Dear 2016: These Are My Vows To You

Let’s face it, Jan 1st is the day we make a commitment to the following 364 days. We make promises and goals because the first of the year symbolizes a union. Similar to unification with a partner, we make promises to the approaching days to grow, change for the better and live each day with love and kindness. We know the coming 364 days will not all be sunny, we accept that some days we won’t live up to the promises we make and we pledge to take this New Year one day at a time.

We make vows to ourselves, to the universe and to the New Year. We stand at the alter of a new beginning, hand in hand, with a clean page, full of blank space. We decide what our commitments will be and with that, we set out a path for the new year. With 2016, these are meaningful vows I pledge to the days ahead:

I vow to accept less bullshit. Kindness isn’t hard and it doesn’t take any effort. If you’re not a kind person then I won’t invest my love and time in you.

I vow to see fewer sunrises and sunsets from my bed and more surrounded by fresh air with no barriers between my eyes and the skyline.

I vow to touch those I love more. More hugs, more kisses, more intertwined fingers. I don’t know how much of my life I have to touch those I love so I won’t waste one day taking their embrace for granted.

I vow to be weaker. I want to be weak to my emotions, I want to feel every moment and throw away the notion that varying reactions are weak or unstable. Feeling deeply is a blessing that I want to welcome with open arms.

I vow to spend less time getting ready. Doing makeup takes away time from doing life. I want a makeup free face whenever possible; I want to embrace my natural self like I plan to embrace my inner self.

I vow to document my life. Not just a caption on a picture but with long descriptive sentences of my thoughts, my memories and my moments on paper, written by hand.

I vow to talk to myself more as a friend and less as an enemy. I have spent decades yelling at myself in my mind. I will start forgiving myself for shortcomings. I will start treating myself with the kindness I expect others to treat me with.

I vow to give generously to those in need. I have been given so much, it is only right to give to others. Coats, shoes, time, donations, kind words, prayers and smiles, I am giving it all.

I vow to put my phone down and not be distracted. When I am with those I love, I will be with them entirely, not staring at other people’s lives, writing emails or answering texts. I will look away from the screen and into their eyes.

I vow to laugh every day, multiple times. Wherever I am and whomever I am with, I will seek laughter, real deep-in-the-belly laughter.

I vow to be with my family more than anyone else. Biological family or chosen family. I want to spend fewer moments with superficial friends or people that I don’t have an intense connection with, family over everything.

I vow to accept the apologies I deserve but haven’t received. People are cruel and mean; I will forgive them and pray for them anyways because I am neither cruel nor mean.

I vow to take better care of my body. I’ll eat more green foods and less white foods. I will eat foods that give me energy and clear my mind, not weigh me down. I will live by the motto that fighting cancer is hard, eating good is not.

I vow to not drink fewer than two glasses of deep burgundy wine each week that tastes of berries and a hint of smoke. Life is crazy and chaotic, drink the wine.

I will spend more time with my pets. Their small hearts are enormous and their lives are short, they deserve more kisses, long walks and excited conversations.

I vow to accept my mistakes in 2015. I will not carry them over the threshold. I will not relish in self-doubt or regret. I will accept 2016 as a fresh start and a clean page.

Lastly, I vow to make more vows, more declarations of self-love and more goals for myself each month. I vow to always be better, to be forever changing and growing and always mindful of my heart and soul.

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