It’s the 31st December so I felt I ought to blog about my new year resolutions. It is a strange time of year. I always find it strange so usually go into hiding on my own and the rest of the household go off and do their own thing. Not this year. Ian has finally made it to the doctor’s and is signed off work until at least 7th January, has loads of pills and potions to take, and has settled down to being ill, no longer driving me made by “soldiering on”! And Tabitha’s party has been cancelled because her friend’s mum isn’t well and so isn’t letting them have the house and everyone else she knew has got other things arranged. So this year’s new year’s eve will be spent all of us at home together and I might even stay up watching TV with Tabitha and hear the fireworks rather than being woken by them. Though looking at the weather I think fireworks might not be a bit deal for many. I think its a fitting end to the year as so much this year has not gone as expected and so much has had to change.
Anyway now for the resolutions, which I have thought hard about. I want them to be things that I can work toward and not forget about by 3rd Jan. I’ve never done the give up chocolates/alcohol ones because I think these are essentials to make life bearable. I’ve tried the “more” ones but to no avail as life is too complicated and even though I do mean to read my Bible more/read more books/write more life has an uncanny knack of eating away my time. I’ve tired the “remembering” again leading to failure: remember everyone’s birthdays/remember when the car needs moting/remember who needs what when and I always forget. So here are 2013 three:
Realistic Expectations – for myself, for my family, for my friends, for people in general, for God, for church, for life in general. I wanted to do no expectations but actually we all have expectations so that would be doomed to failure. But with realistic expectations I can think a bit about what I expect. It also continues the theme of knowing myself so I can love others as myself. The more I get to know myself the more I will know what I can and cannot do, the more I will look at my time and see what my roles and responsibilities are. The more I learn about Ian and AS the more I will not be disappointed in what he can and cannot do and more I can accept him as he is. The more I learn about my children, my friends, my colleagues, etc the less I will be disappointed in them. My expectations will be realistic. During this last year I feel like I’ve learned more about God and peeled off some of the illusions that get put on Him so my expectations of who God is, what He is all about, have changed and I have become less disappointed in Him too. One thing from this Sunday’s preach was how we confuse victory with happiness, which hopefully I’ll have time to explore in the new year.
A More Simplistic Lifestyle – which will come from doing less, eating less, buying less and not overloading myself emotionally and physically. Again this all comes with knowing more about me and what I really do need in my life. I remember when I was a single mum and we had very little money my big thing was that the children had experiences rather than stuff. So they didn’t get many presents but we went to see plays, went on holiday, visited museums, castles, went swimming, attempted to learn French, travelled. Now we have more money we seem to have more stuff and it anchors us. My credit card is on my Amazon account and I know there is always money to pay it so instead of thinking if I really want that book I go and get it and the pile by the side of my bed gets higher and I stress about when I’m going to read them! Already I’ve started to look at places we could go and visit this year, holidays we could all go on, and then looking at my expectations for those holidays. The fridge is overloaded with food that I am having to think hard about what I am going to make with it before it goes off. This is stressful. When we had little money I would plan menus each week and only buy what we were going to eat so there was never food wasted but also never a fridge with things in that didn’t go together. I am also going to make sure I book in those “me” times in my diary, times when I’m not even writing but just reading, or walking, or having coffee. I am learning too that even though I love having coffee with my friends I need time out on my own too. And also for a healthy marriage I need time out with Ian too. There are only a set number of hours in a day/days in a week and so I will need to plan so I can keep things simple.
Gratitude – and continuing with being grateful for 10 things each morning, of picking one thing at the end of the day to be really thankful for, which actually can be hard because the more grateful I am becoming the more things I want to say were “the best” of the day, being thankful before things happen and expecting something unexpected to be thankful for by the end of the day. I want to be thankful for what I do have and not take it for granted. I want to live in the moment and explore more of this mindfulness. It is interesting but I have noticed that to enjoy living in the moment I need to plan it in. I need that time first thing in the morning to journal a bit and spend time being grateful. I need that time at the end of the day to reflect in a positive way. I need time to be able to plan in those times but also to enjoy the planning for the future and see that planning not as living in the future but as living in the moment and that moment being a time to plan.
As I have started this already this year I think it will be possible to carry it on. I also know this is where I want to go. These are not resolutions because I ought to but because I want to. I want to “love my neighbour as myself” which I know has meant I need to love myself, but it also means I need to have time for those I come across, to see their time with me as special and to live in that moment. I remember about 15 years ago an Anglican vicar who use to come and visit and he would park his car on the double yellow lines outside our house, come in and give us his undivided attentions, and when he left we felt like he really had wanted to be with us, was really listening to us, and really cared but when we looked at the clock less that 5 minutes would have passed but I think he had learned to live in the moment. This is a person I aspire to be like; to know that living in the moment means being fully there even if it is just for a very short period of time.
I am looking forward to whatever 2013 has to offer 🙂