Early January friends.
And one way or another we’ve made it
Have you noticed though, just when you think the dust is settling on Christmas, December clicks over into January and the world goes a little crazy again. Its like some giant whip starts cracking and all of a sudden were meant to be primed and rearing at the starting blocks, our goals and dreams spit polished like they’re some sort of measure of our true self worth.
It annoys me every year
Not all of us greet the new year with a glint in our eye and a spring in our step
Yet we begin our year all the same.
We limp in, or stumble in, or edge in sideways with a hand over one eye or maybe we skirt around the edge for a bit and then fall in.
Any which way were still in.
A start is a start and humble, shaky, unsure beginnings are perfectly acceptable beginnings in my opinion.
Life and reality and things out of our hands has a way of putting whats important into perspective though doesn’t it and self worth ain’t measured by grand plans or big talk.
Here in Australia there are bush fires burning in all states, with loss of homes and life throughout December and continuing at a catastrophic level as I write. For many their only new year goal is to stay alive and stay out of the way of the fires.
Photo by Jodie Elliott
Photo by Duncan Marchant via Facebook
Photo by Daniel Andrews
Christmas has been celebrated fairly normally for some like us and I count that an extreme privilege, but for many theres been one eye on the horizon with Christmas grabbed in snatches and in what can only be described as apocalyptic conditions. An unimaginable start to the year.
Apart from natural disaster of course many people are facing there own personal firestorms and heartaches, with survival the aim of the game just the same and new year sentiments can ring awfully darn hollow.
Some of us are just catching our breath, dealing with the push and pull of life, counting ourselves fortunate in that and just quietly hopeful.
Whatever your situation or circumstance or state of heart this new year can I suggest
Just be where you are
Your pace is your pace. There no such thing as behind
Emily P Freeman
Its OK to be right where you without any added pressure to feel or be something your not.
Yes, even in the new year.
Its OK not to have your whole year figured out right now.
Like we ever really do
Its OK just to enjoy whatever it is your doing at the moment and be grateful for what you already have.
In fact thats a really really good idea.
Its OK to mosey on in. Its OK to take your own sweet time. Its OK to not be feeling it.
I call that a start.
As good as any other.
The speed or efficiency or style in which we begin the year does not dictate how well our year will pan out. Not one little bit.
But giving ourselves a moment to breath and think and get our bearings might though.
Making some space to rest and look after ourselves, especially after the almighty December push, without feeling pressured to be keeping up with anyone else might as well.
So heres a couple of simple thoughts on creating some calm and space in these early days of the new year.
Forget what everyone else is doing
Turn off your phone if you need to. Give Facebook and Instagram a rest if its making you feel behind or stressed or not as fabulous as the next person. Just do whats right for you. Social media can go crazy with goals and dreams and words for the year and planners and schedulers and holy cow its a lot. It can be exhausting and create anxiety we simply don’t need.
I’ve given myself permission to skip past any post at the moment that begins with “My word for 2020 is” or “My goals this year are”. I’m all for good people posting and sharing whatever is in there heart to do but right now I need a minute so thanks but no thanks.
What I AM reading about is real life inspirational stories that remind me of the beauty and heartache of our shared humanity, and things that make me laugh or my heart sing.
I’ve also given myself permission to put the phone down and walk away.
Create a space of your own.
I write this very conscious of the fact that many people not too far from where I am sitting in safety, no longer have homes to go to.
Home, a roof over our heads, even the most humble, is a gift that today I’m especially grateful for.
Having a comfy spot of your own for thinking, reading, pondering, praying writing – whatever it is you do – can be a gift as well and it can go a long way to creating you some calm and peace and balance.
Be it in your bedroom, the corner of a room, the back verandah, the sunroom. Doesn’t matter as long as its yours.
This year once I took down the Christmas tree (oh the space) I moved my big chair, over to the other corner of the lounge, next to the windows with the breeze and the white curtains flying about and I feel like I’ve moved house. It might be oft said but man a change can be as good as a holiday. I always look forward to this early January rearrange . A change is good for the soul and especially at new year.
So in case you need the reminder
Its OK to claim a space just for you and make it your own
So just choose a spot that works for you and your life. I chose the lounge because it has air-conditioning and its a small room. Its function is simple and its easy to keep clean. It always feels nice and thats important to clear thinking and relaxing. And I keep paper and pen, iPad, good reads and drink of choice in easy reach.
Got yourself a spot already then maybe it might need a freshen up. Change things around, bring in a plant, a different cloth, a thrifted side table – the op shops are great for bits and bobs – nothing complicated but I can guarantee you’ll feel better for it.
Keep it simple
A cozy spot is no fun if you leave no time for sitting in it or for doing things you enjoy (see below).
So why not cook easy simple meals for a bit and remember as always, you don’t have to say yes to everything your asked to do or attend.
Leave yourself a good bit of margin and unscheduled time if at all possible. Its one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves in January while we are getting our land legs back.
Do things you enjoy
Now its not rocket science but theres a good reason this one made the list.
Doing things you enjoy can make you feel better/happier/calmer/more yourself/less overwhelmed etc which is totally reason enough but what it can also do is put some much needed distance between us and all our thinking and overthinking.
See we may all be asking similar questions around new year. What’s next, what’s right for me, what do I want to do with myself, are there things I need to change, is it time to put feet to that dream, do I keep doing what I’m doing
Those answers don’t generally come under pressure or in one go.
We don’t even have to come up with questions if theres none pressing just yet.
Lets just be a kind to ourselves, take a minute or two and do something we enjoy.
So if your thing is cleaning out cupboards and sorting drawers – clean and sort away,
If its sitting down with paper and planner and writing things out – go for it.
If its soaking in a bath with a martini – no criticism from me
If its connecting with friends or helping others – do that
Be it gardening, yoga, scrabble, drawing, baking or sitting in your cozy place and letting the world go by, do just that,
What you need to know will come in good time.
And there is this
No matter what. No matter who. No matter how. You can always begin again
And that can happen anytime.
So thats the total of my January wisdom friends. If you have anything to add, as always, I’d love to hear from you.
Love from my home to yours and if you are a pray-er would you please pray for Australia, for rain, for the people in the thick of this disaster xx