What I most need to tell myself about 2016 is…

New years

I love new years resolutions.

Not because I’m good at them or that they work or that I even stick to them. I love them because they’re like a winning lotto ticket for the upcoming year where you can bet on anything you want and with intention, make that happen.

For many years, that’s what I did, I bet on happiness. I made happiness my resolution. The thought first consciously occurred to me on my 30th birthday. I was in my first year of art school studying ceramics and creative writing. I was washing toilets at the college to buy food, living with my cousin and my dog and taking part in a personal adventure that scared me and thrilled me in equal parts (but not necessarily at the same time).

I was under water in the bathtub listening to my heart beat, considering being 30 and the social stigmas that come with it when a thought struck me. I was ridiculously happy. It’s not that life wasn’t challenging, it was one of the most challenging times in my life up to that point, but I was tripping on the joy of living a creative life.

I decided in the tub if I was doing the same thing at 50 I was doing at 30 but I was this happy, I was totally ok with that. It wasn’t about the money, the success, the fame. Life was about being happy.

Then life happened

I adopted the ‘Pursue my happiness’ mantra and it became my go to resolution every year mostly because I was feeling it. It was easy. After some years had passed I wasn’t necessarily feeling quite so free and joyful (struggles of entrepreneurship, divorce, broken friendships). I adopted happiness as my resolution because I recognized it was missing from much of my life. Then as life went on and struggles amplified, I chose happiness as my resolution because I knew I needed to focus on it more. But usually by January 4th and wrapped up in persevering instead of thriving, I’d more or less forget about the mantra for the rest of the year.

So what I need to tell myself most for 2016 is to pursue a creative life. Over the years, living in a creative space as been overshadowed by bills, clients, deadlines and bottom lines. I also became a mom 2 years ago and while it inspires me almost every day, I tend to run out of energy before I get to living out that inspiration. Ideas are born and then pushed aside to make way for more ‘important’ things.

2016 is time for me to get real with my creative self again.