Reverse Planning New Years Resolutions: Pen Pal Letter #5

new years and resolutions

To Whom It May Concern:

I think the “New year, new me” mindset is rather silly, given the slim chances of sticking with any resolutions longer than just a few weeks. I say it about myself every year regardless.

In fact, I will take any chance I get to have a fresh start. It might be why I like mornings and sunrises so much. Every dawn washes away the dark from the night before and gives light in an unprecedented way. And with that light, we have a chance to right wrongs of the past, look to the future, but most importantly find elation in the moments of that day.

My resolution for 2022 is to document my life, which is just a slightly more complex version of what I already do. I already write in a journal semi-regularly. These “pen pal letters” already kind of read like diary entries. I do take pictures and videos, just not very often. And I save just about every paper scrap that contains evidence of activities, whether that is a map of a museum or a movie ticket or a wristband for a concert.

Specifically, I am going to be documenting my life in a memory keeping “planner” (which is to say that I will be using a planner for more or less the opposite of what its name implies). Each day, I can add any of those pieces of paper that I already keep. I can write. I can print out and glue down pictures to make it like a scrapbook. I don’t care if I make a mess and it looks entirely random by the end, provided that I document at least one thing from each day in there.

I really have to resist the urge to put additional resolutions on my list. I would like to be more active. I want to keep in better contact with family and friends. I have specific goals about writing that I would like to achieve. In a way, though, I think it is dramatically better to just have the one. For one thing, it gives me only one goal to focus on. For another, it will likely be attainable because, as I said, it is just an extension of things I already do. And lastly, I can still incorporate these other ideas into it. If I go on a hike or try a yoga class or something, I can make a note of it in the “planner”. If I have a nice phone call with a friend, I can write about it. If I hit a milestone in my writing, I can show it on the page. And if I don’t do these things as often as I would like, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have keep up any sort of streak. I just have to show pride in the days that I do complete them.

I doubt that I will show the pages of this “planner” anywhere online. With any luck, the contents of it will show a year of intensely personal memories that I want to reflect on with a select few people.

Regardless, this pen pal series is one that I plan to keep up. It’s my way as an intensely private person to show a little bit more of myself to you, and I have a lot of fun doing it.

I truly hope that this new year is treating you well. Wishing you resilience and peace.



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