What are five things that you don't want to forget from 2013? (prompt credit: Hope Wallace Karney)
1. If something is intentionally done with love, there should be no guilt or shame afterward
-My therapist offered me this piece of wisdom early on in the semester; I love letting people know that the mean something to me, whether it be sending a random text, a hug, or offering to do something nice in any way. At the same time, sometimes I wonder if I'm heard or get taken seriously because I do it a lot, and at one point I was questioning whether or not I should scale it back a bit. However, this year has taught me how to cherish people, and if that means coming off as somewhat cheesy, I'm not going to apologize for it.
2. Don't forget to bring the good stuff in!
-One of the trends that often goes around the internet (especially the blogosphere) is how to remove negativity from your life; it could be people, it could be limiting your time on Facebook or in front of the TV, etc. But rarely have I ever heard or read anything relating to how to include what is positive and what is happy; it doesn't necessarily have to fill the empty space, but it can if it ultimately makes your life better, then I don't see why not.
3. Make time for those you love
-For many, the term "busy" doesn't just define a temporary season, but a way of life. I understand that some careers or oriented that way, and that there are those who are constantly used to being on the go all of the time. But from my own experience, doing so eventually gets exhausting, both physically and mentally. I've also realized that my second love language (next to physical touch) is quality time. I'm fascinated by people's stories, and having a strong support system is what has helped me to get through the many rough patches I went through this year. Again, I recognize that some have little to no control over their academic/work schedules, and that realistically time is not something that is freely given. Yet if there's one thing I've learned this year in particular, its that life is fragile and nothing is ever guaranteed. I don't know about you, but I don't want to look back on my years and wish that I had seen more of my friends and family. So even if it's just stopping by a loved one's house after work or catching up over lunch or coffee for an hour, don't forget to surround yourself with good people. At the end of the day, I'd rather keep my sanity over success, whatever that make look like.
4. Indulge in fun (and child-like) things
-Along with making time for loved ones, it's also important to make time for doing fun stuff. It doesn't have to involve going out and getting drunk, nor does it have to involve alcohol in general. In the last five months, I re-discovered activities that I used to do as a kid, and I still get a kick out of at the age of twenty-one. To celebrate the fourth of July, my friends and I went to a local carnival and had a barbecue. In October, we went apple/pumpkin picking and then had a pumpkin carving party. It's no secret that I love watching Disney movies and I'm determined to host a game night or two before graduation. Contrary to popular belief, adulthood doesn't have to always be about choosing what's necessary over what you want. In other words, it doesn't have to suck. You just have to be creative (particularly if a budget is involved) and intentional with what you're doing if it's a big event. That being said, it's OK to be spontaneous too!
5. Let yourself BE
-If there's a singular roadblock to being vulnerable, it's when you focus on how to say something rather than just saying it. I've spent so much of this year trying to explain certain happenings and feelings in a way that everyone can understand, and in the end I wound up making it harder than it needed to be. In the grand scheme of it all, I cared too much about what other people thought and landed in an emotional prison because of it. While whole-heartily do my best not to intentionally hurt other people or cause conflict, I've learned that the more you try not to hurt somebody else, the more you end up hurting yourself. The reality is that not all will understand or empathize with the situation, nor will they care. It's not a question of whether to be selfless or selfish, but how to set boundaries and take care of myself. And it's a process that I'm still going through.
There are plenty more gems of wisdom that I picked up this past year, but these are the top five. What are yours?