I studied the ceiling fan for a while from the bed I’d metaphorically made for myself the night before, until I hit the floor running with a shadow of self-loathing tagging along behind. “When will you ever follow anything through?” I asked myself with much disapproval. “When?”
I wanted to start the New Year as I meant to go on; early to bed, early to rise. Instead, on New Year’s Eve, I watched my new Netflix obsession into the early hours of the morning and woke late with a ‘guilt hangover’ to rival any alcohol induced infliction of my 20’s.
I made a familiar breakfast for us in an unfamiliar kitchen and sat outside in the unfamiliar landscape, straining my senses for familiar sights and sounds. “This is home now” the calm voice of reason chimed. “This is home”.
It’s been a harsh year for family and friends. It’s hard to remember the laughter. To be fair – I know it was there.
Move forward. Focus on what you have. Stay positive. Be grateful. Be thankful. Have a cup of concrete and harden up. Ditch the woe is me. You’re alive… live, laugh, love.
All sage advice in their own way. Some helpful. Some not. Some already in practise.
Should there be shame in stating it’s been a harsh year for me too? Only if you say it out loud it would seem. Judgement – It’s internal and external but should never be eternal.
I stuffed up how I wanted the first day of the new year to look for me. This is why I don’t do New Year resolutions or choose a word to live by for the year. I place way too much pressure on myself and consequently beat myself up when I don’t align with the goal.
I felt there was something more to my mood than disappointment in myself. So, I did something I haven’t done in a long while. I picked up a real pen (as apposed to a keyboard) and wrote on real paper (as apposed to a screen) hoping to uncover the ‘real story’ within me (as apposed to the one I was telling myself).
It worked. I found it. Something magic about pen on paper.
Now to treat it like the old familiar friend that it is. Shower it with kindness; sooth it with compassion; cradle it gently; unravel it with patience; surround it with love.
For as my Blog’s name sake suggests:
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Ralph Waldo Emmerson.
And I know that’s a helpful start that I’d like to go on with. Like to join me?
With love and best wishes for a healthy and joyous year ahead,
Beautiful writing, Sandra. You are so right about using pen and paper: it does make the deeper meaning come out. It IS okay to say you had a hard year. We should all do that more often, rather than pretend everything’s fine all the time. Sounds like you are still settling in and you’re being too hard on yourself! A very happy new year to you. (And there’s still time to do the early to bed, early to rise thing. How about starting that at Chinese New Year?!)
Hello there Meryl!
Yep, I am so guilty of being too hard on myself. It’s like it’s in my DNA or something, lol! Practising kindness to myself is a daily occurrence ’round these parts. Great suggestion about starting over at Chinese New Year… or I might even give tonight and tomorrow a whirl. Each new day is an opportunity for ‘some thing’.
Thanks so much for stopping by Meryl! 🙂 Xx
Be Phelan says
As ever: insights and ownership, laced with your wonderfully quirky humour and seriously readable writing. And anyone who quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson is a winner for me. I’m trying to decide if 2019 is the year I’m done with guilt-shaming myself and ready to embrace the messy, chaotic family life I have. Or – to borrow one of yours – to just ‘drink a cup of concrete and harden up’. Either way, I have a good feeling about positive steps this year. Wishing you all the best in your new home – don’t become a stranger. <3
So nice to have you drop by and leave your kind words for me! Thank you! High praise coming from you.
“Drink a cup of concrete and harden up” actually falls into my ‘Not Helpful’ category. I don’t recommend it. The weight of everything only becomes heavier because I find that tactic carry’s waaaaay too much unrealistic expectations of self (and it’s usually what you think others are expecting you to do – get over it and on with it – neither are helpful in my book) and it really doesn’t taste all that wonderful! Self kindness works much better I reckon… and if you team that with a nice cup of Earl Grey and a Tim Tam I reckon you’re on a winner. 😉
I wish for your that the year ahead is as positive as you want and need it to be.
Love Sandra 🙂 Xx
Dear Sandra… repeated for emphasis!
You are an amazing woman.
You have orchestrated the pulling of those heart-strings away as you had to be so so practical to where you are now. You did it but now you need to comfort & love the person who did “the hard things”. Again, you… i know how hard it is- my wise psychologist told me after I berated myself for not being able to “move on” after all the changes we made in 2014-2015.. “feelings take a while to catch up with actions” so let those feelings happen! And blogging is a great way to connect to like-minds/souls! Link up if you feel up to it- over at my blog.. love Denyse xx
Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid says
Oh yay you’re back and it’s nice to see that although you may have lost your way with Netflix (it does that to you!) you haven’t lost your way with words. I think the trick of riding this rollercoaster of life, is to go gently and try not to be so hard on yourself. All this talk of resolutions and words of the year makes me feel a bit nervous, I have a short attention span and am not a fan of setting myself up to fail. Every day, every hour, every minute is an opportunity for making the most of now and if you want to make the most of it watching Netflix, then knock yourself out! You do you! I have to admit though, I hope you doing you involves a lot more of your writing this year, I love it so! I hope you show yourself the same kindness and compassion that you so generously share with others, go gently!
Bugger New Year’s Resolutions I say. Haven’t done one for years because I always “failed”. Awful word that … failed. By whose reckoning? Your wheelbarrow was well and truly overflowing last year my friend, time for a gentle breath out? . .. Hugs, M