The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is always a hazy period of reflection, introspection, not knowing what day it is, and being confused about whether or not to take down my Christmas decorations before watching the ball drop on TV–what would Martha do, I always wonder. My thoughts and feelings about the previous year give me some guidance on how to proceed for the following year, but I am not a “resolutions” guy, at least not as a New Year’s tradition. I prefer looking back in order to move forward, I suppose.
Personally, the past year was bumpy but ultimately satisfying. Despite my partner and I facing some financial woes (adulthood turned out to be far less luxurious and carefree than the Disney Channel had led me to believe) and health hurdles, 2018 was the year I finally considered self-care and prioritized my own wellbeing, which is an overall win. It was the year I decided that working 60 hours per week was not healthy. It was the year I decided to actively take care of my body. It was the year I decided to put more care into my appearance—you would be surprised what skincare and regular haircuts can do for your self-esteem. It was the year I got my finances under control. It was the year I made peace with being an introvert. It was the year I turned 29 and made some decisions about who I wanted to be when I turn 30. (It turns out the person I want to be when I turn 30 uses a softer toothbrush and conditions his hair every day.)
Among all the positive changes I made this past year, special consideration was made for, well, getting naked. This was the year I reconnected with a few nudist friends, joined AANR, embraced “nudism” as a label and stopped caring if people knew, prioritized making more visits to the nude beach during the summer, spent an entire weekend at a nearby nudist club for the first time, and—drum roll, please—started this blog. I visited new clubs, new beaches, made new nudist friends. I even casually looked into how much it costs to go on a nude cruise—I’ll start saving… *sigh*. The point is that I made a conscious decision in 2018 that I wanted nudism to be an integral part of my life, that I wanted to wear that badge with intention and pride. It goes hand-in-hand with discovering self-care: Embracing a lifestyle that makes you feel happy and fulfilled, whatever that may be, is the essence of taking care of yourself. For me, that just happens to involve getting naked. Hashtag self-care, hashtag nudism, hashtag hashtag.
This was the year I stopped making excuses for why I couldn’t do things, and started finding ways that I could, from physical health, to mental wellbeing, to spending more time getting naked. Life has a way of presenting challenges loudly, but it also presents workarounds, albeit much more quietly. I’ll openly admit that I have a lot more that I would like to work on, and I don’t know what 2019 has in store for me or the rest of us, but I look forward to finding out and making the best of whatever it brings.
Final note: Don’t be afraid to prioritize your own wellbeing, don’t be afraid to take pride in your accomplishments, and get naked when you can.
Happy nude year, everyone. Here’s to the nude you.