New Year, New You.

Wow the year really ends tomorrow. When the clock strikes 12:00, 2015 will be another year in the books and everyone will start acting brand new for 2016. You know exactly what I’m talking about. It wasn’t even Christmas yet and I saw “new year, new me” posts. There’s nothing wrong with making a resolution but are you really going to stick to it this time?

new year new me robert downey

My opinion is this: if you make any resolutions, my favorite being the popular “I’m going to diet this year” (rolls eyes), keep it to yourself. Personally, I want to see you succeed but if I see you eating Dunkin Donuts on January 2nd I’m going to think you can’t stick to anything and you were all talk. Not that I’m judgy, it’s just that you were ranting and raving about change but there you are with a glazed cronut at 7am. Just think, if you hadn’t told everyone your resolution no one would even know you’re breaking your diet.

I know it’s hard to stick to resolutions because I have tried. So I guess the exception to my opinion above would be if you tell others in order to motivate yourself. That’s a great idea because I can guarantee somebody is watching. I’m just going to break my own rule here because it’s my blog and I can do what I want, that my resolution is to be less bitter and more forgiving. You wouldn’t know if that manifests itself so I can get away with sharing it. The year 2015 brought me many blessings (like starting YBO) but also A LOT of heartache. You don’t need the details but just know a lot happened to me the last third of the year. I’m angry and bitter about it. I used present tense because these feelings haven’t fully gone away. But I pray in 2016 I learn to forgive and find peace because I read once that staying angry is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

Why hold grudges or bring negativity into 2016? This new year can be anything you want it to be! You have 365 days to make money, travel, fall in love, build a relationship with God, whatever you want! Disclaimer: The road that is life can often be rocky. You have to be willing to adapt to whatever happens. However, if you always have that resolution/dream in the back of your mind, you can take different routes to it. So, are you going to give up your resolution in a week or stick it out? Let me know how it goes and have a Happy New Year! ­čÄë

Get in the Holiday Spirit

Merry Christmas Eve readers! In my post “Give Thanks” I called Thanksgiving my second favorite holiday. That’s because Christmas is my absolute favorite! I love Christmas more than anything, not because of the gifts, but because of the spirit that comes with it. Sparkling Christmas lights, minty candy canes, and giving to others have put a smile on my face for the whole month of December.

This holiday season I have noticed a lot of people saying that Christmas just doesn’t feel like Christmas anymore. I think this is partly because we are getting older. Instead of unwrapping toys, we’re spending all our money on loved ones. It’s not a bad thing to buy for your family but draining your pocket can drain your spirit. My suggestion for this would be to take the time to do something “Christmasy”besides shopping. Make a gingerbread house, watch Elf, or bake cookies. Taking the time to relax and enjoy the break with your family instead of bustling from store to store will remind you that it’s actually Christmas.

 

Another suggestion I have for you all involves the dreaded gift shopping. If you have someone hard to buy for or they have everything under the sun, give a more thoughtful gift. No one can possibly hate or return a snowglobe with grandma’s picture or a mug with their favorite quote. A gift that clearly came from the heart is better received than a gift card.
Christmas, much like Thanksgiving, is a time for family and friends, laughter and joy. Some people don’t have these things. If you aren’t feeling the holiday spirit, my last suggestion would be to give back to your community during this season. Food pantries, soup kitchens, and toy drives always need volunteers to help the less fortunate have a merry Christmas. I work part time at Five Below, a dollar store of sorts. People will come in and spend hundreds of dollars on their own children but won’t donate a dollar toy to Toys for Tots because they’ve “spent enough”. Give this a second thought this holiday season. I promise you it will warm your heart to give (without receiving).

I’m writing to you all on my phone from a couch in North Carolina while my uncle cooks and my mom tells stories of times before I was born. Moments like this are why I love Christmas. God gave us the greatest gift of all, his son. So rejoice like Mary and Joseph for this beautiful day and get out of your Grinchy moods. Get in the holiday spirit!

  

I Don’t: The Generation That Won’t Get Married

The future can be quite intimidating. Anything unknown is always a little scary. The truth is, nobody knows what lies ahead of us. Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown thought there would be flying cars and hover boards in 2015. Boy, were they wrong. So when my professor asked us to look ahead 10 years from now for an assignment, I didn’t know where to start.

I presented in front of my class that by age 30 I would have my ideal job, dream house, and be married. Isn’t that what everyone always says? I was surprised at the amount of people who got up and said “I don’t know if I’ll get married” or “I don’t want any children.” What was really shocking was that most of them were females. I thought it was every girls dream since they got their first Barbie and Ken dolls to get married. Things have changed.

Statistics show that as of May 2015 our nation’s divorce rate hovers around 50%. I believe this fact is one of the many reasons my peers will not get married. First off, we’re the generation whose parents messed the whole institution of marriage up. Take a look around and you’ll see that many young adults don’t have a good perception of marriage because their parents split, mine included. When you don’t have a good example of the joy marriage can bring it steers you away from the idea altogether. Not only that, but my generation has hella longevity┬áissues. How are we going to be married for 50 years like our grandparents when we can’t even date someone for 5 months? Because of this I think the common thought has become “what’s the point?”

Another study showed that over a third of young Americans (age 25-29) see financial security as an obstacle of marriage. However, only 20% of Americans over the age of 35 agreed. What’s that mean? My generation doesn’t want to get married if they’re broke. Whereas, by the age of 35 adults kind of have their bearing and can then consider it. This is by no means a bad thing. Our economy is still rocky and there’s no reason to combine your debt with another person’s debt if neither of you are financially stable. My mother has always told me to settle into my career and get financially stable before any wedding vows are said. So maybe my generation will get married, just way later than our grandparents and parents did.

Finally, the statistic that got me thinking my generation will never get married was that young people today are slow to marry because they’re waiting to find specific traits in their spouse. Let me tell y’all something, there’s no such thing as a perfect human being and there certainly will never be a perfect marriage. Stop waiting for Prince Charming and marry Mr. Right.

I’m not telling you to lower your standards. Just have realistic ones! If you’re only getting married when you come across the 6 foot tall, caramel skin, doctor who saves endangered animals then you’re never getting married sweetie. But that 5’5” doctor might be husband material if you come down from your castle. My generation loves to take pictures of celebrity couples and diamond rings then label them “relationship goals”. My peers relationship goals need to be no debt and an educated spouse.

The most recent Census indicates that when people aged 25-34 right now reach their 40s and 50s only 25% of them will be married. That’s a scary thought to me. Call me crazy but I still believe in love and commitment. It’s not for everybody but I look forward to it one day in the future.

Source:┬áTroutman, Katey. “Marriage Statistics: Are Americans Giving Up on Marriage?” The CheatSheet. N.p., 18 May 2015. Web. 10 Dec. 2015.