It’s the end of another year. We’re all preparing for the onslaught of “new year, new you” messages and postings, and I know the majority think such verbiage is cliched bullshit. I was such a believer until I sat down to draft this blog post.
The endings and beginnings of life often prompt us to be introspective, and as a writer, I’m hopelessly narcissistic, so at this time of year, I do nothing but think about myself, talk about myself, and write about myself. I think we’re all allowed some selfish moments if they are to truly be reflective and endeavor us to be greater.
There are lots of things I hate about myself. One of the more depressing aspects of society is that we all can do this, and that we all have done it, and that we all will most likely continue to do it, and that is list our failings. My favorite kind of humor is of the self-deprecating kind, and my favorite kind of gathering is a pity party. I’m not revealing these less than appealing parts of myself to elicit sympathy or to begin to construct a false kind of humility to make my self seem more creatively eccentric. Hand to God, I’m just trying to let you know that I get it, that I understand, and that I’ve been there too. There are days where I absolutely and unequivocally hate myself.
But there are also days where I’m not so bad. There are days where I am downright awesome and a sheer pleasure to be around. In 2016, I am going to acknowledge more of those days. And in that same state of mind, I’d like to share my favorite thing about myself. What makes Mandi Bean worth anything is my childlike optimism. I could list all the disappointments of the past year, but I could also list all the times I’ve been pleasantly surprised, when I’ve fallen in love – yet again – with this spinning globe, with humanity, and with the endless opportunities for romance and adventure this crazy, miraculous life offers. As such, I am totally buying into the “new year, new me” bullshit. I will be a newer, happier, and healthier version of myself in 2016. Those who roll their eyes in derision and/or disbelief are free to do so; that’s their right. But as for me, with a smile and a deep breath and a pleasantly unfamiliar sense of determination, here is how I am going to make 2016 my banner year:
I will, as mentioned previously, focus on the positives. Every day, I will find something to be grateful for and I will put it in writing, so I can’t lie to myself later.
I aim to lose 60 pounds by December 31, 2016. I’m the maid of honor for my friend’s wedding, so there’s extrinsic motivation, but more importantly, I want to be beautiful. I want my outside to match my inside, and I’m pretty proud of what I’ve got going on in there.
I am going to be a writer. I’ll update this blog faithfully, market my published work, work harder to get my second manuscript published, and seriously work on a third.
Three promises to myself. I can do this. I will do this. I will forgive myself when I stumble along the way, and I will encourage others endeavoring to become the best version of themselves.
It’s been a few days since the last time I wrote, which is in direct violation of the goal I set, and the promise that I made not only to anyone reading this, but to myself. I am so sick of stopping and starting, of stopping and starting; I’ve never been all that successful at capitalizing on momentum, and I believe that is because I am lazy, selfish and weak. That may seem a harsh criticism, but it’s true. I’m not admitting these flaws to incite a pity party, but putting them in print does help to make them more manageable in an odd way. I am beginning anew, but with a renewed sense of determination that must be enough to help me see everything through; the writing, the weight loss, the employment search. While it is difficult to sincerely have faith in myself when I have continually fallen short of the mark, if I can cease the pessimistic thoughts and not accept contrived compromises – not become complacent and settle for a plan B – I can do it; totally.
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, a wonderfully symbolic day for rebirth and renewal. I went to the Easter Vigil mass tonight, and it was definitely beautiful and moving. Usually I go to mass early on Sunday, but my family is in Florida currently. Also, my oldest sister and her family are going to the boardwalk tomorrow to celebrate the holiday and I am going to tag along.
On Monday, I’m going to see Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden with a couple of friends. Despite my love of writing, I know I would never be able to adequately express how excited I am.
On Tuesday, I am flying to Florida to visit with family until Monday.
But I promise that I will exercise, write, read, pray and be a better person every single one of those days.