I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution this year.
I had meant to. I planned on sitting down New Year’s Eve day and making a list of goals for the 12 months to come.
However, that afternoon I had a nap and a bath instead.
After that, I filled my house with candles and I burned sage in every room. I lit incense and I sat amidst the perfumed smoke and flickering flames.
There was no time, then, to write my list of resolutions; I had parties to attend.
Perhaps because of this, I felt disappointed the first few days of 2017, and a little intention-less, like a drifter seeking a purpose to anchor her uncertain ego.
It was then that I got really sick and spent two days curled up in bed, healing from a sudden infection.
As I awoke the next morning, though, and lifted my sore body up, it hit me: My New Year’s resolution must be something different this year.
This may sound incredibly selfish to some, but for the first month of 2017, I would like to make a resolution to dedicate this time just to me.
This January, my resolve is to take care of myself—first.
The truth is, I don’t actually want to dedicate myself to an outer purpose—to better the world in some way—not yet. For the first month of this year, I wish to focus on loving the one I have spent every waking and sleeping moment with for 33 years.
This past summer, I lost the partner who, thus far, has been the biggest love of my life. It wrecked me a bit. It didn’t destroy me (obviously I’m still here), but it broke apart bits and pieces and left me walking around with a slight limp.
Unlike many people who seem to be starting out the New Year bright and certain about this fresh start, I’ve been struggling, feeling the opposite.
I haven’t felt kickass. I haven’t felt incredible. I haven’t even felt that inspired or inspiring. I’ve felt somewhat sad and tired so far in 2017.
I’ve gotten angry this first week of the year, and I’ve projected that out into the world. Many things outside of me have made me want to shout, shriek or subtly gasp—mostly toward those I perceive to be asking something of me—as I realize what I cannot give at this moment.
This is why I never made my list of resolutions. I believe this is even the cause of the sickness that kept me in bed.
The beginning of this year is not meant to be a time of outward goal-setting, because first I need to be here for me.
Heartbreak can become progressively worse if we don’t attend to it, and for the first few months after my separation I did a pretty good job of pretending the cracking open of my heart wasn’t happening.
I dated more people in that time than needs mentioning. I worked more than was good for my body. I kept myself busy seeing friends. I moved into a new home.
Since this New Year came though, it hit me: Stop!
I wasn’t excited about how much better this next year was going to be; life is always a mix of death, birth, joy and sorrow, so we never really know.
There was something else I needed to grasp…
What if “better” was being here fully with myself, even if it was a wounded self?
That’s the New Year’s resolution I didn’t make on New Year’s Eve, but am making now—to dedicate this first month solely to me.
The past few years, I have been fully pledged to a man, to work or to making a difference in the world, and it has been fruitful. Now, though, I am honoring the limp with which I came into 2017; it is a choice to bring my energy back home.
I know other good things will come from the intention of returning to the sanctuary within.
I know I will rediscover how to love, that I will draw to me more work that fits with my healing vibration, and that I’ll stand tall and upright once more, but not quite yet.
First, I need this month for me.
After 2016, perhaps many of us need a total revamp of our hearts. It wasn’t the easiest year to pass.
I intend on being full and available to the world again, but before I do that, I must first love this self.
Maybe that’s the resolution we were meant to make this year. That we would pause and honor the ache of an ending before once again filling ourselves up.
Author: Sarah Norrad
Image: Sarah Norrad on Instagram
Editor: Toby Israel