The Block Island Times

#TwentySomething: New Year's

By Stephanie Turaj | Jan 04, 2014

A new year is generally the time for reflection and goal setting.  In 2013, for example: what happened, what went right and wrong? And in 2014, it’s time to be more positive, be more thankful, save money, make new friends, lose weight.

But why do we rely on such a man-made schedule to do so? We look back at the past year’s events such as new jobs, deaths, births, breakups, new relationships, new and old friendships, etc. But, personally, I feel that I tend to assess my life when these actual events occur, not on New Year’s.

A year, such as 2013, is such a general expanse of time, and so much occurred during this year for me, how can I categorize it?

Instead I categorize my life into years spent at high school, then in college, then various jobs and locations I lived in. For example, I still can’t believe it’s been over a year and a half on Block Island and at The Block Island Times. So much has happened during this period, and many events have been directly linked, obviously, to my choice to move here.

I assess relationships when they begin and end (the latter of which results in me crying like a baby to my mother on the phone — sorry, mom, for having to deal with that) and hopefully I have enough sense to assess them during the relationship.

Some of my friends talk about how “bad” or “good” 2013 was as a result of what happened. Some people had “bad” years because someone close to them died. I myself lost my Grandma this year, my first experience of a loved one’s death (besides my dog, who also passed away this year), so I know how much of a struggle that can make things. But I wouldn’t categorize 2013 as “bad” because of this. Yes, my life changed because of these events. Yes, there were emotional times and it was hard to get through.

But this event also made me look back at my life, at the wonderful times shared with Gram. And then it made me look forward, and I set personal goals to myself, in order to make Gram proud.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that, although the New Year provides an easy excuse to reminisce and then look forward, a change in the calendar doesn’t mean it’s the only time to look at your life.

It’s the big events that will make you reflect on things, but it also can be an everyday thing, too.

If you set New Year’s resolutions that you “forget” a few months later (like going to the gym more often... sound familiar?), then maybe it’s not the right time to set goals. Try doing it randomly one day. Wake up and say “I’m going to spend more time talking with friends and seeing others, instead of checking Facebook.”

That’s a goal that I’d like to address... but I’m not going to make it a “resolution.” I’m just going to do it.

But regardless of my position on the new year, I’d like to wish everyone a happy 2014.

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