Power of positivity

Time to make a “New Day Resolution”

Every year, as we inch closer to January 1st, we talk about making a New Year’s Resolution. According to the Cambridge Dictionary online, a New Year’s Resolution is, “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.” You know it and you know it well… the whole “new year, new me” conversation.

It’s interesting to me that we feel compelled to set these new goals with ourselves when one year ends and another begins. Quite often, we don’t follow through with the resolutions we make. Perhaps it’s because we do it out of obligation rather than a sincere desire to make a change. Maybe it’s because the resolutions are so incredibly unattainable that we end up giving up entirely.

I mean, can you really lose 30 pounds in 8 weeks? Can you really change your diet to eat healthy for the rest of your life right after a holiday season of indulging in Andes mints, Lindt truffles, homemade cookies and Mom’s famous meat pie?

Funny story about that:

My Dad is the classic New Year’s Resolution-er. Every. single. year. He puts on his gym shorts, sweatband and high top chucks and heads to the YMCA at 5AM before work. This happens from January 2nd through 17th. Now, if you know my Dad, you know he lives life to the fullest. He has garlic bread with his pasta, he really enjoys a good cocktail, he doesn’t say no to dessert. This past year, his resolution was to “eat healthier and lose weight”. At a family party on January 11th, tacos were on the menu. Instead of using a tortilla shell, he used lettuce. This stopped all of us in our tracks. Dad? Lettuce wrap? Fast forward 1 month at a family party in February, he was wrapping his tacos up in a flour tortilla shell. This dubbed him the name “January Jeff.” If I’m being honest, I like February-December Jeff much better.

Ultimately, the goal is to improve the quality of your life, in some way. If this is the case, why can’t we resolve to be better any day of the year?

Ok, back to my Dad.

Whenever I needed a boost of encouragement, for as along as I can remember, he always told me, “When you wake up in the morning, look to the east. The sun will always rise, I guarantee it. A chance to start again. A brand new day!”

Today is a new day, a chance to start fresh. It’s an opportunity to be a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. Why wait until January 1st? When you know what it is you want to achieve, make your “New Day Resolution”. Time to go from “new year, new you” to “new day, new you.” And guess what? That happens everyday.

Wake up, look to the east. Resolve to be better. The sun will rise, I guarantee it.

Power of positivity

If only I could park my car in my garage.

Jealousy. What causes us to feel this? And why does it seem to consume us and eat us up inside? I remember feeling lots of jealousy growing up.

Jealous of the girls with clear skin. Jealous of the dancers who were naturally flexible. Jealous of Linnea Bauer who always got a 110 on her tests. I mean, how did she ALWAYS get 10 points over perfect?! And, she was tall. Talk about double whammy of jealousy.

In many ways, those jealous feelings are what motivated me to work harder and be a better version of myself; as a person, dancer and student. It had me doing my splits to improve my flexibility, studying hard to get an over-perfect score on my test. I tried every acne medication to help me clear up my skin (literally, everything. Props to my parents for that). Can you remember back to what made you feel waves of jealousy as a teen growing up?! Funny how those things seem so silly now, but how important they were to us then. And, how they helped shape who we are today.

Fast forward to adult life: I still feel jealousy, not as frequently or as often… but about the most ridiculous things.

What am I jealous of now?

People who don’t have to clip a tooth in everyday. Broadway stars with voices that fill your soul with their power (though I do pretend I have the voice of an angel when I’m belting out show-tunes in the car). People who don’t have bunions (#dancerlife). Those who have the willpower to say no to a Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and a Diet Coke. Cars parked in a garage.

Do you hear how crazy that sounds?

Cars parked in a garage.

Whenever I drive by a house and see their cars parked IN their garage, I get jealous. Am I jealous of the cars because they look so cozy tucked in there? Am I jealous that the homeowner doesn’t have a slew of bikes, buckets, firewood and plastic lawn ornaments cluttering their garage? Maybe I’m jealous of their sheetrock walls with perfectly organized shelves. Why does it give me a feeling of not being good enough?

I’ve been obsessing over it and have made it my mission to clean out my garage, just to park my damn car in there. And then, of course, garage-envy leads to shed-envy which leads to shed-location envy which leads to how-is-their-grass-so-green envy which then makes me green with envy… it’s a vicious cycle! So, when I finally do park my car in my garage, will it make my life better? Will I be happier? I finally checked myself and changed my perspective. I now look at my garage as what I want to define it as: a tiny home for all the fun toys, gadgets, bikes, decorations and remote control cars that will bring us countless memories to cherish. My car is currently parked in the driveway and will be for the foreseeable future.

Funny how we can’t just be content with what is. All these things we wish we had or could do. But, look at all we do have; the blessings all around us.

I’ve done a lot of self-work, read a lot of books about focusing on what matters and have really discovered what it means to be happy and content with what I have. I have posted quotes on my vision board about how “we spend so much time worrying about what we don’t have that we forget about what we do have.” I’ve found so much truth in the blessings and fulfillment that “community over competition” brings. I’ve had the realization that I may not have everything I want or need right now, but what I’ve got is pretty damn amazing. We’re human, jealousy happens. But let’s check ourselves when it does. What we do and don’t have, eat, wear and own doesn’t define us. We define us. And that is a beautiful thing. 💛