What. A. Year.
I’ve reflected, like so many others, on the 365 days that made up last year. On one hand, I can believe it has only been such a small number of them. But then, on the other, I feel like it has been more like a thousand.
I could go on and on about the trials we faced last year. I could focus on all the pain, both physical and emotional, that PB and I endured as different events unfolded. I could focus on all the sad moments. The lost and befuddled moments. I could dwell on struggles that have happened, challenges that have been faced. Events that have created memories that shall forever be unchanged and mould us into the people that we are to be from now on.
I could. But I won’t.
We have a choice you see. A choice to look back on last year with either a positive or negative perspective. And, as uncharacteristic as it may be from a naturally ‘glass half empty’ kinda person, I’m gunning for the positives with all my heart. And for the main positive from the year which was that we gained George out of it. Feisty, crazy, determined little George. And, with his arrival, we became a family of four. You can’t hate a year that has given you that, can you?
New Year – New Approach
I usually start the year full of big plans and aspirations aimed at improving life and it’s day to day function. I’m usually focused on what I fail at and how I can make it better. Make me better. Make life better. Just BE BETTER. I’m all for motivation and positive steps and thoughts. But, during that week between Christmas and New year where people forget what day it is and start planning their new year resolutions, I reflected and decided against approaching them like I usually do for the start of this year.
Instead of the continuous mantra of ‘Be better. Be more successful. Be, be, be. More, more, More’. I have decided to take a different route.
I am being kind to myself. Instead of constantly putting on pressure to reach my goals and be this and do that, I am focusing on all I have achieved already and patting myself on the back a bit more. Every day I’m making more of a concerted effort to congratulate myself on the day’s triumphs… big or small.
Kids are alive, fed and happy? Pat on the back. Favoured a shower over doing the washing up? Gold star behaviour. Managed to put all the washing away after working a full day at the salon? True Supermum!
I’m hoping that by being kinder to myself and focusing on the good things every day, it will eventually become second nature and transform me from being my usual glass half empty self to being more glass half full.
I have already been more relaxed as a result of doing this so far. Too relaxed in some respects as I haven’t written anything for a good while. But, I am patting myself on the back for prioritising some relaxation and letting go of things a little because, in the long run, it means that I can come back with renewed vigour for some new material with a rested and refreshed brain.
Well, that’s the idea anyway. Baby brain still plagues me and I haven’t felt well rested since around Summer 2014 but I certainly feel perkier than I was before Christmas!
Smaller Steps for the Bigger Picture.
I just find that, whilst will power is an amazing thing (that I lack in abundance!) it does leave you cracking the whip at yourself a lot and perhaps leaves you without any flexibility to give yourself a bit of positive affirmation. I’m sure that the positive affirmation is the successful results in whatever you have decided to adhere a stealthy amount of will power to…. be it weight loss, or quitting drinking or smoking… or even being more organised and productive.
But, what happens in between the decision to lock down with the iron will and the 365th day after which you enforce the rules. If you’re anything like me, January will start off brilliantly. February will see the odd off day where a selection of different vindications will be spouted off such as ‘Well, I needed a glass of wine/chocolate bar/cigarette/Burger King because I was stressed/late/feeling tired/had all my personal space taken up by offspring and the cats!’. And then, by March, all will power is gone. The weighing scales are in the cupboard behind the once or maybe twice used stepper machine and the rice cakes are pushed to the back of the larder in favour of a fun size pack of mars bars.
So, completely new approach. No humongous goals/milestones that I am aiming at. Smaller, bitesized chunks of positivity (and mars bar occasionally) that shall hopefully all mount up to make a bigger picture at the end of the year.
But, the biggest picture is already in front of me. It’s of us, a happy and healthy family. If I end the year just as I’ve started it, then that will be enough for me. That is one glass that is always full to the brim.