On resolutions and in retrospect

Pocket moments of 2013 | Photo by Courtney Cheng

365 days ago, I opened a mason jar filled with 33 sheets of colored paper, on each of which I had penned some of my happiest moments of 2013. Despite the cringes that peppered my smiles and laughs, it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed having the tangible evidence of how much I had grown and changed over the course of the year. Part of this pleasure did come out of liking the direction my priorities were shifting, but the other part of it genuinely derived from being able to see how my year had been. Nothing else I had done in the past – keep a journal or maintain a blog – ever gave me this clear of a perspective.

On January 1, 2014, I resolved to create another jar for 2014. Disclaimer: that photo is old. In other words, I did not, in fact, keep my resolution and write down another 33 moments for the past year.

Am I disappointed that I didn’t hold to my own resolution? Yes and no. Of course, I’m a bit peeved that I spent another year writing down resolutions and failing to check back on them, or even forgetting that they existed. At the same time however, as much as I would have liked to gain that clear perspective again, I’m a bit relieved that I can be spared all the cringes this time around.

I have grown in 2014, as is generally the case when time passes, but I’m not sure I particularly liked how I grew this year. I’ve run and bumped from one stressful moment to another without taking the time to stop and smell the flowers. It got to the point where I literally created physical problems for myself because I was so tense about everything. Even after the academic burdens disappeared with the semester, I’ve only taken the freedom as an opportunity to stress over a myriad of other things.

Are there even that many things to worry about? According to my mind, apparently there are.

“What are these things?” you ask.

Well. Isn’t that just the question. If you catch me off guard, I’d truly be hard-pressed to enumerate that many things a person could reasonably worry about while on winter break. And therein lies the problem.

This past weekend, I went to watch the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods with high school friends who had slaved away with me in the pit orchestra for our school production five and a half years ago. Even after all this time, hearing those songs again brought back vivid memories – memories of just exactly what I had been worrying over in the month we spent rehearsing this musical. In my defense, it had been a pretty big worry for 15-year-old me, and the musical’s themes of family, friendship, and faithfulness were really quite fitting then. But all the same, my first recollections should really not be about my worries.

Photo courtesy of Carine Louyot. Wish you could have been at our reunion. Bisous!
Photo courtesy of Carine Louyot. Wish you could have been at our reunion. Bisous!

On that note, I guess it’s only fitting that I make more resolutions for 2015. This year, I resolve (Is that too strong of a word? Oh boy.) to be less stressed.

I resolve to not make my life consist of only moments of stress and worries, because if life were only moments, then I’d never know I had one. And like the Baker’s Wife, I resolve to let these moments go, but I won’t forget about them because they’re the ones that will help me understand the past once the moment has passed.

TL;DR I’m glad 2014 is over. Here’s to the new year – one filled with less stress, more fun, and more musicals. Because who could say no to that?

2 thoughts on “On resolutions and in retrospect

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