happy new year. 2018.

Anyone that's been following along at all probably knows by now that I'm pretty stoked for 2017 to be over. To be honest, New Year's has always just been another day for me - I've never really been into the whole idea of a new year being a new beginning, or making resolutions, or the "new year, new me" concept. Until this year. Partially due to the fact that 2017 was kind of a bummer - from all the political nonsense and disappointment to some personal challenges - it's been a rough one.

But as I was reminded during yoga this morning, there was also a lot of good. I'm here, for one. Living, breathing, moving, eating, all with a roof over my head. Sometimes it's easy to forget that just being here is something to be grateful for. 2017 also brought a lot of new people into my life, each and every one I am thankful for. It brought exploration - traveling to two of the most amazing places I've ever been, and then some. It brought a lot of self-reflection, frustration, sadness, heartbreak, challenge, and disappointment - all which, as hard as they are to deal with at the time, always end up being for the better. It brought me time. Time that I was able to spend doing things I love, with people I love. It brought me a new passion for the political and desire to make a difference. It taught me that I am stronger than I often think I am, and that although it might not feel like it, the hard times don't last forever. 

That said, I'm still ready for the new year. Ready for a new set of challenges. Ready to start a new journey. Ready to move on. As someone recently reminded me, we have the power to change our outlook, routine, life, thoughts whenever we want. And as much as this is true, the changing of the year symbolizes a fresh start, one that I never learned to appreciate as much as I do this year. Sure, we can set resolutions whenever. We can reset whenever. But I don't think I'm alone in thinking that 2017 was kind of a bummer and needs to end - so let's take the new year, even if it's just a number, as a chance to reignite our passions, be better to ourselves and others, to start over, to keep fighting, and, most importantly, to just be.  

So, without further ado, my 2018 resolutions.

- Be more present.

- Be kinder to myself (and to others).

- Learn more. About anything.

- Learn to cook.

- Practice aparigraha (non-attachment).

- Love deeper.

- Appreciate the challenge.

- Go somewhere new (plural). 

- Start saying no and stop apologizing.

- Be truer to myself, letting go of what I think should be or what others expect of me.

Happy New Year everyone, may it be filled with loved ones, laughter, joy, peace and gratitude.


Jennifer Cook