Theres nothing quite like opening a brand new diary to start off the new year. There is something so calming about your whole year, the next 365 days or so being squashed into a little A5 book, no more than a couple of centimetres thick. At the same time, I find it very concerning to know that your life, your entire year, can be confined to one small book.
A lot can happen in 365 days. Just look at what 2016 kindly served up - the death of so many great artists, the election of Donald Trump (which I am still coming to terms with and am strongly holding out hope that it's all just one big joke), and not to mention endless terror attacks across the globe and shootings in the USA. I won't go into detail, because you've heard it all before. The point I'm trying to make is, no matter how fast you swear each year goes by, no matter how many resolutions you make, nothing ever really quite seems to change, does it?
I think one of the most common, let's call it an 'umbrella' resolution, is to make every day count. Yet we still find ourselves using a lot of our spare time, away from work or study, to do a whole lot of nothing. I am guilty of this. I just started watching Gossip Girl on Netflix... for the third time. And I'm not proud. But there's something about binging on a TV series, or whatever your poison of choice be - video games, books, movies - that is almost inescapable. It's like a drug that we are so addicted to that we would forgo actually living our own lives in return for watching and reading about other peoples lives that we so wish were ours. I think that is why I find myself watching and re-watching a series like Gossip Girl all over again, year after year. I want to be walking the streets of New York, meeting the Jenny and Dan Humphreys of Brooklyn, sitting on the MET steps - sans all the drama and elitist nonsense.
So, in an attempt to stop living my life through a screen, despite how "umbrella" like it may seem, I really am trying to make 2017 the year of living in the moment. Lao Tzu once said;
"If you are depressed, you are living in the Past. If you are anxious, living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the moment."
This is my mantra for 2017. I have decided to write this post a couple of weeks into the year, so that I could actually trial this motto, instead of just writing about it on New Years Eve, in the hope that I'll do it, and never actually committing. This year has been an absolute whirlwind so far, I've been away, I've bought a car, I've redecorated my bedroom and I've been to a festival. Normally, I would be taking photos non-stop, Snapchatting every moment, and constantly messaging my friends, to advertise how excellent my life is.
Now, I must admit, there have been times where I have done this. But on the whole, I think I've really committed to living in the moment, not focusing on the future, or on the past. Just really embracing how happy I am right there in that very second. And I can definitely say that it's worth it. It's worth skipping the constant Snapchats. It's worth going with the flow and not planning ahead for every single day, for every hour. It's worth taking a step back and not trying to be in control all of the time, 24/7.
So far, I think 2017 is the happiest, most calm year I've ever had. But hey, I'm only 15 days in.