Farewell, 2016.

This is the time of year most perfect for celebrating friends, family, and life itself. I looked back at my New Year’s posts from this time last year, a goodbye to one year and a welcome to the next, and I’m surprised by my optimism. Even though I crossed a few things off my bucket list (!!!) and traveled the world, this year was nothing like I expected it would be. (I mean, did this year somehow just kick everyone’s ass or what?) Now, it is time to say farewell and move on to something, hopefully, better.

The best way to move from one thing to the next? Ged rid of everything that no longer serves you well—clutter, relationships, negativity. Do not allow it to take up space in your life any longer. I’ve spent my last day of 2016 doing just that. This morning’s hour yoga was my best yet: I felt strong, confident, and completely balanced. I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for the past couple of years, but struggled to keep up with it regularly until this November. I completed an hour of yoga every single day for the entire month, and then practiced nearly every day in December as well.

But today… Today was incredible because my mind and body were so wonderfully in sync. To keep myself feeling balanced, I spent the rest of the day getting rid of things that had cluttered up my life (and my room) over the past 366 days.

My year started off quiet and cold, as it often does. January saw plenty of cuddles with bunnies, romping in the snow with a pup, my first batch of banana chia chocolate chip pancakes, and even some yoga. February and March offered more of the same, but also plenty of new things—a grand adventure with three of the best friends, temples and tuk tuks, monkeys and beach dogs, scuba diving and snorkeling, hiking and biking and exploring, dreaming and laughing, and wandering around the world. The spring peeked its way in during April with an old friend and a big city, and later, the discovery of strawberries and avocado. May was sunshine and family and Chicago and stunning skies. Beautiful berries and loyal friends and silly children filled the month of June.

July had the beach, fireworks, art camp, and more laughter than I could ever measure. August began with a soccer game and a trip back to Ireland, even more exciting adventures, one last show with my favorite band, and a lot more laughter. For September, the worst mosquito bites ever and road trips and Six Flags and the beginning of pumpkin spiced lattes. October was strange and beautiful—with rain and apples and all the leaves, pumpkins and doughnuts and matching tattoos, more good friends and an orchard visit, forest hikes and celebrating the season. There were lots of tears in November, but also yoga and puppy cuddles and long walks and a friend reunion and meeting my rat nephews for the first time. December has been cold and Christmasy, with pancakes for dinner and silly selfies, drinking cider and baking cookies and making smoothies, playing in the snow and snuggling under blankets.

And just like that, a whole year has passed. When the clock strikes 12 tonight, I will draw a line in the snow—between this year and the next—and begin 2017 with a fresh start. What comes next, I have no idea. I seem to find myself feeling oddly optimistic again. The glass is half full today, and even if it weren’t, I think it would still be okay.

Things don’t always work out the way you expect them to. That just means there’s more room to be surprised.

Well, this is it. Welcome to midnight.

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