Sometimes, things just go wrong.
Normally I spend the time between Christmas and New Year planning, plotting and getting myself in gear for the year ahead. I know a lot of people don’t like resolutions, but I find having a fixed point in time to do things helpful. It gives me both a good run up and a deadline, both of which I generally need in order to get things done.
This was my view for most of the last week of December.
In 2015, however, I was felled by a vicious cold immediately after Christmas, and only really started to feel well again in the third week of January. Planning, organising, sorting, list-making, everything went out of the window as I concentrated on surviving and making sure we had enough tissues in the house.
It means I’ve come into 2016 feeling rather adrift compared to normal, but it’s also given me time to think. Being a deadline person, I decided that the Lunar New Year (today!) was going to be the start of my 2016, which gave me a couple of weeks to think about what I wanted to focus on this year.
It’s fair to say that 2015 was pretty grim in many respects. It had happy times as well, but my mental health in particular – and at times my physical health as well – was pretty ropey for long stretches. While there’s nothing I can do to absolutely stop that sort of thing, I can eliminate risk factors as far as possible.
So there’s not going to be a list for 2016, or not a fixed one at least. I have things I want to do, things I’ve started to do, and things I’m stopping doing. Instead, I’m going back to an old plan of picking a word for the year as a sort of guiding principle. The word actually occurred to me back in December and stuck, so it must be the right one.
It’s been hugely helpful over the last few weeks, when I find myself swamped with work or stress or responsibility, or just thinking of everything I could do, and feeling useless because I can’t do all of them. Circling back around to ‘what do I value?’ ‘what is most important to me?’ helps me get some perspective on things. And also valuing myself enough to do (or not do) things, although that one’s much harder. But I’m working on it.
Awesome Boots that I think will turn out to be my best buy of 2016. More than I would normally spend on myself, and already paid for themselves twice over. VALUE /= CHEAP
With that in mind, I picked a memory verse for the year, which isn’t something I generally do – my church does, and I normally go with that – but with VALUE in mind, this was the first thing that came into my head and it’s stuck too.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
One of the things that you hear all the time from people who seem to get so much of a particular thing done (running, reading, tv watching, whatever), is that if something’s important to you, you make time for it. While I don’t 100% subscribe to that view, because sometimes responsibilities won’t give way to the things you really want to do, no matter how much you want them to, I think there’s something in it. If I really wanted to start getting fitter, I’d make a point of getting off the bus a stop early. If I really wanted to save up for a new iPad (really, really), I’d stop buying those things I don’t need. Etc, etc.
I hope your 2016 has started well, or that things improve for you if not. One of the things I definitely value is having this space to write and think in, and I’m starting to plan out what I want to do this year. Hopefully I’ll see you around!