I’m a big believer in beginnings. There’s nothing more beautiful to me than a fresh start, a blank canvas, a new year.
In 2017 I made a New Years’ Resolution to explore more of the world around me, which eventually led me to start edwinaescapes. I guess that puts me in the elusive three percent of people who actually followed through with their resolutions to the end of the year.
Sort of. It did take me six months to actually start the thing, and I do have a tendency to either throw all of my energies at this blog, or to ignore it like that old, sort-of acquaintance on the other side of the street who you really don’t want to start up a conversation with. The main point is, I’m still here, writing and exploring and learning and creating, which was the whole point of the resolution.
For me, 2017 was the year of big, little things. Sure, there were some big, big things in the mix: I started a great new job, I created this blog, I watched one of my best friends walk down the aisle as her bridesmaid.
But when I look back on 2017 it’s the little things that keep coming to mind. The things that seem little at the time, but together make up the whole, big thing. Discovering favourite new places near home. Getting giggly over too much wine in the Hunter with one of your best friends. Eating too many dumplings at 11 pm in Melbourne. Pretending you’re totally ok with heights on a giant hill with your overly athletic friends in Canberra.
Despite the (fake) smiles, we were not ok.
I learned a lot, too: how important nature is to my overall happiness (I’m like a video game character who needs to restore their energy bar by sitting under a tree), how to carry three schooners through the pub (yes, it really did take me 25 years to learn this super important life-skill), how to pop a bottle of champagne all by myself, fearlessly.
Yep. It’s been a big, little year.
That smile? That’s pure pride, people.
I’ve started to realise that it’s these little things that influence my happiness the most. When we’re feeling down or unhappy with life, we tend to look at the big things we might need to change – careers, relationships, locations.
But I’ve found that tweaking the little things – going for a walk outside, calling a friend, booking a last minute yoga class – these are the things that really lift my mood. And I find that doing more of these things on a regular basis has a big, big effect on my overall happiness.
So, this year I’ve set myself a rather simple resolution:
Do more of the things that make me happy.
I’ve started off strong by spending New Years camping on the North coast of NSW with family, by the river, spending days swimming at the beach, reading under dappled shade, fishing in my Dad’s boat, getting a little sunburnt kayaking and watching our little tent get pummeled sideways in one of those insane Summer storms. I’m sure these will be the big, little things that I’ll remember next year.
New year, fresh start, blank canvas: let’s begin.