In the past, I have not typically been one to make a New Year’s resolution. I have found that many times, I would set goals that were far too unattainable, and I would eventually get frustrated and give up. However, this year I have decided to come up with a resolution because of a trend that one of my friends introduced to me. Instead of choosing a specific goal to be her resolution, she instead chooses a word that she wants the theme of the year to be. Impressed by this clever idea, I wanted to give it a try.
I have always loved Alice Morse Earle’s quote, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” So, for my word for 2022, I have chosen the word “present.” For as long as I can remember, I have always struggled to be present, and I have noticed this to be especially true during my time in medical school. I have noticed that I tend to either a) dwell on events from the past that I cannot change, or b) think far ahead into the future instead of focusing on the current moment. I have been stuck in the mindset of wanting to get through a specific class, then wanting to get through my preclinical coursework, and more recently, wanting to get through my required rotations so I can start my career as a physician. While it can be valuable to reflect on the past and have a general plan for the future, I also believe there is great value in living in the moment.
It can be exciting to think about the future, but it can take away from the present if you are always thinking about how you can’t wait until the next milestone in life. If you always think about what you can’t wait to do, whether it’s getting married, graduating from college or starting your future career, you are always going to feel like you are stuck in a state of limbo, waiting for the next period of life to come along. I believe it takes a lot of the value out of the special moments that we have the opportunity to experience each and every day. While these milestones are exciting, it is important to remember that where you are today is where your past self at one time wished they would be. Every period of life is special and full of unlimited possibilities. Ultimately, we are only guaranteed the moment we are currently living in, not the future. We are unable to return to the past. One of my greatest fears is looking back on my life and having regrets, and I never want to feel like I wished my life away.
Although it is hard, for 2022, I am going to try to focus on the here and now. I am going to enjoy the unique experiences of this season of my life and try to make the most out of every opportunity, big or small. When I look back on this time of my life, I want to be able to reflect on the gratitude I had for each and every day, and I want to feel as though I found fulfillment in the moment. After all, what a gift it is to be granted an opportunity for a fresh start with every new day.