BY: Padraic Maroney – “The Neurotic Urban Millennial”

Tis the season. The decorations are up. The temperatures are dipping (or rising, because well, you know, climate change). And as they say, he’s making a list and checking it twice. No, I’m not talking about Santa Claus. It’s me… and while I’m more Grinch than Jolly Saint Nick, I do enjoy the holiday season. Yes, the big man in red and I have some things in common. During this time of year, I like to take stock of the year that has just occurred, the year that is about to start, and what I am looking to do in it.

Looking Back…

…at the bad…
It’s easy to dwell on the bad stuff that happens throughout the year. So, let’s get that out of the way: I got into my first car accident when a tracker trailer rear-ended me on a highway. I had a prolonged medical issue, which you might have heard about. Some friends moved away and there were also some disappointments along the way.

…and the good

But among all of that were some great events: my first time trip across the ocean, as well as some great stateside times with friends. Even when the night might not go as planned, we are able to bring the fun. I didn’t necessarily get my surprise party, but they did come together to organize something to make sure we celebrated my birthday.

I also got to spend time with all the babies. My favorite little lady baby, who likes to facetime me during dinner to be her personal jukebox and delay having to actually eat food but HATES when you turn off Elmo to Facetime me. Then there are the nuggz, my favorite little twins who apparently (and grossly) like to eat biscuits dipped in ketchup and get way too excited in McDonald’s Playland.

Looking Forward

No matter how the last 365 days have gone, I usually find that where I wind up at the end of the year is never quite where I expected. I mean, it’s not like I am turning tricks under an overpass or anything. But can you honestly say that where you are today is exactly where you thought you would be at this time last year?

What am I planning for 2019?

1.More traveling and Fun

Building off Europe earlier this year, I already have my next trip planned. In just over a month, I leave for a relaxing beach-filled trip to Punta Cana. After three months of working way more than I should, this is going to be like a sheltered college freshman going to MTV’s Spring Break for the first time. Stella and her groove are going to have nothing on the shenanigans I plan to unleash.

Also, the babies are getting older and, if I am going to officially convert the lady baby into a Britney fan, I’m going to need to make visits in person. Right now she’s on that Baby Shark train and it hurts my soul.

But more than just traveling, enjoying life more and not letting little things weigh down on me. It’s been something I have been working on for a few years. When hosting a party, don’t focus on who’s not there. Focus on those who are are with you.

There’s always a few fun outings planned as well — including a reunion with my nemesis, Debbie Gibson when she stops in Philadelphia as part of her tour with New Kids On The Block. Let’s see how this goes….

2. Self Care

Look, I hate being cliche or sounding too basic. But a lot of times, I will put other people’s needs or requests in front of what I want to do. Whether it’s going out when I know I should stay home, overbooking my days, or just not taking proper steps to manage my anxiety and keep myself from spinning. Plus, I really kind of love face masks — not like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface loves, but i would do a face mask every night if I could.

3. Stop Procrastinating

Let me clarify — I have two modes, whirling dervish, where I get shit done as if my life depends on it, or sloth, where I will become one with my couch and watch an 84-hour marathon of “SVU.” And to be quite honest, I am only going to be able to change that so much. Sometimes you need to be a sloth and revel in your own filth.

What I am referring to, however, is that I have become really good at putting off larger projects that I have wanted to complete for years. I’ve talked about writing a book about my exploits as a teen entertainment journalist, and have started it a few times, never getting further than a chapter or two. I’ve wanted to re-decorate my apartment, and I’ve gotten a few pieces of arts, but nothing more substantial. I also want to get serious about training for another marathon.

All of these things are things that I want to do, but I keep putting them off because I always figure that there’s time to do them later. Well, 2019 might just be the time for me to do them. It’ll help me be healthier both physically and mentally, clearing out those cobwebs.  

4. Get Serious About Money

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the most financially savvy person. While I can manage my accounts to make sure I don’t overdraw my accounts, I also know there is a lot more to learn about how to make my money work for me. Whether it is getting into the stock market, lowering my monthly bills (I just officially cut the cable cord!), or paying down debt like student loans, I am looking to get a better handle on my finances and working towards buying a house and better setting myself up for retirement.

I don’t like to make new year’s resolutions, because something like 80% of people fail at them. It feels like you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, at the end of the year, I do things like this and make some general goals for the year. I don’t set specifics or apply pressure, but set the goals that I want to work towards.

So, join me and let us know what’s on your list for 2019! A lot of the year is what you make it, and how you react to what life throws at you. After this year, I say bring it, 2019.

Padraic Maroney hails from upstate New York, suffering from middle child syndrome.  His writing career began after moving to the Philadelphia suburbs while in high school. He wrote for The Bucks County Courier Times’ Reality section, written by local teenagers, and has the distinction of writing a weekly gossip column for a college newspaper at a school he didn’t even attend! His love of pop culture led him to intern at Teen People, where he met Janis Gaudelli, and realized he could turn being a millennial into a career. Since then he’s alternated between writing and marketing, but always focused on Millennials and everything they bring to the table. Padraic is a lover of shenanigans, 80s music, and the movie “Scream.”

You can follow his additional adventures on Instagram: @padraicjacob

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