I decided not to make any New Year’s Resolutions. Inevitably, I do them from a place of being dissatisfied with life and with myself, as though it was all my fault or responsibility, and as though a simple decision to ‘be better’ could make it all come right, but if there is one thing I have learned in the last year it is that most of the things I would like to change are outside of my control.
One of the things I really thought I could control was my weight, but even there it appears I was mistaken. Despite my best efforts, on every type of diet I tried, I have been unable to lose weight and I am convinced now that it is due to Thyroid and general endocrine dysfunction. My metabolism is just shot.
So it’s not my fault.
I feel pretty crap about it but I am done with all the self-loathing. I am not in this position because I am greedy or lazy, or stupid, but because I’m ill and that’s not my fault either. I didn’t choose this. Ditto all the rest of the crappy circumstances.
I will do what I can to make things better as and when I can, but I can’t do better than my best and I need to stop thinking that I should.
I do know myself though. I know that, no matter what I tell myself, I will feel disappointed when Monday rolls around I will wonder why it’s not better than it is.
I think what I really need to do is to emphasise the positive things that I am already doing – looking for the good, the beautiful, the worthy in all the dark and hard and miserable, those “treasures in the darkness” I keep hearing about. If I can’t find anything else to be grateful for, I can always list the 5 favourite people in my life. But there is usually a ray of stray sunshine even on the darkest day.
I have seen the suggestion to pick a word for the year as an alternative to New Year’s Resolutions a few times over the last couple of years or so, and I hadn’t done it before because I didn’t feel very inspired, but this year somehow I do. And so this is my one word for 2016: Treasure.
Treasure seemed appropriate because it’s both a noun and a verb. While I am searching for treasure, good, beauty in everything, I am also learning to treasure the good things I have in my life already. My husband, my children, living in Cornwall, the ocean. There’s lots to be grateful for.
I have made lists – things I would like to write about, places I would like to go, things I would like to do, books I would like to read, ad nauseum. But they’re just wish lists, not ‘to do’ lists. If I manage to do any of the things on my lists, it will be a bonus.
This isn’t me being depressed or pessimistic. This is about me being realistic rather than setting myself up for disappointment. Based on experience, grandiose New Year Resolutions (get healthy/ get thin/ exercise/ whatever) just don’t work.
But regardless, I love planning. If I could afford to be, I would be a total stationery addict, and even as it is I have a bunch of diaries, notebooks, filofaxes and planners on the go. I can always find a use for another one.
And so, despite everything I have said so far, I have ordered another new planner for 2016 – the Jump! Parent Planner from Jump! Mag, which is designed to help you plan specific, reachable goals. I won’t know what it’s like until it arrives (next week now) but I won’t be bothered if it’s not helpful. I’ll just enjoy doodling and colouring in it. I’ll let you know.
It probably won’t be the last planner/ notebook/ diary/ stationery I get either, since if there’s one thing I know makes me happy, it’s pretty paper! Shallow, perhaps, but there it is. I know what I like!
What about you? New year resolutions? A One Word? What makes you happy? where/ what is your treasure?