New Year, New Thoughts

There is something about the first day of a new year that attracts us. The first day of the lunar new year. A birthday. We promise ourselves that this year, things will be different, that this year, things will get better.

In reality, we know that there’s no physical difference in this day than any other. That we make these days special in our minds, and that the promise of a fresh start is one we’ve created. We identify days we’ll ‘try again’ all throughout the year: the first day of a month, the first day of a new week, tomorrow, today.

And there is power in choosing a new beginning, today, here, now, that we mustn’t forget, later on in the year, when we are weary.

But since it’s sometimes easier to embark on new beginnings with other people, and New Year’s Day is as communal a day as we’re going to get, here’s to the power of community in helping us make the changes we want.


Following my exhaustion over the last couple of years, I thought really hard about what life means to me, and have decided to go Back to Basics.

(Yes, I thematised my resolutions. Sounds a little artificial, but it helps give a tighter focus to what I want out of my 2011. And I’m not the only one doing it: Jason Mraz wrote a pretty awesome post on his Now Here’s Resolutions that I think you should check out.)

In 2011, I want to:

Be healthier. This means eating, sleeping and exercising regularly. I’ve already moaned about the problems with not doing so. Plus, I feel crappy when I think that I am so bad at caring for myself I can’t even sleep properly.

Stay on top of my commitments (school, work and other). To set and follow my own deadlines, rather than always be rushing to do something due tomorrow, and give myself the gift of confidence that I can manage my life.

Build relationships and smile. I used to be a mega-star about keeping in touch, but that’s fallen by the wayside and I want to retrieve it. Positive mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health.

Make time to make art. It’s been months since I touched the piano and years since I picked up a brush. I want to do the things I enjoy for the simple sake of enjoyment, rather than avoid them for fear of failing to ‘accomplish’ something. I want to feel good about myself again.


A week from today, I’ll be attending the annual Student Leadership Conference at UBC. If you haven’t signed up yet, you really should: the SLC is inevitably a great kickstart to the new term and one of my annual highlights. Every UBC student should go at least once in their university career.

Many people are excited about The Buried Life being the closing keynote, but I’m secretly more interested in hearing our opening Drew Dudley:


This month I’m totally psyched for Dine Out Vancouver, another one of my yearly highlights, where participating restaurants offer gourmet three-course meals for $18, $28, or $38. Oh, yeah.

This year is going to be my last full year in Vancouver as I’ll be applying for grad school in some other city (September 2012 start). Seeing the end in sight makes me want to go out and do all those things I kept putting off for another day even more. And isn’t it always so? We see how much we’ve got only when it’s almost over.

Tell me, what have you got planned for the new year and/or what are you looking forward to?

Happy 2011!

One response to “New Year, New Thoughts

  1. Pingback: Looking Back, Looking Forward « abaculus