I have to admit I’m not mad about New Year. For me it always feels a little bit sad. Whether the year has been a good one or a dreadful one, closing the door and starting a fresh isn’t something I feel I want to dance about. I’d quite happily stay at home in my pjs watching movies and eating sweets rather than cuddling strangers or holding sweaty random hands in a pub singing Auld Lang Syne. Thankfully my child and the lack of a babysitter allows me that perfect excuse now. God I love being old!
My parents were always superstitious about this time of year, especially my father. Every New Year’s Eve he and my mother would ensure they stayed up until midnight but not just to watch the fireworks on the BBC. Just before Big Ben’s strike of 12 my dad would leave through the back door, walk around the house, knock on the front door and wish us all a happy new year. It was something to do with letting the old year out and the new one in. He felt optimistic on that night that this simple action would solve all of his problems. It seems a bit ridiculous now but it gave him hope and I respect that.
So do I have any resolutions? No never. But I’d be lying if I didn’t think about them just a little bit. I used to make lists of them and then in an epic and predictable fashion I would fail on a grand scale by at least the third week into January.
These days I can’t really be bothered to think about change on a grand scale. But I have thought of one thing I’m definitely looking to achieve long term.
This concept is so underrated in the modern world but the more I explore its potential for a happier life the more I want it. I really need it.
I recently started to explore the benefits of mindfulness. In the past I have been interested from a distance in meditation but I never really felt I was the sort of person who could ever do it properly. I tried yoga and quite frankly I found it very boring.
I am a product of the modern world – a restless, ever thinking and over productive soul. Stopping. Listening. Being. I just don’t have the time.
But the problem with living life at such a pace is that it is downright dangerous for your body and soul. You have to make time for your mind, allow yourself to rest, remember you’re human.
Everybody wants a piece of us in this life. We are needed all of the time whether we are carers, parents, grandparents, employees. But making time for yourself and remembering the importance of your mental and physical well being has to come first. Otherwise you won’t really be able to sustain this pace of life and care for those dear to you.
My life job list looks a bit like this: Mother, wife, carer, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, teacher.
It’s a long list of responsibilities. I mean a lot to many people and this is good – I like that I’m loved and needed. But it’s hard to get the balance right sometimes and on many occasions I’ve felt overwhelmed.
We spent our Christmas abroad this year. It was the best decision we could ever have made. Just being with my immediate family, not worrying about anything other than the day ahead, partaking in simple pleasures like being outdoors and walking on the beach and swimming and talking, all of this reminded me of what life is about. What my life should be. The simple nature of our days there felt liberating.
So if I’m making any resolutions this year it’s definitely going to be simplicity. I want to declutter my mind and keep feeling what it is that makes me happy. To switch off the TV and listen to music, to talk rather than scroll Facebook, to eat food that nourishes me rather than just giving myself a quick fix, to play with my child at home rather than allow my mobile phone or emails to interfere with that moment. To cherish my gorgeous husband for who he is not what this disease has made him. There are so many little things I could do to make life less complicated.
Those who are suffering, those who are caring, those who are juggling – we can all do this and hopefully reap the rewards and feel the freedom it will bring us in our daily lives.