New year.

This January 1st, I started the year by tuning into some gospel music on Spotify. I am not particularly religious, but found myself drawn into a choir singing “It Will Get Better.”

Dancing around in my pajamas and sipping coffee, I was feeling the good New Year vibe; there is just something about fresh starts. This was also the first New Year in over a decade where I woke up clear-headed and fresh. I was sans hang over and feeling inspired!

Why? I had invitations to parties, which would have been oh so fun. I could have easily floated into 2017; I am an expert at that (but aren’t most of us). For me, this particular New Year Eve was about release; it was about tuning in and letting go of old habits to make room for new things in my life. A year is comprised of 365 days; each day offers a set of choices. So this December 31st, I chose to sage every inch of my house, soak in a hot detox bath, rocked my jammies, dine on a healthy salad and a indulgent glass of wine (one, not twelve). Though I did not capture this amazingness on Insta (your welcome, World), it was just how I needed to spend this NYE.

I have been on a quest for happiness most of my adult life. I understand life can be both beautiful and heartbreaking and I have created happiness in both realities. For me, fostering happiness each day starts with my cup of coffee, ends with a glass of wine and is a conscious decision to be positive and up-beat in-between. Anyways, my point is, despite being generally upbeat by nature, something was noticeably missing for me in 2016 that was tough to identify. If I had to describe 2016 in a word, anticlimactic would sum it up.

 And then, three hours before the ball dropped, I received an unexpected small gift in my inbox:

In 2017, Pursue Meaning Instead of Happiness

Considering I have 11,393 unopened emails, it was a miracle I read the article. But so glad I did.

AHA MOMENT: I am old pro at pursuing happiness and generating positive feelings in most situations. But come midnight on 12/31/17, if I want to feel differently, I need to dedicate some time and energy to defining and pursuing my purpose.

Go ahead, say it: HEAVY! Before we get too existential, let me just say, I don’t have any great answers. I am thankful for the numerous sources of happiness in my life.  But I tend to agree with the article; happiness can be present without meaning. But meaningfulness drives a deeper and longer lasting sense of satisfaction and purpose.

 “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

– Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

I have some thinking to do about how my level of happiness is related to my sense of purpose. But I do believe this blog and sharing my adventures (travel, dating and otherwise) in a relatable way is one way for me to contribute. Not to mention, I love it!

 So cheers to 2017 – sure to be full of experience, victories, face plants and everything in between! Look forward to sharing my story and hearing from all of you.

Happy New Year!

Rissa

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