I’ve never been one for resolutions. New Years or otherwise, I just haven’t ever done it.

In part, I’ve always felt they were useless. Why would I sit here and force myself to do something at the start of the year that I otherwise wouldn’t want to do? The way I see it, if I wanted to drink more water, eat less sugar, journal, whatever, I’d do it despite the fact that it’s a new year.

This year has felt different. This year, I haven’t felt like a big jumbled mess drifting in the wind trying to find ground to stand on. Something significant that happened to me while I was pregnant with my son is the understanding that my happiness and productivity is crucial. At times I feel a bit selfish focusing on my happiness in the midst of another life starting, but it made me look at my life through new eyes and I saw that it was lackluster. My days were spent watching TV while eating terrible food and numbing my mind, avoiding any thoughts that could make me wish I had more. I spent my days in a haze, living as someone who had basically given up.

I never knew what I wanted to be.

I never had a clear career goal or image of my future self. I knew generally what I wanted in my life, but the outline was so vague it was hard to set goals. In some cases, the things I knew I would love to be, I didn’t believe I could ever become. A year felt like a lifetime and anything that couldn’t be successful right away didn’t feel worth doing. What a way to live, right?

So then, my son was born. He was born and my mortality became very apparent.  I don’t know why that was the thing I focused on those first few weeks.. but it was. I couldn’t shake the thought that one day, I would have to leave this little boy and he would be left alone. It became so apparent that, one day, all that would be left were his memories of me. Aside from the general sleepless nights that come with a newborn, I had the stress of my legacy to worry about as well. Would I leave him with nothing? Would I leave him with memories of me living a half life? Would his childhood be filled with days of sitting inside, never seeing the world because I’m too sad and broke to give him any better? Would he grow up feeling fearful of life, never trying to be more because he wasn’t 100% certain he could do it? That was my wake up call to start trying. I had to be the best I could be and pursue the things I wanted because if I didn’t, what kind of example would I be? So then, the New Year rolled around.

The New Year came and went and I started seeing something new with in myself.

For the first time ever, I was finishing. I was finishing the projects I started. I felt a new sense of motivation. Suddenly, a year didn’t feel so long and success was worth waiting for. Who I wanted to be didn’t feel so unattainable. It’s a new kind of feeling. I finally realized the work that came with what I love is not what brings me down. It’s the putting what I love aside and doing work I hate because it’s easy that drains me. Waking up in the middle of the night to feed a baby should leave anyone useless the next day, but it’s work I love so it moves me to do more. When you’re doing what you love, you never want to stop, even when it gets hard. A very simple concept that only parenthood could teach me. Some people understand this from the day they are born, others learn it when they find their passions. My lesson came in the form a baby. A baby who teaches me new things about myself and the world everyday.

So welcome to the year I get things done. The person I always wanted to be is finally here and I’m excited to see what she can do.

Have any new years resolutions? I’d love to hear them in the comments!