So this is the new year…

So this is the new year
And I don’t feel any different

I would be lying if I said I didn’t approach each new year with hopes. I’m talking really big hopes – find-a-cure-for-cancer, watch-the-world-go-vegan, achieve-financial-independence-and-travel-the-world type hopes. I kind of liken it to that feeling I get when watching a movie, or a rerun of a television show. I know what’s going to happen – I know things aren’t going to go the way they should – and yet, I cross my mental fingers that the plot will twist, the story will change, and the protagonist will be a hero.

I know I’m not going to magically become the kind of person who wakes up cheerfully, drives to work with nary a curse word escaping her lips, ceases the eye rolls that radiate towards the world around me. I know I’m not going to suddenly stop eating all of the foods that are bad for me because of an instant will and ability to cook healthy meals. I know I’m not going to be able to document every last song I listen to (especially now that last.fm has gone and ruined their site, but I digress). And really, none of that matters to anyone else; why should it matter so much to me?

I intend to approach 2016 with a bit more gratitude. It’s something I wrote about for YDV last year – a Gratitude Attitude (hashtag included) – and it’s worth keeping at the forefront. I don’t know about you, but I find it very easy to ignore all of the things in life that should really get more attention. I kept a gratitude journal once, several years ago, for a few months. That habit didn’t last, and I regret it. Because really, there is something to be grateful for every day. Maybe it’s waking up in a warm bed. Maybe it’s waking up, period. Maybe it’s any number of the conveniences we’ve become accustomed to: the phone (aka computer) that most of us can’t put down for most of our waking hours, the ability to watch, read, or listen to any piece of media we want to at the click of a mouse, the ability to choose to eat a piece of fruit or a piece of cake. When you get right down to it, we whine entirely too much considering how much we have. We should be using the energy spent complaining about grocery store lines and bad drivers to effect change where it’s needed – in speaking out for those who have no voice and no choice.

It’s one hour into the new year, and as the Death Cab for Cutie lyric that started off this essay says, I don’t feel any different. (I’m also usually not awake at this hour, so there is that.) But (later) in the morning, I’m going to try to push down the grand hopes for things that will never happen, rise up to being grateful for the little things, and choose where to focus my energy so that it benefits this world most.

I might also get started on that Goodreads Reading Challenge, because whether or not it should matter to me, it does.

Happy New Year.

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