The best we can

December 31st. The day that most of us stop for an extra moment to reflect on the year that’s about to end. Since i’m a naturally reflective and curious person, today has been spent doing just that.

This year seemed to go by in the blink of an eye (don’t they all). And while I could give a detailed list of the milestones that occurred, instead i’ll say this: I did the best that I could.

With everything.

I tried really, really hard at my career. And I continue to do so day in and day out. I left a job in Chicago that I absolutely adored so that I could be closer to my family, and when I started my new job in Rochester, I had to adapt to a completely new environment. It wasn’t always easy, but when it came to my career this year, I do know this: I did the best that I could.

Now that i’m closer to home, my family and my relationship with my boyfriend (and subsequently his family) are a top priority. It can be exhausting, but working to bring two families together has been one of my greatest joys in 2016. We aren’t perfect. There are arguments and inevitably stressful times. But when it came to family and love this year, I do know this: I did the best that I could.

I also put a lot of thought, time, and energy into my friendships this year, as I try to do every year. Some flourished. Others dimmed. In hindsight, I would have changed a few things. I would have stood my ground a little stronger and communicated more often. I think I could have been a better friend. I guess there’s always room to be a better friend. And i’m going to try to do so in the days, weeks, and years ahead. But when it came to friendships this year, I do know this: I did the best that I could.

Every year comes with its own set of challenges. And that’s because life is tough. It kicks you in the ass and it makes you cry and it leaves you bruised and banged up with mud on your knees and a confused look on your face. And it never stops.

It always forces you to learn, reach, grow, transform, and stretch in the direction of goodness and kindness so that you can hopefully become a better version of yourself. It does this every damn day. It’s no easy task, and there are no breaks.

But don’t forget that just being alive and well is a blessing in and of itself. And although the lessons we must learn are tough, they’re worth learning.

Whether 2016 was a joy or a nightmare for you, just remember this: we’re all just doing the best we can. And may we continue to do so in the years to come.




Lifetime resolution 

With less than one day left in 2015, there are countless articles and stories that read, “how to make 2016 the best year ever!” or “this is your year – here’s how to stick to your goals for real!” and other click-bait types of titles. ‘Tis the season, I suppose.

And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a new year to set intentions with a new perspective, what if we looked at New Year’s resolutions differently? What if we looked at them not just in terms of a year, but in terms of a lifetime? 

Some would argue that lifetime resolutions aren’t timely enough to take action on, but hear me out.

It’s actually a fairly simple concept: this year, similar to years past and certainly all moving forward, my resolution is to make my life one worth living. 

I told you it was simple.

There’s no catch 22, no secret recipe, and no 30-day check in. I don’t have a master plan that’s all mapped out. I don’t have a grand scheme of how to accomplish it. But what I do have is a clear understanding that not only is this the only life I have control of, but I also have no clue when it will end. None of us do. 

So that means today, tomorrow and so forth, I’m going to continue to make each day worth living. Of course that’s easier said than done. There will be days I’ll wake up feeling like garbage, think my hair looks hideous, won’t have as much motivation as I’d like, or a curveball will hit me that I probably won’t be ready for. 

But I’ll do my best anyways. 

Because what if that day I was sick or the day I had no motivation ended up being the last day of my life? What if I didn’t get a chance to see another new year come in? Those are scary questions, but they’re not ones we should be afraid to ask ourselves. 

Because the longer we live and the more years we add to our lives, the more we can really hone in on who we are, who we want to surround ourselves with, and what it is we want out of life. We can more clearly understand what it takes to create a happy life that we’re proud of. 

And that’s why my resolution isn’t just for 2016, but it’s for all of the unknown years ahead: live a life i’m proud of, course correct as needed and constantly adapt to the world around me, all while trying to keep my core values and morals in check. It’s ambitious. But in my eyes, it’s not just a resolution for the new year, but a resolution for a lifetime.