With the new year upon us, this is generally the time for people to reflect on their lives and the year that is about to end. I am not unlike any other in this respect (although I’m pretty sure I submit to self-reflection on a weekly basis, which can be helpful, albeit frustrating at times). It’s the time where everyone wants to make a change, where you set goals, and use this “new year” as a marker of time to wipe your slate clean and start fresh.

As I grow older, my mindset of time has changed. I no longer think in days or weeks or years, numbers on a calender that mark when a particular time begins and another ends. I think in moments, in experiences. A significant relationship. A death of someone close. A successful career move. Conversations. Adventures. Reactions. I guess it’s like the old saying goes, “People will forget what you said and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So I suppose I measure my time in feelings.

My last significant life moment was the death of my friend Iain in July. It was unexpected, unfair, and hit me pretty hard. I guess you could say that was when MY “new year” began. A different page in my life. My thought process has changed. We are all aware that life is both the longest and shortest thing we will ever experience, and yet it can still be cut even shorter at a moment’s notice. I try to live life honestly, even if that honesty isn’t what people might want to hear, but since July I have found it more imperative than ever before to practice this honesty. I have never been great at articulating my emotions exactly, but now it’s really important to me to make sure people know how I feel about them, to be clear, to never regret the words I never said. This isn’t to be confused with the “YOLO” ideology that so many 20-somethings have adopted (which frankly just seems like an excuse to make potentially dangerous decisions, sorry, I’m actually 70 years old). It’s to make sure people know if and when they are appreciated, to let go of the life relationships that don’t work, to remove added stress from my day-to-day life.

In these past five short months, I have made new friendships, strengthened others, and let some go. I have addressed a complicated life relationship that I have been avoided dealing with since my teenage years, and no matter which way it goes, I feel that a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I have been more spontaneous, spent more time on my passions, and relocated to a healthier living space. I have also made my college honour roll for the first time, due to less courses for my stress levels, a lot of hard work, and a few late nights in the campus library.

So no, I won’t be setting any goals for myself in 2015. I feel that my new year has already begun, and instead of goals, I’m just going to keep feeling – and take it from there.