This time last year my feed was full of resolutions, gung-ho attitudes and promises that 2016 would shine bright.
Of course, 2016 limped to its finish line looking less than glossy.
It was a hard year from a world perspective. Things occurred that I do not understand and that, quite frankly, terrify me. We lost so many public figures. People we may not know but feel we know through their work.
At a personal level, 2016 was an a pretty good year. There were the usual peaks and troughs. More peaks really, with a range of fabulous experiences that I won’t soon forget. Thankfully, there were no personal tragedies. But I don’t think I will look back on it as the best or worst year in recent memory. Which has left me feeling pragmatic and realistic about 2017. I don’t think I am the only one. There certainly aren’t as many lofty resolutions hanging around the socials.
It’s interesting reading back on the resolutions I set earlier in the year. And the year before that. And the year before that. Every single year I promise myself these same three things. Space. Pause. Gentleness.
I promise myself ideals in the context of long summer days. Idle hours spent with my family. Where space and pause are aplenty.
Every year I fail to take that sense of calm with me into the reality of day to day life.
Things fall into proper perspective when I have enough distance. And so here I am again. Days with enough room in them to allow me to reflect. And here I am again, craving taking it all into the months that follow. Wondering how I might do that.
This year, rather than a commitment to do more, I am going to do less. The defining characteristics between this time of year and others are a shortened to-do list and the absence of pressure. From others and myself.
So this year, there will be less….
Oh, I am as good at this as the next woman. But it does not serve me well. This year, I will concentrate on one task to its completion. That means focusing entirely on that task, not the next thing on my to do list.
It’s a popular thing right now – this idea of hustle. Working day and night with all your heart and soul on your passion project. I don’t want to work day and night. I want to work hard within a reasonable time frame and then dedicate the rest of the time to my family, friends and restoring myself.
Thief of joy and all that. I know it’s folly to use social media feeds as a basis of comparison, but I do it. And there is absolutely zero value in doing so. I want to try and direct that energy differently. Pour it into something that serves me better.
Less instant reactions
The other day my husband took a non-urgent business call, the options given were to get back to the person that afternoon or after the Christmas break. My husband immediately chose the latter. I would have called back within seconds. I need to learn to be able to do that. Not to jump immediately when someone requests something, but to understand that I can control those boundaries.
I find it hard to say no. But this year, I am hoping to at least say “let me get back to you” and consider things fully before committing to them.
Or at least more mindful spending. This year I intend to think a little more before I purchase. Not just on whether I want it, what impact buying has on the environment around me, whether I need it and what kind of example I am setting for my children.
In all of this, there is the idea of slowing down and being mindful. Which, I hope, in itself will create space.