The Overwhelming Possibilities of a New Year

Happy New Year, Smarties! It's the first day of the year. 2016. Filled with such promise, such potential, so many possibilities! AND IT'S FREAKING ME OUT. I'll fully admit it: I get overwhelmed at the worst possible times. When I have a million different things to do, I find myself paralyzed and unable to attack any of them. I look around at my endless To Do list - my piles and piles of Things That Must Be Done- and want to run away screaming. I want to hide my head in the sand and never pull it out again.

Hey, look! It's me! (Image Source)

But I can't do that. I have two small kids. I have a family. I have this website. I have a business and a business partner and a preschool co-op class to run and bills to pay and a 5th birthday party to plan and tons of stuff to do and there is no hiding. There is no running away. There is no burying my head in the sand. Mama ain't got time for that shit.

(Oh, the irony of not having time for my own monkey mind.)

And so for the first time in a loooong time, inspired by Christina's post, I've made a New Year's resolution in the form of a phrase. I don't typically make (or even like) New Year's resolutions because I feel like they're too much pressure. I always feel like I'm setting myself up to fail. AND I DON'T LIKE TO FAIL. But I think I've felt that way because my resolutions have been too specific in the past. Too pinpointed. Too fixed. So this year, my resolution is not something specific, but just as Christina advocates, it's a goal for my year and ultimately my life. It's something I've known I need to work on for... oh... 36 years or so, and it's something I will actively work on this year. It might be a slow process and it will definitely be a nerve-wracking process, but it's time. It's an example I'd like to set for my kids and something that will allow me to feel proud of myself. Even when I fail.

My resolution for 2016: Be Brave.

Fearlessness does not come naturally to me. I am, and have always been, risk averse. I was 8 before I learned to ride my bike. If it seems likely I will fail, I typically avoid it like the plague. Which means that I haven't tried a lot of things that I truly wanted to try. I put off applying to grad school for nearly 4 years until one of my friends, Sarah, dragged me to the university where I wanted to apply and physically stuffed the application into my hands. (Thank you, Sarah.)

So, you see... I need this resolution. I'm a grown up. I can't just avoid everything that's scary anymore. And frankly, I want my kids to think of me as someone who tries, not someone who avoids. Thus: Be Brave. This applies to a lot of things for me. I want to write more and submit more from here on out, which honestly requires ovaries of steel. I need to be ready for a lot of rejection this year. I want to stop putting myself in the position of getting sucked dry; I need to say no more. It will make me feel guilty, it will be difficult as a person who feels all the feelings, and I still need to do it. I want to say what I mean more. I don't want to feel like I have to tiptoe around everyone. I want to use my damn words and mean them. And I need to step outside my comfort zone. I need to do all these things I've been wanting to do, but never had the nerve to do before. It's time to woman up. I need to look all these possibilities and all this potential and all this promise right in the face without blinking.

Hey, look! It's the NEW me! (Image Credit: Mark Anderson via Flickr )

I need to be brave. I need to trust myself more than I have before. And sometimes... I'm going to need to just close my eyes, and jump.

About Shannon

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