With 2015 coming to a close this week, I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t up for the task of trying to summarize the past year into a single blog post. I decided I would attempt to do it using pictures instead. I started looking through all my pictures for one highlight from each month-a way for me to reflect on how I spent 2015.
Once I started looking back on pictures from the first half of the year, I started to re-think my strategy, since all I was finding were variants of the following:
It’s not that I didn’t spending my year doing things, because I know I spent a considerable amount of time filling up my days with all the things that people do; work, dinners, friends, weekend trips, happy hours, etc. All those things that make up a life, I know I did, regardless of my iPhoto history telling a different, more cat-filled story.
However, it did remind me that 2015, for the most part, felt like the year of waiting.
For the first half of the year, I was waiting for my wedding in July. Anyone who has planned a wedding might understand the feeling that there is a small period of your life during the throes of wedding planning, that your life temporarily hangs in suspension during a weird pre-wedding limbo period. You often find find yourself saying things like, “We’ll make a decision on that after the wedding.” For me, this time happened between January and July of this year.
I would stare at the calendar constantly, counting the months on my hands, updating the countdown on the small blackboard in our kitchen, wondering if July 11th, 2015 would ever actually come to be.
In case you were wondering, it did.
Once our wedding date passed, from July 11th on, I found myself constantly waiting for the next step. Waiting for certain big events and obligations to pass. I would write down each weekend plan we had, and check off how many days I had to live between now and my next break from work, or the next thing I had to look forward to that would help me get from point A to B of my life.
Before I had time to think about what had happened, I found myself staring at the tail end of 2015 with the realization that I had spent over an entire year waiting. And as everyone has heard at one point or another,
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
It’s not that I didn’t enjoy my year because of this, but the feeling that you are always waiting for the next thing in life, can make it extremely difficult to fully engage in the life you are already living.
I realized that this is something I am going to need to learn how to conquer, because my life is never going to be comprised soley of events that are worthy of being marked with carefully drawn doodles on my dry erase calendar.
The reality is, every year, we have some big moments:
And some not-so-big moments:
My year of waiting has taught me that the in-between-moments of life are just as important and worthy of my attention as the big moments, and it is up to me to make sure I am making those days count, instead of simply wishing them away.
My challenge to myself this year, is to stop waiting for time to pass, and instead, work on filling up my days with things that make me happy, and that bring me joy right now.
Like anything in life that is worthwile, it will be easier said than done, but I always argue that giving it a try is better than the alternative.
Wishing everyone a new year filled with happiness for every momentous, mundane, and in-between moment that comes your way.