It is a little past 10pm on New Year’s Eve. I’m alone, and the house is quiet. A neighbor invited me to stop in for a drink and an appetizer, so I grabbed a flashlight and my heaviest coat to walk over for a little while and home again now to find my warm bed and a book. It is cold – for Georgia anyway. A solid week of freezing temperatures ahead. Tomorrow begins 2018.
I drove 45 minutes today to spend a few hours at Atlanta’s Korean Spa and Wellness Center. My friend introduced me to this spot earlier this year, and today I went alone. It seemed to make sense to end the year this way, and I needed the physical element of self-care today. It’s gender-segregated with nude areas, and as I sat there in the hot tubs – not knowing a soul around me – I considered how much change I have seen in my own self in the past few years. Most of my timidness is gone, and what is left underneath is someone I genuinely like. This is important, I think. To like yourself. At 36 years old, here in 2017, I figured that out.
I had a body scrub where I laid still while someone scrubbed every bit of outer skin from my body to leave me feeling like velvet. Then I laid in various saunas – charcoal and salt and clay and jade – for hours, stepping out only to cool off a minute and refill my water. I sweat out and sloughed off every last bit of 2017 today. My body is ready to begin the new year.
When I got home, I took a minute to relax a bit more and light candles and pull out my journal. I made a list of the most beautiful and meaningful moments or experiences in 2017. There are so many. I will forever remember this year as the year I got out of survival mode and ran forward in a real way. I scribbled a list that runs the length of the page. … The kids learned to swim. I began my online writing workshop. I deepened my yoga practice. We spent a weekend alone in the woods that was perfect. I embarked on a relationship, and it broke and was mended again in a different way and left the two of us with a deeper friendship now that we are on the other side. I began my book. My confidence grew in a million tiny ways that somehow add up to something big.
Then I wrote a list of the things I want to leave behind in 2018. They are no surprise. All the shoulds. Needless apologies. Self-judgment. Fear. Timelines.
Rather than abide by regular formal goals and resolutions, I’ve been looking to theme words this past few years. 2016’s was write. 2017’s was intention. This year, my word is trust. I want to lean into the unknown with the assurance that I am held. I want to trust that everything is right on time.
I added a Rilke quote on the back of our Christmas cards this year. And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been. I have such high hopes for you, 2018. For abundance and clarity and trust above all else. So many things lie ahead. Things that have never been.