As 2015 was coming to a close, I wrote down a list of resolutions that I hoped to fulfill in the upcoming year- one which seemed so bright and full of endless possibilities. But now that 2016 is a few weeks shy from its long-awaited ending, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit those resolutions and see if I had truly kept my end of the deal.
Yet, even before I launch into explaining each one, I know that in my heart of hearts, I could have done so much better: after all, I spent the better part of the year just wondering why I wasn’t happy, why I was always tired, why I didn’t see my friends, why I wasn’t writing, why this and why not that.
I want to say that I’m going to cross my fingers and hope that 2017 holds better and happier days, but 2016 has taught me that you can’t do that. Crossing your fingers and hoping will get you nowhere. You have to get up and do it yourself. And that’s what I intend to do.
So without further ado, here are last year’s resolutions and how well I’ve fared. (I’ve edited some for the sake of brevity)
This will be the year where I focus more on getting fit and leading a healthier lifestyle
It took me until late August to realize that my dietary and exercise habits were just not cutting it. But better late than never, no? And after resisting for so long, I started seeing a nutritionist who helped pinpoint just what I was doing wrong.
Exercising at least three times a week became integral- especially when I started running with the Nike Running Club (NRC). Yes, you read that right: I’m running.
I’m thrilled to report that I’m almost halfway to my target weight thanks to all of these positive changes.
I will stop complaining about what bothers me and do something to change the situation
Let me tell you, it is infinitely easier to sit and wonder why things aren’t going your way than actually putting together an action plan and working on improving the situation. Unfortunately, for the better part of the year, this is exactly what I did, choosing to often cry my heart out in frustration, rather than approach the issues bothering me logically and with a clear head. But if the weight loss issue is any indication, the results are a million more times fulfilling than being angry or feeling sorry for myself.
I will put more effort into maintaining the friendships I have and on establishing new ones
Anyone who has been out of college for a few years will agree with me: making new friends and keeping relations with the old ones is one of the most difficult facets of adulthood. The opportunities just seem to dwindle with the passing of every day- and deciding that I’m spending the weekend at home doesn’t help.
Yes, I got angry plenty of times that I didn’t have any plans (apart from the occasional game nights and birthdays). Yes, it often felt like my friends weren’t putting in any effort to see me. The reality, though, is that I wasn’t doing much either.
Now I often joke with Ahmad that the chances of meeting like-minded people are so scarce lately, we had to travel to Sri Lanka to befriend people who actually live only a few minutes away from us. Then again, you do get to bond with someone over haggling for jackets (us) and precious stones (them) and plotting to take the front rows on the tour bus so that the trip wouldn’t turn into one never ending Lebanese party.
I will become more confident in the kitchen. I will also try to bake a cake from scratch and have it turn out great on all aspects
My baking skills are not quite at baking a cake from scratch. I tried my hand at frosting once and it turned out so lopsided that I hid the cake in the fridge for as long as I could. The taste was passable, I think. I say I think because I didn’t even try it. Maybe I should just stick to making brownies and cookies?
But on the cooking side? I can tell that I’ve improved quickly in very little time. The varied meal plans, the multiple cookbooks on the kitchen shelf, and my spice drawer all seem to agree. So does Ahmad.
I will not allow work to get the best of me and my energy
Sure it won’t. Now watch me fall asleep on the couch as early as 9 PM while the list of “things I should’ve done but will just have to wait until tomorrow” grows exponentially.
Beyond Beirut will continue
This resolution continued with “I will not abandon this blog once the one year challenge is over.”
But abandoning is exactly what I went ahead and did. Without the wedding and the newness of married life to discuss, I felt like I didn’t have much to say. Plus quality over quantity. Plus who wants to read about someone being anxious all the time?
Then somewhere down the road, I started rereading the things I had written and got convinced that they were all just bullshit. It became extremely difficult for me to string words together with that feeling constantly plaguing me.
I want to say I feel hopeful that with this post, I will kick things off again but I don’t like false promises.
Speaking of writing, I want to work on something more full length than a blog
Due to all the reasons above, this has been deferred to the new year- just like I have deferred it every year before.
I will get certified for work- and therefore get promoted
Also deferred to 2017. I was overworked, overwhelmed, and unmotivated about the prospects of my career to stick with a realistic study schedule.
I will push myself out of my comfort zone
Sure, there have been plenty of experiences that I can classify as being “out of my comfort zone.” New food, new countries, new habits and hobbies (Running being at the forefront). But they don’t seem like much has changed. Or maybe I think I was expecting myself to do more, especially in terms of my wardrobe and what I like to do for fun. Let’s see what the new year will bring.
I will spend more time with my family
2016 was hard on my family with the year starting by learning of my uncle’s cancer diagnosis. The disease took him away from us in September and the grief is still monumental. Despite hoping for the best and expecting the worst, nothing could have prepared me for that moment when I knew of his passing. And so it became fundamental to spend as much time as possible together- me becoming the support system to my mother, rather than how it used to be the other way around.
And yet do I feel like I could do more? Absolutely.
I must read more
I read about 15 books this year. Mostly in airports, on buses, on the beach, when Ahmad was abroad. But mostly in airports. Maybe I should travel more to read more.
I will make sure that my husband knows every single day of this new year how much I love and care for him.
Just in case I haven’t done a good job at this, Ahmad, I love you so very much!