Hope

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I didn’t make any resolutions for the new year.

Personally, I just don’t do goals, period. You know the part of job interviews where they ask you where you see yourself in five years? What are your short- and long-term goals? I’m always blank. Even when I try to prepare for those questions, the answers feel forced. For whatever reason, I’m just not a goal-oriented person.

Because of that, I don’t make New Year resolutions. I wouldn’t stick to them anyway. (I’m also not terribly consistent.)

Last year I decided I wanted to read the whole Bible in a year, and I actually did that, but it wasn’t something I really set as a resolution. Just something I kind of wanted to keep working at. Don’t get me wrong: I had some days where I didn’t make time or remember to read, and then I had to make up the lost time by reading twice in one day. I wasn’t particularly consistent with it. My longest streak was 85 days, and that was at the very end of the year. But I made it.

So far this year, I have had the word “hope” stuck in my brain. It’s been rattling around up there since December 31. I was wondering what I hoped for the New Year. And that’s when I decided: this year I want to have hopes for the year, rather than goals or resolutions.

Maybe it’s a quitter’s way out, by not really committing to something. Maybe it’s just easier to say that I hope to do something rather than planning or resolving to do it.

But I know myself, and I know the kind of self-love I need to show myself. Part of that self-love is not casting in stone something that I think will fail. Saying that I hope to do something feels kinder, and more loving somehow. Maybe it’s just me.

So I have hopes for this year.

I hope to travel again, which we all know cannot be set in stone at this point. We are talking about vacation destinations already, but with the knowledge that it may not be feasible again this year.

I hope to love my family better. I hope to dig into really knowing each member of my family, and taking the time to see and love them each for who they are.

I hope to love myself better this year. I had a couple of depressive episodes last year, and I’m trying to learn from those. I have needs, and I want to be mindful of them.

Above all, I hope to be hopeful. Our world is still all topsy-turvy, and there is no telling when we will regain a sense of equilibrium, much less normalcy. I don’t want to get caught up in the negativity of what is out there. I want to live a life of hope that something better is coming, if not already here.

I hope that you have hope as well.

Happy New Year.