And here we are, the end of 2018. That time of year in which I usually fill my cup with wistful resolutions whilst simultaneously filling it with bubbles to bring in the New Year. And with every joyful sip taken, the chance of each resolution seeing the light of day rapidly disappears. Typically, these resolutions are steeped in deficit and therein lies the key as to why they most likely never bloody work! You know, the usual self-critique: somehow I am not enough as I am and that I need to be slimmer, richer, more youthful, more successful in my career blah blah blahdy blah. So, this year, I am going to try something new. I’m going to tip this resolution shite on its head and instead of coming up with a tick list approach to self-improvement, I am going to acknowledge that I am enough. I am, indeed, more than enough (as my burgeoning bloody waist line likes to remind me). This year, I am simply going to care more about me, and less about where I think I should be.
I know I’ve certainly become more reflective since turning 40 last year. But much of this reflection – when it comes to me – has been overly critical. However, recently, I think I have found a level of insight previously lacking. An acknowledgement that maybe I need to approach ME differently. I mean, is it fair on me to make the same demands of myself when the landscape of my life is so far removed from the outlook of my 20s, or indeed, even my 30s? How can this be fair, or even right, when my priorities are so vastly different now and my resources unrecognisable from the tool kit of my 20s (think perky tits; a bank balance/social life not depleted by dependents/mortgage/fxxking life insurance/pension payments etc; and time: and I mean ALL the bloody time in the world ‘cos what 20 year old thinks they’ll ever hit 40, ha!).
So this is my time to be kind. To me. God knows whether I am having some kind of mid-life crisis or whether it’s because my daughter is about to turn 10 that’s caused the recent existential angst but I just know I need to just draw a line under this bull shit. To stop comparing myself to others (because, let’s face it, I only ever compare the crap bits; somehow I never compare the fact that I can be pretty kick-arse when I’m not self-deprecating). There’s that saying, isn’t there: treat others like you wish to be treated. Well, it’s time I start to treat myself with the same grace, respect and kindness which I reserve for others. Time to start taking my own medicine, so to speak.
Where to start, then?
Well, I need to just start. And by that I mean, I need to sack off making stupid tick lists on NYE as I am not a to-do-list. Nor am I a project. Or a sodding resolution. I am, in fact, the key to this shite and I need to start acting like it. This means I need to start putting myself first and I think how I need to do this is to just be more mindful. Of me. Of being my own advocate. Of taking my voice and using it (again, for me…are you seeing the theme here?!). It does not mean making a series of unrealistic expectations to then beat myself up with when I fail. And this, I think, is the root. I think I may have accepted that I am unlikely to achieve X, Y and Z unless I address the M and the E first. But to do this I need to accept that this is a work in progress: certainly not something to start on January 1st and sack off come February. In actuality I have already started this new mindset as setting up this blog was part of my ‘me movement’. And so, come the New Year, I will start as I mean to go on…or continue as I have already started lol 😉
This means that instead of resolutions I will maintain a single promise to myself. And that is, to remember that I matter. That’s it. No great action. Just a simple commitment of thought. And I’ve already put into motion this promise through committing to some counselling for my anxiety. This part is the non-negotiable bit (for me). The part I do need to find some time for (amongst the multitude of things I have always prioritised as my reason to not find time for me previously). And to do that I’ve needed to speak up in places where I usually speak up the least. Not easy, but I’ve done it, so…baby steps. I’ve also started to say no to things. Again, something very tricky to a people pleaser like me. There are also things I will try to let go of in the New Year and better habits I will try to form but it all comes back to the same thing: self-bloody-kindness!
So there we are. One simple promise with (hopefully) huge dividends because as L’Oreal says: I’m worth it. Here’s to 2019: here’s hoping it’s another year of joy, love and happiness but with a touch more self-care to boot. I’ll let you know how I get on!!