short stories

This Year I am Going Backward

I had a conversation a few days ago regarding resolutions for the new year and if I had “kept” mine so far. Seeing as it is May and most people have already fallen so far off of the fitness/diet/going to bed on time/drinking lots of water bandwagon that they don’t even remember what spawned their crazy new life goal in the first place, I chuckled to myself and replied, “I didn’t even make one this year”.

Normally New Year’s Eve holds a certain magic for me; there’s a therapeutic sense of relief and reset knowing that the new year, the flip of a calendar, watching the ball drop and the glasses clink and the spontaneous kiss of friends and strangers adds to this wishful thinking that everything is about to change for the better. That, at 12:01am, you will instantly become thinner, smarter, more athletic, a greater spouse or more patient parent, all because the new year holds so many possibilities.

We are now breezing right into the month of May, and this year, I want to go backward.

I didn’t make any changes this year because sometimes I think we’ve changed enough. Sometimes, we are so focused on all the perceived wrong that we need to change that we do not relish in the right. We lose sight of who we really are, or really were, when we have morphed so meticulously into this human that everyone desires us to become. I have made many changes to myself over the years that have made me a better person, but I have also forgotten who I was a little along the way.

I miss writing. I wrote an article in March and this is the first time I’ve picked up the proverbial pen in a long time. The sea of schedules, the winds of work, the daily dose of distraction has broken my focus and ultimately my motivation to share my heart, mixed with a healthy dose of “what will people think?” “are my words still relevant?” and “what is there left to say, really?”

There is always something left to say because we wake up each morning with a fresh start, a journey into the unknown. That wonder does not just occur at the stroke of midnight at the start of a new year. To be frank, I am tired of worrying if people like me, if they noticed that I’ve gained a little weight recently but still like to eat, or wonder why in the world I still get nervous when I have to speak in public. These are things I am working through, but today, I am going backward.

I am going to climb on the play equipment and push my kids on the swings, like I used to, instead of using park time as “extended work hours”. I am going to continue reading tons of books, and eat dessert for breakfast (sometimes), and I will forget to put on deodorant at least twice a week. I am going to continue to be friendly to you even though you are not to me, because I enjoy being around others and that is how I was raised.  The way I was before I stacked all of these so-called resolutions was a girl with a full heart, who loves her county and her family, and says words in her head that she probably shouldn’t say aloud. And that’s okay. Sometimes we need to take a step back to remember who we were and why we started all of this in the first place.

The beloved Audrey Hepburn once told us, ““Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present, and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”

I am not fretting about the future today, or even the present. I am remembering who I once was, and bringing her along for the ride.




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