Happy 2017 everyone! I think that by the time December rolled around, the majority of us had written off 2016 and were ready for a fresh start. We all managed to make similar posts about our year, reflecting on our best moments and expressing excitement for 2017, and I’d love to make a basic blog type post that my goals are to drink more water and explore more in 2017 but after reading my friend Currie’s great New Year’s reflection blog, I decided to bare my soul (as per usual here) and share my goals for 2017.
1. Drop the Theatrics.
There are pros and cons to being a human being living in the United States in 2017. The major cons deal with the human worm who managed to burrow his way to the White House and who now holds the reigns to the country for the next four years, but the pros deal a lot with the freedom to do what one wants. It’s a privilege definitely, the freedom that I experience, and no one needs to remind me that so many people don’t have the same freedom (in the US and outside of it). As far as it goes, I’m really lucky and so one of my goals this year is to drop the theatrics.
When I was sixteen, I was going on a high school retreat and I was sort of nervous about leaving the comfort of my home and my dogs for multiple nights to spend with kids I had to already spend every single day of my adolescent life with. However, going in, I received a great piece of advice that I still repeat to myself this day. A friend of my mom’s told me, “everyone is going to be telling stories about all the awful things that have happened to them, and it’s going to make you rack your brain about what traumatic experience you can share.” He paused. “But it’s okay, honestly, it’s good if you don’t have a story to share.”
This stuck with me and it’s something that I really want to implement in my life this year – I want to cut back on social theatrics. Sure, on this blog I share a lot of personal experiences, but I also know that these are my setbacks and speed bumps that, in the grand scheme of things, aren’t that major or detrimental. I don’t need to make them appear bigger than they are. I’m a very lucky person, I’ve got a very good life (roof over my head, food in my fridge, family that loves me) and I’m not into the whole pretending-life-is-awful thing. I've got all my limbs, blankets to cuddle under and people who love me. I'm all good, and though it can be satisfying to throw pity parties, it's a lot more satisfying to just move on from the negative and focus on the good in life.
That being said – I want to be more conscious of social theatrics in my life as well. As an adult woman with the free will to decide what is good for her, I often come to points in my social life where there are friendships I realize I don’t feel like keeping up, for a variety of reasons. Usually these reasons aren’t cataclysmic, usually they relate to how situations make me feel and what’s good for my own personal mental health and life (something people loooooove to talk about, but really, unless they’re me, know nothing about).
In 2017, I want to remind myself that just because I’ve decided I don’t feel like being friends with someone, it doesn’t mean they are my enemy. It just means they aren’t someone who I want in my life, and that I don’t have to actively involve them in my life. There doesn't need to be ill will, anger or drama. I’ve never been great at putting on a poker face, so if I don’t particularly like someone, I usually just avoid them. I don’t need to check up on their lives through social media, I don’t need to go out of the way say hi to them – they can do their thing and I can do my thing without it being some Shakespearean drama. I think dropping social theatrics and remembering to treat people with an air of respect, while not feeling guilty about keeping my distance is a solid goal for 2017.
2. Learn to Laugh It Off
When my Greek husband and I were in Palm Springs, it was amazing. There was also no cell phone service, which meant it took us forever to get directions. We were cruising through the sunny neighborhood near our hotel and I was grumbling about how annoying the lack of service was.
“Calm down, it’ll load,” my Greek husband told me and, in the spirit of girls everywhere, my blood pressure spiked and I went from slightly annoyed at my cell phone to blindingly frustrated.
“Don’t tell me to calm down, I’ve told you that so many times, it just makes me stressed out.”
What proceeded was a bit of the same, me vocalizing my annoyance and my Greek husband telling me to calm down. It cumulated in my shouting, “NOW I AM NOT CALM. BEFORE I WAS JUST ANNOYED BUT NOW I AM NOT CALM BECAUSE YOU KEEP TELLING ME TO CALM DOWN.”
My Greek husband proceeded to tell me to stop yelling, and I pointed out to him that his repeated request to “calm down” when I was just slightly annoyed made my feelings feel invalidated and made me feel like I was being crazy when I wasn’t – resulting in a legitimate freak out on my part.
“You need to stop telling me to calm down, it just makes me mad,” I (and women everywhere) said. My Greek husband, being the great guy he is, apologized and said he just wanted me to enjoy the trip so he was trying to downplay the minor annoyances before they spiraled, and I explained that just because I was grumbling about the lack of service didn’t mean I wasn’t enjoying the trip. The directions finally loaded and the first instruction was to make a left turn, across traffic, onto a very busy street. As my husband inched out, blinker on, he grumbled, “it’s going to take forever to make this turn,” causing a light bulb to go off above my head.
“Hey,” I touched his arm, smiling a bratty grin at him, “calm down, we’ll make it when we make it.”
This long, married life anecdote is basically my way of introducing my next goal for 2017 – learn to laugh certain things off instead of getting mad. Sort of a modern day approach to the whole “do no harm, take no shit” mentality. I proceeded to tell my Greek husband to calm down several times throughout the day (i.e., "It's so cold," "Hey, calm down!" "Have you seen my socks?" "Whoa! Calm down." "Can you order me a large coffee?" "Calm down, I'll order you a medium."), to which he finally responded, “Ok, stop, I understand how annoying it is.” It showed me that being angry and freaking out takes up time and energy, and that sometimes just laughing something off and deciding to own the situation can be a lot more rewarding.
3. Start a B.F.
B.F. = baby fund and, holy shit, is that scary to write. We’ll have been married for two years come June and I’ve always wanted one kid. Thanks to the babies who popped up around the later part of 2016, the cute little ones who popped up at multiple Friendsgivings, for really getting my biological clock ticking. I want a baby, but I also recognize that my Greek husband and I have a ton of work to do before this can happen. My Greek husband pointed out to me that, for example, I have a tendency to buy myself a lot of shoes vs. saving.
“We need to save money if we’re going to have a baby, babies are expensive,” he pointed out to which my mom countered, “really it’s teenagers and 20 somethings who are expensive. Babies in the grand scheme of things are pretty content with simple things.”
This year, I’m focusing on building up a baby fund – which is basically just a goal oriented title for savings. I know I want a baby, I don’t know if a baby will come into our lives naturally or through adoption, so I’m getting serious about savings. Honestly, I don't even know if even attempting to grow our family will be in the cards this year, but I do know that I want to start saving for this goal. Goodbye Forever21, Missguided and Amazon Prime’s cell phone case department. You are all just temporary fixes, and I’m looking towards something a lot cuter and a lot more permanent.
4. Learn to Cook Greek Food.
This one’s simple and doesn’t need some long paragraph. Since I married my Greek husband, I’ve wanted to learn how to cook Greek food, and so this year is the year I’m making good on my word. Call me in June and ask me for some spanakopita.
And there they are, my personal goals for 2017. Sure, I’ve made the same resolutions as everyone else – to work out more, to drink more water, read more books – but these are my major goals. They have the potential to take my life to a very cool, exciting place and I can’t wait to see it happen.