We’re already five days into the new year, and I’m feeling good about 2020. This is going to be a tough year, especially the next few months of it, but I think that I’ve set myself up to succeed. I am *officially* registered for the GRE, which means this graduate school plan just became a whole lot more real ($230 more real, to be exact), and my husband is about to submit his paperwork to apply for graduation in May. For both of us, it’s going to be an intense, mad dash to the end of the Spring, and then a big leap into the vast unknown. A year ago, I knew pretty much what my life was going to look like today. A year from now? I have literally no idea.
But like I said – I’m feeling good. I’m focusing hard on the three words I used to title this blog post: rituals, habits, and uniforms. I am notorious for avoiding things when I feel overwhelmed, so it’s important for me to set up systems that keep me organized and moving forward. This year, I have to move forward, and I have to make changes and do things that I find scary and uncomfortable. If I want to make it out alive, I can’t let the bad habits and avoidance behaviors of yesteryear continue unbidden.
I’m prioritizing rituals first because I think those are the most important. They’re the things you do regularly because they’re good for your soul. My rituals are my protected time to engage in activities that make me feel happy and healed. For me, that’s a regular bedtime routine that looks like this: plug my phone in to charge outside the bedroom, take a relaxing shower and do my skincare routine, spray some lavender in the bedroom, write in my journal, read a book, and then go to sleep. I unplug, and then I do things that are just for me, for my benefit alone, because I like to do them. I’ve been doing this ritual for about two weeks now, and it’s made a huge impact on my mood and anxiety.
Habits are like rituals, but less fun. Habits are the things I schedule and do on a regular basis because I know I need to, and if I don’t, I’ll make bad choices. Prepping my lunch in the evening. Getting up on time to go to the gym. Starting my study hour soon as I’m done eating dinner. I don’t love doing any of those things, but I need to do them to keep my life from swallowing me whole. I wrote down a whole slew of habits I wanted to be better at for 2020 and while some of them have already fallen by the wayside (sorry, flossing), most of them are going surprisingly well and are, in fact, making my life better.
As I begin to add the structure to my life that I really desperately needed last year, I’m realizing how valuable my time actually is. I have so little of it, but I need to do some pretty important things with it this year. Stuff like shopping, scrolling, and second guessing my outfits? Not a good use of my most precious resource. So I’m getting back into uniform dressing and really loving it. Most days, I’m wearing black pants with a white top, or all black. I pretty much rotate between three pairs of shoes and that’s been fine, too. When I prep my gym bag at night for the next morning, it takes me about two minutes to choose an entire outfit and pack it. I’ve been thinking about selling some of the things in my closet that really don’t fit with my uniform. Sometimes even the coolest and most beautiful things in my wardrobe can stress me out if I’m not actually wearing them.
In addition to all the other myriad things I have to keep up with this year, this blog is still really important to me. I do plan to keep writing the way I usually do. I’m not sure exactly what 2020 will bring for Goblin Shark, but I’ll be here! Wearing stuff and writing about it.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Elizabeth Suzann Rebekka Sweater (no longer available)
Elizabeth Suzann x Alabama Chanin Marlena Tank (no longer available)
Elizabeth Suzann Andy Trouser, Silk Crepe (wearing size S regular)