Monday. Everyone hates Mondays. This past Monday was a particularly long day between work and classes. Discussions felt drawn out and it seemed that the class would never end. Once I finally got home all I wanted to do was lay down and take a nap (my usual routine after class). But I came home to find a dishwasher COMPLETELY full of dirty dishes that no one had thought to start and the trash was piled up over flowing from the trash can. It felt like this mess accumulated over night. But to make it more frustrating, my one box of cereal that was sitting on the counter was shoved onto my already full shelf in the pantry. All I could think was “Seriously? My one box of cereal was what needed to be fixed here?” To give some context for this situation, I live with three other girls in a four bedroom apartment. Two of which are a little on the wild side while the other is a bit of a control freak. All in all, I couldn’t believe what a mess the house was and it was only Monday. I was completely fed up with the situation and had to call my mom to rant. She reminded me of one simple phrase, “don’t sweat the small stuff.”
All of my life there have been two life lessons that my mother has constantly tried to instill in me and those are “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “work smarter, not harder.” While in junior high and high school (the unmentionable teenage years), I hated when she would repeat this over and over. I’d role my eyes and wish I could just get some sympathy about whatever melodramatic thing was occurring that day. I never could have fathomed that my mother was actually right about something… Oh how wrong I was.
By her reminding me of that, I was able to change my outlook on the situation. I keep my side of the street clean (another “momism” that was big while I was growing up) and know that I can’t do anything about what other people are doing. Why worry and put yourself in a bad mood over little things that really mean nothing? So what that the dishwasher was full? I started it and went about my day without thinking of it again. Not letting little things get to you in every day life will allow a more positive mindset and allow you to free up some of your time and thought for something bigger and better than a bunch of dirty dishes.
Today, I am exceptionally grateful for music. Many people love music and it is incorporated in so many aspects of life. It is used in movies and commercials to evoke different emotions without you even noticing. The more I think about it, music is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
It has been around for centuries and continues to bring people together. Centuries ago, people would gather from all around to hear a new orchestral pieces or operas. Over the years, music became more accessible and more people would listen and attend concerts. It is one thing that can connect you to a room full of strangers. I experienced this when I attended Austin City Limits (ACL) in October. As you walk through the festival, it is just a sea of people who came for the exact same reason you did, to enjoy good music. People will go to concerts and have very different reactions and experiences but everyone there is still connected through the music itself. There are not many things in the world that can bring together a immensely diverse group of people but it happens at concerts everyday. This is just one of the beautiful things that music can do.
Music is also an amazing way to express your emotions. As I was sitting in my room feeling very depressed one day, I put on my favorite Mumford and Sons record and just sat and listened. It brought me out of my slump and put a smile on my face. It gives you something to connect to emotionally and makes you feel like you aren’t alone no matter what you are going through. Like when you go through a break up and scream Taylor Swift songs at the top of your lungs driving around town, or jamming to Halsey on a good day. No matter what is going on or what mood I’m in, music is my go to.
Lastly, it can make going through everyday mundane tasks better. This is a given. What would a long road trip be without music? Or cleaning the house in silence? From Thomas Tallis to Pearl Jam, music can put a spring in your step and make any task less daunting. It even makes the world look a little brighter as I am walking to class at 9 am everyday. Music is a core part of my day and I am forever grateful for that.
Today, as I begin the second semester of my junior year in college, I realized something. I feel aimless. It seems that every one around me has a definitive goal and plan of what they are doing after graduation. For once in my life, I don’t have a plan and I am not entirely sure what I want to do when I graduate. This is a very difficult position for me to be in because I have always been a “type A” personality, being very organized and always having a plan for things that are months in advance. It makes me feel aimless, like I am floating through life without purpose. At first this was a very discouraging feeling but it has started to transform into hope.
This aimlessness came from changing my life plan last semester. I had planned to become an attorney since I was a junior in high school. The more i heard about the law field, I felt less and less drawn to it. I realized I was wanting to pursue a career in this because of the title and money that came with it, not because I loved it or felt like I could make a difference. I decided that that is not what I want to live for and put my future in. I didn’t want to put in 80 hour work weeks the first few years and have to put aside the hopes of a family and a life. I am not competitive in anyway and could not be cut throat enough to move up in the world of law. It simply wasn’t for me.
After making this decision, I no longer knew what I wanted to do. I am an English and a Psychology major and I have been told that there are basically no jobs for people with those majors. This made me panic because I didn’t have a stable career path anymore. I thought of many different options and still haven’t decided exactly “what I want to be when I grow up.” For a while the perfectionist “type A” side of me couldn’t handle not knowing. I would stay up at night in a constant worry of what to do with my life. It made me nervous, I couldn’t focus and I cry. A lot.
As I was walking through campus, I decided I don’t want to live this way anymore. I am trying to envision my situation as one full of hope and possibility. I have the opportunity to go through and find something I am really passionate about, like being an English professor. I may not know exactly what I want to do, but I do know that whatever I end up doing, it will be something I love and something that gives me purpose.
Can these New Year’s Resolutions really be successful?
Seeing that staring a blog was one of my “New Year’s Resolutions,” it seemed fitting to make it the focus of my first blog post.
So many people don’t even attempt to make a New Year’s Resolution because of excuses like “It won’t make a difference” or “I won’t be following it in a month anyway.” This is the mindset that I have had for many years. This year is different and I gave in to the tradition of making these resolutions. Although I agree that these resolutions are often failed attempts at starting something new, the idea is a good one. Making New Year’s Resolutions are all about a “new year, new me.” The beginning of the year is a great time to start making these changes that you want to see in yourself but making a change will take time. So many resolutions fail because people will not be patient enough with themselves or completely deny themselves. Let’s take dieting for example. People won’t stick with it long enough to see the slow change that will come with dedication. Also, when people deny themselves of everything they want while dieting, it often fails. I have personally been “dieting” since the start of the year. I have tried to diet and lose weight many times but I have always “fallen off the wagon” per say. I found that when these diets fail, it is because I went overboard and denied myself every indulgence that I craved. This diet has been much more successful because it has involved portion control and patience with myself rather than starvation and complete denial. This is similar to other things like wanting to be more organized or saving more money. All of these resolutions to make changes in your life require patience with yourself. It won’t be easy but if you understand it will take time and forgive yourself when you mess up, then your resolutions will likely be much more successful.
A few of my personal resolutions include creating a blog and actually keeping up with it, taking more time for myself and the typical one, lose some weight. I plan to accomplish all these things by being patient with myself (particularly with losing weight). This year another goal I have is to actually be dedicated and follow through with my resolutions.
What are some of your resolutions and how do you plan to accomplish them?