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2014 ... a/k/a the best year yet

Posted: December 31, 2013 7:42 a.m.
Updated: January 1, 2014 5:00 a.m.

I have a great feeling that 2014 is going to be a great year. I’m not the type to trash on an entire year, and I also try to find the good in situations, but what the heck, 2013 -- why were you kinda lame?

I’m not going into detail, but it just wasn’t the best year for me. That’s why I know, I just know that 2014 is going to be so much better. I try to be optimistic, and sometimes that’s difficult, but something about a fresh, new year is like sunshine in my soul. It’s just so open and so ripe with possibilities and potentials. I have plenty of hopes and dreams for the upcoming year, but one in particular is to reinvigorate my creative side.

I know you’re thinking, oh no. What is this hippie talking about now? Exactly. That’s the right response! Here’s the thing, I’m very interested in art (oil painting) and I used to be very productive in creating pieces of my own, but a few circumstances along the way distracted me and I lost focus and, thus, I neglected my practice. Recently, I went to my friend, Emily’s, house to visit. She and I went to Coker together (for the year that I was there) and she was an art major. She has an amazing gift for drawing and painting and when I saw her various works on display in her house I was overcome with admiration and a sense of longing for something lost.

I couldn’t understand why I felt so sad; I just assumed it was because I was moved by the grace of her skill. It wasn’t until later that I realized I felt sad because I missed being productive in that way. It was as though I’d been ignoring a very important part of myself … not only ignoring it, but denying its existence, acting as though it had never been there at all.

I can’t blame anyone but myself for the fact that I’ve not picked up a paintbrush in roughly five years. It was my choice to stop painting, but I’ve now decided that was a foolish choice. Thus, my new year’s resolution -- the first of many and the most important -- is to start painting again. I may even take a class to learn new techniques. It doesn’t matter if no one else thinks my stuff is good, although I do love receiving praise!! What matters is that I’m reconnecting to something I enjoy doing that I let fall to the wayside.

My second resolution is also to renew something with which I was once very involved, but have since found myself a bit distanced from and that is practicing yoga. My time working with (former staff reporter) Miciah (Bennett) was certainly an inspiration in this direction, but I also miss the flexibility and energy that results from regular, continued practice.

My third and fourth resolutions, which also end the list, are to severely limit if not totally eliminate fast food and soda (even diet soda). The benefits of pursuing such actions are so clear, I need not explain, I’m sure. I’ve heard one too many horror stories about people, some younger than me, who have gotten kidney stones as a result of too much soda and coffee. We all know I’m not giving up coffee anytime soon, so I guess I’ll be kissing soda so long and farewell. We’ll see how it goes.

What I like best is that starting a new year is like starting to write the next chapter in the bestseller that is my life. The chapter begins today and it has no past. Everything from 2013 that I don’t want to carry over, I can leave right there, and, believe me, there are some things (and people) best left in the past.

I truly appreciate every memory and every person who has been a part of my life, for better or for worse, but I also am aware and awake enough to spot out the ones who I should carry along with me and the ones who I’ll drop off at the bus stop of last year. Sorry kids, I won’t be back to pick you up, either.

While I am very serious about my resolutions, I also try to see them as guidelines and not hard and fast rules. Truly, I think any effort to be healthier and happier is a respectable, beautiful sign of the human spirit’s resilience and desire to always find, do and be better. Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s hoping 2014 is the very best year yet!

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