It’s that time now, where “New Year, New Me” is popping up all over the place. And I, for one, completely disagree.
I’ve been a work in progress for (nearly) thirty six years and I’m pretty happy with the way I’m turning out. I’ve no interest in a “New Me” coming along and I’m pretty sure that my husband and sons would agree. But I guess a “slightly improved version of the same old me” doesn’t really have the same ring to it….
New Years Resolutions?
I mean, I get it. It’s tradition to set yourself New Year resolutions as January 1st rolls around. It’s also tradition to fail by the time you head to bed on January 2nd. Leaving you feeling like a complete and utter failure, with a guilt complex the size of a house and, in my case, a viscous cycle that has been entered where I know what I want “resolving” yet fail to keep to those vows.
Dry January. Diets. Less alcohol. Gym. Running. More organised. Bullet journals. Gratitude journals. More productive working habits.
You name it, it’s probably been a resolution I’ve broken before.
2019 – the year of no resolutions
So once again, I am resolving to make no resolutions. Not even to change it up by saying I am setting myself goals for the year because inevitably I forget about those and feel like a failure once I remember how badly I have done in comparison. And they aren’t even the “stretch” goals that used to be spoken about so lovingly way back when I still worked in a corporate office. No. This year I am going to embrace myself just as I am and think about the little changes that I want to make. The ones that I can turn into a lifestyle rather than having to make big swooping changes across the board. This year there will be no losing a stone in time for X Y or Z event, instead I will be focused on the event itself. Because if I am honest, that is where the memories will lie. In the event itself.
I won’t remember that I weighed 77kg (which incidentally is EXACTLY what I weighed this morning as they weighed me at my first postnatal check up) but I will remember the joy as my eldest wore his first tuxedo. The pleasure of the feeling of sand between my toes. The sun warming my skin. Adventures as we board a plane, passports filling up with various stamps as we make our way around the world. New countries that we’re able to visit, old ones that we re-visit.
Focusing on the now
Those are the things I want to focus on. On being present. Not on whether I have done my scheduled 15 minutes of self care for the day, or set up my BuJo perfectly for the week ahead. If I have time and I want to do those things on that day then great. If not then in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter.
I want to lose myself in naptime snuggles with the baby, be there at the school gates for pick up, play playmobil and LEGO, listen to my husband as he tells me about his day, scheme as we plan our next adventure.
At the same time I know that sometimes zoning out will happen, that some screen time will NOT harm them and in fact may even help me. I know that life with a baby won’t be all idyllic snuggles on the couch and there will be times he cries. Or gets bopped with a toy by his big brothers by accident. I understand that there will be sleep deprivation, tears and tantrums on all levels.
And I know that too is OK, normal, despite what you see on various perfect Instagram feeds. I do NOT need to feel any more parenting guilt than I already do. So I won’t.
I want to eat more healthily, introduce more greens, more veg, more of a rainbow in my diet. But I don’t want to do it to the detriment of my enjoyment of food. I don’t want to feel deprived at any point if I can’t have a coffee and a cake. And I certainly don’t want to stop myself going out to eat, be that McDonalds (what?? I have a total weak spot!) or brunch.
The aim is to start exercising again.
As long as I do something this year, be that walking with the pram, swimming or dancing, and it makes me happy then that’s enough for me. I don’t want to set myself unrealistic targets, for example running a marathon, when I know it’s just a waste of hot air because I won’t do anything about it. In other words setting myself up for failure and in turn failing to be happy at what I am doing.
Self Care “goals”
I do often find that I get caught up in being a mum that I sometimes forget who Laura really is. Whilst a dedicated 15 minutes per day is too regimented for me, I am open to the fact that self care doesn’t have to be about writing in a gratitude journal or listening to a mindfulness podcast. It can be as simple as having a cup of tea on my own (or at all), reading a chapter of my book, having a piece of cake and snuggles.
It’s about accepting it’s different for everyone and to not try to keep up with the Jones’
2019 – same me, slightly improved
So 2019, it’s not about a new year new me. As I sit down to reflect on my 2019 this time next year I can almost guarantee that I’ll be in a similar place to now. With a little more exercise, a few better eating choices and hopefully a little bit more parenting patience.
But more than that, when I sit down to reflect on 2019 it will be as I have done this year. Not reflecting on the failures of not keeping any resolutions past January 2nd, but of the memories and the experiences throughout the year. The friendships, the family and the love.
The things I find most important – so you can keep your “New You” I’ll stick with the ever so slightly improved version with all the new memories I intend on making this year.
Happy New Year.