My lovely friend Laura posted this on Instagram the other day:
I’ve been getting a lot of my digital photos printed recently. And I’ve realized that I have many photos, presumably taken for social media, that I have ZERO interest in getting printed – that picture of a vegan donut, of my latte, of me just looking pretty… they’re not the memories that make me happy. They’re not what I’m trying to preserve. What do I want to remember? What do I want my grandkids to find when they’re digging through my old albums? Overwhelmingly I want to preserve and frame and celebrate my relationships. I want to capture big moments, but also small ones.
This is the time of year I spend looking back, reflecting, noticing the wins and the lessons, my triumphs and my struggles. It’s also a time when I’m always drawn to set goals and intentions, and to decide what I want to paint (in full colour!) on that blank canvas of a whole new year. What projects do I want to start? What experiences do I want to have? What do I want to value, not just in my words, but in my actions?
I haven’t yet settled on my word for 2017, but there are a few that keep calling to me: Connection. Flow. Authenticity.
These words seem to hold a different kind of energy than in years past, when I chose words like reach, abundance, and light. This year, I’ve been asking myself what I needed more of in my life, and these are the words that popped up right away.
And I think what keeps coming up for me, through blog posts and my reading and of course posts like the caption above, is that I need to constantly remember to get back to what matters. I need to focus and re-focus on the things that truly make me feel alive. I need to remember that the phone glued to my hand is not where I find peace, except if I’m using it to call a loved one. That I don’t want what everyone else wants, and I don’t need to want those things. That reading a book is (and will always be) more valuable to me than knowing what’s going on in the pop culture world. That making memories is more important than making money.
I read this terrific post the other day which reminded me that you are what you eat (especially on the internet), so today I went on Instagram and followed a bunch of writers and spiritual teachers who remind me of what really deeply matters to me. I’ve cleaned up who I follow on Instagram before, but this time I specifically decided who to follow solely based on the messages they share, rather than the way their photos look. I’m planning to do the same on Facebook – leaving groups that tug me down black holes of reading comments, or anything that makes me feel like I need to do more, have more, or be more.
As we move towards 2017, it’s more important than ever to really take stock of what matters to each of us. It’s alarmingly easy to set completely arbitrary goals and work towards them, without really stopping to question whether or not they get to the heart of what matters. I’ve certainly done it before. I’ve done it recently!
So, here is what really matters to me, in no particular order: spending time with my family, laughing with my friends, learning new things, reading books, making things with my hands, writing, documenting my life, and being outside.
Those things have not changed for as long as I can remember. I can think of almost nothing that I deeply love and care about that does not fit into one of those categories. And so. In 2017, I want oodles more of all of these things, and I want to cut back on as much time as possible spent not doing these things.
How about you?