My personal favourite part of the Christmas/ New Year break is that twilight zone between the big events – Christmas day and New Years Eve. I used to hate that time, find it endlessly boring – nobody is around to hang out with, nothing much is open, the weather is crappy (in England where I grew up it might be wet and windy, here in Australia it can be extremely hot and often humid- sticky), nobody has any money and everyone feels sick from eating and drinking with wild abandon. But something has changed in me over the last few years and now I just adore that week between worlds where everyone zombies around feeling hung over except for me. I use that time to reflect, review and re-position.
Oh and now I sound like a perfect know-it-all pratlet don’t I?
I honestly don’t mean to.
But while I relish that chance to clear and cleanse the mind, this year I noticed a trend towards people actively NOT making New Years Resolutions. In fact more than a handful of people I met or know from my Facebook/ Instagram musings had posted things like this:
And I think that’s lovely too.
But it did raise a thought within me ‘what is the point in this reflection anyway?’
It is a well-known and much laughed about ‘fact’ that we make New Years resolutions on December 31st when feeling like a broke, tired beached whale to look after ourselves more, go to the gym, kick ass and win the lottery only to wake up around now (4th Jan) thinking ‘fuck it, this is just me, change is a trap, a conspiracy, who was I trying to kid’
I have done exactly that this year too. In spite of my joyous planning week I’ve failed on one of my big hitting goals and haven’t ‘eaten a rainbow’ once so far this year. In fact the most colourful thing I’ve eaten was the icing off the gingerbread. Ouch.
I guess that could be a big reason people mock the whole enthusiastic ‘new year, new me’ type of thinking so much. That inevitable slap-stick set-me-up-for-a-big-fall type thing that opens the door to criticism (self and otherwise) and practically invites people to poke and prod your bloated stomach come March and say ‘see the New Years Resolutions are going well then you fat bastard hahahahaha’……
But for me it isn’t about that.
It isn’t about the little actions we do or don’t do every day. The ripples we make or don’t make on the surface. It’s about what goes on underneath it all, in private.
In private? Well why post it all over social media then?
For me, that sharing is about making those intentions known to the universe by public declaration and as social media has become for many (me included) an extension of our bedroom or office walls why not? I don’t go to church and can’t spare the $50 to put a notice in the paper so there you go……
When I make an intention to eat a rainbow what I’m doing is reminding myself of the power of food and good nutrition to centre me, my mind and body. I’m not so much worrying about whether I weigh 65Kg or 68Kg on any given day and neither am I worried about ‘falling off the wagon’. For me as for many others food can be an emotional thing too and I actually enjoy observing how my tastes change based on how stressed, busy, tired or excited I am. I have realised over the years that I can indulge (and face the consequences) once in a while without collapsing in a heap and that as long as I have a general direction to head in I’ll eventually find my way there. Eating one rainbow a week is better than not eating any, ever.
And so I go on. Most of my intentions for 2017 are not food, weight, looks, financially orientated. Instead they are around exploring feelings, valuing time, prioritising actions that solve problems and creating space for adventure. For me it’s all based around this idea really:
So I’ll go into 2017 knowing that I might spend some of it 2kg too heavy, might get that sciatica back because I haven’t stretched it out every night, might take on too much or sleep too little but I’ll also know that I have a plan, a destination that I’m aiming for and that every footstep I make in that direction will help me grow.
And if we are not here to grow, what are we here for?