I want to write that a new year is the perfect time for new beginnings. But that is just lazy thinking and writing. A new beginning can be made at any time. And they are created from moment to moment and not from a complete break from the past or the need for a new calender. The fact that most people have abandoned their new year resolutions by February just goes to show that a new year is less about a perfect time for a new beginning and more about the illusion that it is.
And let’s be fair to ourselves. Breaking from our past is rather hard, as it makes up who we are. Instead, working with the past, learning and relearning from it, and trying to remain as conscious as possible about the process, that is the harder, but truer, path.
Or at least I believe so! And that can be started at any time, although it needs to be constantly attended to. We need to be reminded we are only human. And setting goals and forcing high standards of change while beating myself into submission seems like, well, soul sucking rather than soul enhancing work.
And so that is why I am not making any resolutions this new year. I want my year to be soul enhancing rather than sucking. I am going to try and follow through on what I love and practice self-forgiveness rather than beating myself up when I slip up. I am going to try to embrace my writing and enjoy the process rather than fretting I am not doing enough or being enough. I am going to accept that being a mother separated from her mother by an ocean means I am allowed to accept a dip in productivity.
I also get to accept that when I feel guilty sometimes it is because I know I am indulging in behaviour that does not ring true with the “ideal me” and sometimes it’s just because being a mother did not come with a manual. And even if it had, let’s face it, I probably would have disagreed with all of it and tossed it out the window to do it my way anyway. And that brings uncertainty, which is often the price you have to pay to walk your own path. But then you also get to be rewarded with the joy that comes with finding that sweet spot that lets you touch happiness you have defined for yourself. (It doesn’t always stay, but at least you know how to fumble towards it again!)
As a mother or a writer I often have no idea what I am doing. But this year I am practising forgiveness and enjoying the ride. No resolutions, just mindful practice of my life.