5 don’ts for a happy new year

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As we enter 2018 with our hopes held high, it is as tempting as ever to create a list of resolutions of what we “should do” in the New Year. Resolutions, after all, are just begging to be written on the clean slate that is a new year for a new me and a new you.

This year, however, I’m looking at things a little differently. My list is not so much “what I should do” but, rather, what I shouldn’t do.

These are my Five Things to NOT DO for 2018.

1

Don’t finish crummy books or movies
I know this sounds silly, maybe shallow even. In truth, your life, and free time, is too precious to be wasted on things that don’t utterly grab you.

So be it Netflix, a novel, social media, a hobby or something else entirely — if you no longer feel passionate and JOYFUL when you consider doing it — then don’t. Just stop. Put it down. Turn it off.

Find something else to light your inner fire. We should all be excited by life and learning.

2

Leave
If you don’t like the menu, leave the restaurant or learn to cook. This is more metaphorical than purely literal.

Don’t stay where you don’t want to be just because you’ve already been seated. If you don’t like where you are — move. It is OK to change your mind.

3

Don’t settle
Things are pretty comfortable. Boring is good right? I’m always a fan of placid indifference. Things just float along nicely.

Well, in life you need to shake things up once in a while. Make a splash. Reach for something new.

In 2017 — against my better judgment, mind you — Mr. Wonderful started a business. I am nothing if not supportive, so I’m jumping in to help. I am happy to eat crow if it means fun and success. So far it means both.

My point being — embrace change. Better yet, control it. Ask yourself what you’ve always wanted to do? Then take steps toward doing it.

This leads me to the next big “don’t” of the Five Important Don’ts of 2018.

4

Don’t get stuck
If you’re not on the right path, get off of it.

In 2017, after nearly two decades of happy community involvement, I realized that I was no longer enjoying a part-time position. The days were long and the evening meetings were longer.

I think at some point in life we all meet this challenge. Something we’ve done for so long just doesn’t excite us anymore. I realized it was time to get off this path. Working hard to be at the top of the game in a game you don’t enjoy playing anymore isn’t really much of a win, after all.

I also like to think that when we step aside, we make room for someone new to pick up THEIR passion. Make room for new people while you move on to something else.

Don’t forget for a moment that making a living is not necessarily making a LIFE. Your “don’t” might have to do with a friendship, relationship, academic or career choice, hobby or something else entirely.

Sometimes not getting stuck doesn’t mean “quitting.” It might mean not getting stuck in old grudges and unhealthy habits.

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. If you found yourself having the same old fights with the same people, projects or yourself in 2017, make plans to do things differently this year.

5

Finally, don’t forget to laugh
Laugh out loud. Laugh often. Laugh most often at yourself.

DO have an absolutely amazing 2018 — and every year after that, too.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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