There is something to be said for the clean slate a new year provides.
I’m not talking about all the bullshit resolutions that never get kept, or the stuff mainstream media tells you to consider, I’m referring to the more subtle changes which arrive from being a year older, and a bit more hip to the game teaches you.
So instead of planning to lose weight, eat better, drink less or one of the other things I know would inherently fall to the wayside over the next two weeks, I’m thinking long term and plan in 2019 to do more of the following.
Give away shit I don’t need or use.
You don’t realize how easy it is to accumulate stuff until you look around at all the things you have and the few times you don’t use most of it. I have books in boxes I’ve never read, clothes I’ve purchased without trying on at the store, only to get home and realize what looked good on the dude in the catalog is not an accurate representation for my body type, and all the half broken or easily mended stuff sitting half-broken and waiting for someone to come easily mend it.
With two kids I don’t have time to tinker.
Living in the poorest big city in America, it’s cruel to not offer this stuff to someone that could benefit from it. Besides, I’ve always been a fan of the minimalist lifestyle, but that has gone by the wayside. What used to be a chair a TV and a table in the living room of my apartment is now a couch, ottoman and a floor full of random toys, so much that I don’t even know what I’m stubbing my toe on anymore.
So fuck it, I’m purging. And I suggest that if you have the time, get some boxes and spend a day decluttering your life, too.
Do more for me.
I can’t speak for other parents of toddlers out there, but I’ve never been this stressed out in my life thinking about all that needs to be done for little humans that can’t help themselves. I never understood stress until these perfectly imperfect mini-me’s arrived to complicate life and make it exponentially awesome – seemingly in lockstep.
Compound that with work and relationships and I finally understand what other parents often refer to as “the struggle.” Right now, by the time the kids are off to bed, there’s roughly 1-2 hours of actual adult time to be had before I pass out on the couch only to do it all to do it over again beginning at 5-6 a.m. the next day.
However, the holidays offered a period of reflection.
I realized there are pockets of downtime that I’m not using effectively. I work out, sure but instead of binging another show on Prime or Netflix, I could work out some more. Instead of putting the kids to bed and jumping back online to respond to work email or aimlessly scrolling my Instagram feed until 11 p.m., I could do almost anything else.
Also hiring someone you can vent life’s problems to that’s not a family member or friend is a GAMECHANGER. A third party who doesn’t know you but has to hear you out and offer smart advice on how to be your best self is amazing. Getting a therapist has been the best thing for this always-on working father of two.
Speaking of work…
We all know that as awesome as technology is, it’s also one of the single most detrimental things to our well-being. The next time you’re in a public place, take a second to look at all the people looking down at a smartphone. Or the people at an event or just taking in a beautiful setting looking at their surroundings through a screen; most likely so they can quickly share it with others on social media.
I’m guilty and I deal with this in my own life. My phone is my own worst enemy. It’s a constant reminder of the ever-evolving shit I have to do and all the shit that’s forthcoming. It would take a full week to answer all of the emails in my work inbox, I’m on five different company Slack channels and I curse the day I ever put my cell number on my business card. But it’s the life and one of the good things about what I do is that because news is ever-evolving, this has never been a normal 9-to-5. Which means life is planned around work, not the other way around. So being more effective with time management so I can stay ahead and check out is the goal this year.
Regardless of who at times it may offend.
I don’t know. To me, these all just seem a lot more real that cooking mail-order meals or attending short-lived HIIT classes at a gym. Here’s to a 2019 in which I hope we’re all taking a look at how we can make the day-to-day a bit more manageable and still feel like a we won in the game of life this time next year.