I have noticed an interesting phenomenon in the early days of this new year: no one I know is making New Year’s resolutions. People are so shellshocked and careworn from the giant trainwreck that was 2016 that the very idea of trying to make a plan for the upcoming year seems to be tempting fate.
Usually, I love New Year’s, embracing a fresh start and all its possibilities. In the past, I have made a laundry list of resolutions at the dawn of each New Year. But as 2016 drew to a close, I was frustrated, exhausted, and emotionally wrung-out. For me, 2016 was a blur of waiting for answers to questions so that I could move forward, waiting for the car at the shop, waiting in the hospital while Fifi had her treatments, waiting for the weather to moderate so that I could go running, waiting for injuries to heal, waiting, waiting, waiting on things, all out of my control, to decide the course of my life. We ended the year with thousands of dollars of car repair bills, thousands of dollars of home repair bills, thousands of dollars of doctor bills. And I have even mentioned the problems in our country and throughout the world. I spent most of the year trying to feel like I was not sinking into the swirling chaos.
2016 started with me battling seasonal affective disorder and ended with me filled with grief at the loss of my dear kitty Fifi.
Even so, there were a few moments worth remembering: seeing Duran Duran, Panic At The Disco, and Weezer in concert, playing Pokemon Go all summer with my daughter, blooms in my new rose garden, running a half marathon, getting a promotion at work, going to see Rogue One with my family, and one last happy Christmas with Fifi.
Those are the things I chose to remember about 2016.
Over the past week, I have, of course, been thinking a lot of Fifi. Her passing has left me feeling sad, lonely, and detached from everything around me. But somehow, and I can’t explain how, her passing has also left me feeling fearless.
I am tired of worrying about what other people might think about what I choose or what I do. I want to finally, at long last, do and pursue the things that I want, the things that I care about, the things that are important to me.
So I dyed my hair purple. And I guess what? No one said “You’re too old to be doing that!” or “You look ridiculous!”. In fact, everyone told me it suited me. All this time, I was worried about what people would think if I dyed my hair. Why? Why was I worried? And why did I care so much?
So my New Year’s Resolution is to be fearless: to do the things that I want to do and that I care about, without worrying about how I will be perceived by others.