2016: The Struggle Is Not Real

2016: The Struggle Is Not Real

Zara camel coat // Ever New pants // Intermix label wool turtleneck // Jack Purcell sneakers // Lacoste sunglasses // M0851 bag // Zara fur pompom // PANDORA rings // Manicure by Ritual // 

Don’t worry, the lineups at the gym will taper off by mid-January. It’s the same story every time I whip myself up into downward dog at my newly-jam-packed studio: I see dabblers. Dabblers with honourable intentions to keep their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, get a better job, save money, be kind, rewind, etc. According to an article published on Forbes just yesterday, half of Americans (so I’m assuming Canadians are around the same) make resolutions and only 8% actually achieve them. So that would be a society made up of 52% dabbler.

I should know, I’m a dabbler, too. In fact, how can we not be dabblers in this day and age? We’re overstimulated by the accessibility to and quantity of activities we can dabble in. You know the type. The wake up at 5 am go to SoulCycle, make a green juice, get to the office by 8am. Have 20 meetings in between every single one of which checked your IG, FB, and Twitter, twice. Noon? Take an #OOTD shot. Then lunch with old friends at this new restaurant that has you cook your own food, but it’s all the rage, and you have to apply to be a member. Afternoon of answering emails, doing a bit of work and getting ready to drink 4 litres of water because you just signed up for hot yoga after work. On the way home from which you stop at the gourmet grocery store, that’s not on your way home at all, but it’s the only place blogTO will allow you to proudly buy grain-fed, nitrate-free capicola for tonight’s charcuterie board. Oh yeah, you’re hosting a dinner party where you’ll impress everyone with a new cocktail recipe using angostura bitters (that you secretly think tastes like ear wax) since taking those flair bartending courses last month. During dinner you exchange stories about who’s doing the most with your friends (and you feel defeated when Kate announces she’s signed up for yet another half-marathon and has no bags under her eyes – bitch), and later you’re in bed reading books about interior design and DIY sconces, with a primrose facial cleansing clay masque on, making a note in your “to-do” list to research all half-marathon races for 2016, falling asleep with a heavy feeling of having accomplished absolutely nothing at all. Tomorrow will be better.

This, my friends, is where New Year’s resolutions often lead us to: a life of dabbling with a lost sense of accomplishment. Even when I do accomplish something (like running a half-marathon, boo-yah) the glory is short-lived – like, I’m talking 5 seconds – before I’m flooded with thoughts of things I’ve put on the back burner or ignored during my training that now need to be accomplished. Please, tell me I’m not alone here?

I’ve got a list of books to read, movies to watch, recipes to learn, kitchen supplies to acquire, yoga poses to master, cities to visit, teas to taste, restaurants to try, farts to blow – and every so often some motherfucker says, “Have you watched Narcos yet?” Like, fuck you, Ok? I’ve heard it’s good and yes, I’ve been meaning to watch it. And what’s going to happen when we do everything on these lists? You think we’re going to reach Nirvana or something? No. We’re going to die, unsatisfied, because they just released the new season of House of Cards the day before you croaked.

Ok, not to be so melodramatic – I’m sorry. It’s not that bad. These are #firstworldproblems, after all. But I can’t help but feel the pressure’s on whenever people start to talk about New Year’s resolutions and overcrowd my noon yoga class. In fact, I woke up late this morning in a panic – I haven’t done anything new and exciting for my blog. I don’t have a big reveal. How can I show my face to all of you, the first day back at work of 2016 without a big reveal? Or maybe, I could just call bullshit on this whole new year new me thing and talk about what we’re really supposed to do with the next 365 days of our lives:

Do what you love.

That’s my answer. 2016 is going to be, for me, the year of hedonism. As the clock struck midnight last Thursday, I decided that I wasn’t going to put myself through the struggle this year. The struggle is not real. It’s something we like to say to make ourselves feel better for not having enough time to really sit back and enjoy a meal and to feel guilty about it when we do. We go out for a night of drinking and feel guilty the next day. We spend time with our families and feel guilty for ignoring our inboxes on the car ride home. We skipped a yoga class. Time to stare in the mirror at our love handles and repeat, it’s all my fault.

Eff that. If I want to have a night out drinking, I’m going to enjoy every moment of it from start to hangover. If I’m at a restaurant, I’m not going to look at the price – I’m just going to order whatever-the-fuck-I-want even if it’s inflated, market-priced, truffle-infused mac and cheese. It’s not like I have enough willpower not to order it, I just don’t have the confidence to really enjoy the enjoyment of overpriced macaroni and cheese. I’m not going to feel bad for getting extra leg room on my next flight. If we go down, I want to do so with my legs elongated out in front of me not with a tray table jammed into my esophagus. That is no way to die.

What I’m saying is, it’s not wrong to set goals for the new year, it’s wrong to feel bad about not achieving them. Who doesn’t want something to look forward to? We need goals to keep us going, to make us feel alive, to force us to do the things that scare us. One of my goals for 2016 (that is a carry-over from 2015 and basically the last 30 years of my life) is to learn how to do a handstand cuz it’s scary and I really wanna do it. But I’m not going to feel defeated if I don’t achieve it. It’s the willingness to live and do that counts. Fuck diets, torture, renouncing, restraining, and all those things that inflict suffering. Life is hard enough without voluntary hardship. Just do what you love, and love what you do.

So dabble, baby. There’s no point in fighting the urge to dabble, or to set New Year’s resolutions. Dabble in everything that feels good; resolve to do the things that make you happy.  Take it all in, do the most, and if you don’t want to do anything at all, that’s ok, too. If you make a resolution to do what you love, I bet you, you’ll end up accomplishing just that.

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  1. January 4, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    Ok once again, you’ve spoken my mind and so articulately, too! Happy 2016, Justine :) #thatrhymed

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 5, 2016 / 12:15 pm

      LOL I’m glad I rhyme with something! Thanks for reading, as always, and commenting too. Wishing you all the best for 2016! xoxo J

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 5, 2016 / 12:14 pm

      Thanks babe, Happy New Year!!!! xoxoxo J

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 5, 2016 / 12:11 pm

      Thanks babe! Thanks for stopping by again :) lovely to see you! xoxo J

  2. January 5, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    Yes, baby, yes! I thought perhaps the earth would open up in the middle of the night and swallow me whole for failing to come up with a theme or resolutions this year, but nope, I’m still alive and kicking. It’s all good: que sera, sera (whatever will be, will be). Happy New Year, doll! xoxo

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 5, 2016 / 4:41 pm

      Happy New Year, Cindy! Nice to hear from you and thanks for dropping by. HAHA you’re funny. I hope you have a great 2016. xoxo J

  3. January 6, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    Love that we are on the same page : do what you love!!

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 6, 2016 / 1:25 pm

      translation: dirty gin martinis all year round.

  4. Justine Iaboni
    January 26, 2016 / 9:45 am

    Love this

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 26, 2016 / 9:45 am

      Thank you!

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 26, 2016 / 9:50 am


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