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New Year’s Resolutions

I hope everyone had fun last night! I know I did. In fact, I spent it in the exact same place with the exact same people as I did last year, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Even after spending a semester at separate colleges, barely getting to talk to or see each other, it was so nice to come home and spend New Year’s Eve with them.Hope

A lot has happened in 2012. I decided to attend UNC, graduated high school, moved away from home for the first time to live on campus, met a ton of new people, made new friends, and finished my first semester of college.

A lot of the changes were really good for me. For instance, I think I finally struck a decent balance between school and friends. I didn’t keep my 4.0 GPA, but there comes a point when having fun and laughing with friends is more important than perfect grades. I’ve always struggled with putting too much emphasis on school, and not enough on other areas of my life, so I’m happy I didn’t spend my first semester of college locked in my dorm room studying.

And surprisingly, the chaos of college life actually forced me to ‘go with the flow,’ and not be so stressed out. Moving to college forced me completely out of my comfort zone and made me realize that I really can’t control every aspect of my life anymore (as if I could before!), and you know what I learned? Whether or not you worry, and whether or not you stress out over something, things will turn out the way they will turn out. That realization, although it seems trite, makes such a big difference in my peace of mind.

Although most of the changes with college life were good, some were difficult. For instance, it was hard to be uprooted from my church and my small group and youth group. There are so many ministries on campus, but I never quite found where I fit in, and that’s something I need to work on in the new year. This isn’t a ‘religious’ or ‘spiritual’ blog, but I’ve discovered that I personally need God in my life, and one of my new year’s resolutions is to make my faith a higher priority.

Another resolution is to exercise more! If you’ve read my story, you’ll know that I struggled with ulcerative colitis for a few years, and I wasn’t able to exercise because it would cause a flare-up. It took me a long time to recover from surgery, too, but I think I’m finally at the point where I can start slowly building up my strength. Getting into the habit of exercising Strengthis actually a pretty big hurdle for me, because I’m still nervous that it will worsen my digestive symptoms. Also, it’s kind of hard to be motivated to work out when you can’t even do 10 knee push-ups. I’ve always resented being weak, and not being able to exercise, but now that I probably can start exercising, I don’t want to face the fact that I have such a long way to go. As if somehow, by ignoring it and waiting, I’ll magically get stronger and be able to ‘lift heavy things’ in the gym with everybody else.

But that’s not going to continue this year. I’m going to accept where I’m at, acknowledge that I had no control over the way things turned out, but that I do have control over the way things will turn out. Even if I have to start with five knee push ups, I’m going to start, and I will get stronger. Until proven otherwise, I will assume that my digestive system agrees that I can start exercising again. I won’t set a specific fitness goal to achieve by the end of this year, because there’s no telling what will happen between now and then, but I will say that, this time next year, I will be stronger than I am now.

Venn Diagram

This next one should be a new year’s resolution for everybodysleep! It’s hard enough to pull yourself away from friends and/or homework to go to bed at a reasonable hour in high school, but it’s even harder in college when you live with 80 other freshmen who never seem to sleep. And every time I decide to go to bed early, without fail someone decides to blast “What Makes You Beautiful” or run down the hallway yelling just as I’m dozing off. Ah, dorm life! For that reason, this is probably my least realistic new year’s resolution, but I guess that’s what summer is for (: I really am going to make an effort to get more sleep, though, because waking up after a solid eight hours of sleep feels amazing, and is all too rare. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” or “sleep is for the weak,” are both popular assertions on college campuses, I suppose because people haven’t yet discovered how to defy the laws of physics. The prevalence of this attitude often makes me forget that sleep is kind of important. To refresh my memory and yours, here’s Chris Kresser’s take on the subject, as well as Mark Sisson’s.

Guitar

My guitar in its new case!

Piano

She makes it a tad difficult to practice sometimes

Improving my musical abilities has been an informal resolution every year for as long as I can remember, but practicing piano or flute or violin or french horn always seemed to fall by the wayside of other more pressing obligations. I think one problem was that I always set my expectations too high, and approached it as a goal to achieve rather than an enjoyable activity for de-stressing. So this year, I’m not going to set a goal to learn ___ new songs by 2014, or practice ___ minutes per day. Instead, I resolve to turn to music when I need a break from schoolwork or need to relax, instead of numbing my mind with movies and Facebook. There is definitely a place for mind-numbing screen-based activities, but if I can view practicing guitar or piano as a treat rather than a chore, I think I’ll make a lot more progress, and maybe even spend less time on the internet! (ha)

My final New Year’s resolution is to Do Something. I may be young and uneducated, but I know more now than I used to, and I don’t want to wait until I’m old and educated to make a difference. And if I start now, won’t it just be that much easier to do something great when I’m older? In an environment where you feel like the minority, it can be hard to press for change, and when the problems you’re facing are so big, it can be hard to know where to start, but what better place to press for change than a university, where students are generally passionate and motivated?

I think the hardest thing about leading instead of following isn’t the added work or responsibility, but risk of failure. It’s downright scary to try and start something new when there’s a good chance you’ll fall flat on your face. But it’s better to try and then fail than to not try at all, which is why I’m going to try to start the first ancestral health student organization at UNC, called the Healthy Nation Coalition. It will be a branch of the existing Healthy Nation Coalition, which is directed by my good friend Adele Hite, and will unite all of the ancestralites on campus so that we can get to know each other and show UNC what it really looks like to “eat healthy,” whether that’s Weston Price vegetarian or low-carb Paleo.

Flyers

Lots of flyers!

I’m hoping there are more of us on campus than I realize, because otherwise this will be a complete bust. But maybe they’re just lying quietly under the radar, living off of dining hall salads with smuggled olive oil and canned tuna, waiting for the day when they’ll make eye contact with a fellow ancestralite across the crowded cafeteria surreptitiously spreading butter on their grilled chicken breast. Until proven otherwise, I will assume that is the case and hope for the best!

 

Whelp, I think that does it for my 2013 New Year’s resolutions! Feel free to share your own resolutions in the comments section! Declaring your resolutions publicly is half the battle (: Here’s to a great year, and thanks for reading!

One Thought on “New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Pingback: Carolina Healthy Nation Coalition: squashing dietary dogma one Tarheel at a time | Truthbutter

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