There is nothing like buying a new planner at the end of a year to cheer me up. For those of us who are single, the holidays can be less than a pick me up. You know what I mean? So we look forward to the possibilities of a new year.
I am thirty-one. Single. I don’t own my home. No children. And while I have so much to be proud of, somehow the holidays still make you feel like a failure.
What is celebrated is families. Marriage. Kids. You know what I mean? Picture me sending you a Christmas card of myself, maybe making a snow angel or knitting while surrounded by cats. It’s odd. Those don’t exist. And if I did send it, you would think I was off my rails… I mean what does this single spinster have to celebrate by sending out a card?
Then there are get-togethers. Those of us who choose not to have kids, or haven’t had the opportunity yet somehow get the disappointing looks, the whispers, and the feeling that we are not good enough.
This is bullshit, however. I’m a damn good person. I have my bachelors and masters degrees. Trust me- it’s an accomplishment, especially if you have some form of ADHD. I’m doing well at work; can we say promotion? But there’s something about the holidays that makes educational and work success meaningless.
So after Christmas, when I’m browsing the clearance at Target, I always look forward to my new planner. There’s something about opening a hard-cover, spiral bound book full of blank boxes and pages. No plans. No goals. No expectations. Just blank pages to fill.
It’s invigorating, to say the least! I sit down with my colored pens and start marking it up the day I buy it. What often surprises me is how I fill the days to come. I don’t do it with plans to get skinny to impress guys. I don’t do it with plans to join dating sites so I’m more like all the nuclear families surrounding me who are celebrated at the holidays.
And hell, if the person I have a crush on at the time doesn’t want to date me because I’m not skinny, it’s not happening anyway. In the words of Meredith Brooks “Take me as I am, this may mean you’ll have to be a better man.”
I will fill my new gray and gold planner with goals, dreams, aspirations, quotes, blog article ideas, book ideas, and books to read. I find writing conferences that would be amazing to attend. I add concerts of artists who make me feel on top of the world. Maybe a vacation or two. The sky is the limit. Truly.
I’ll add birthdays for the people who mean the world to me, even though knowing me, I’ll still neglect to send a card on time. In the margins, I’ll make notes to find time to spend with friends I don’t see enough and remind myself of how far I’ve come.
Filling out this small book for a new year, a fresh start, really makes you realize what is important. It’s not keeping up with the Jones’. It’s not making others happy or less uncomfortable. It’s not making time for people who don’t make time for me.
So what is it then? It’s writing. It’s crafting. It’s family. It’s friends. It’s travel. It’s pure empowerment.
Go get yourself a blank planner, or a journal, or hell, just a post-it note. Write down what is going to be important to you. It doesn’t have to be a New Year’s resolution, just a quick note to not forget yourself in everyone else’s judgment and expectations.
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