be grateful for what we have. When everything has a sense of urgency to it, it’s hard to relax even when we find a moment between commitments.
It’s a good thing to want to improve yourself in 2019, but you’re going too quickly. Slow down this year and learn to appreciate the people and things around you. Give yourself time to improve, don’t rush it! Only bad things happen quickly: strokes, earthquakes, ninja attacks, and car accidents. All the best things take their sweet time. A good friendship is formed over years of laughter and tears. Scotch whiskey takes at the very least three years to make. And you – you took nine months to be made, and another twenty, thirty, or fifty years to get to be as amazing as you are now. When was the last time you stopped to think about that, and appreciate how far you’ve already come?