The New Year didn’t start too well for me......I caught the dreaded lurgy over Christmas and it chased me into the first part of the year, making me sleep for hours and still wake up tired (not to mention grumpy!). The result of this is that I am still playing ‘catch-up’ with my admin and my enthusiasm seems to have gone on a long holiday!!
I was moaning about all of this to my eldest daughter Lauren yesterday, saying I didn’t know what I was going to do about it and adding that I had this article for PAX to write, the Editor’s deadline had already passed and I was feeling guilty for keeping her waiting but that I was really struggling for anything to write about. ‘What about New Year’s resolutions?’ said Lauren, ‘we all make a vain attempt at them.’ ‘No point’, I replied ‘mine’s always the same - get better at admin - and it lasts about a week!!’ ‘I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately’ replied Lauren ‘about how we set ourselves up to fail’. ‘Well, you write the article then’ I snorted..........so she did!!!
January 2020 - New Year, new me.
It feels the same every year, everyone starting new resolutions and giving up ‘bad’ habits. I do it every year too, only to set myself up for failure. This year, my life took a very unexpected turn and in a way that I had never, ever imagined. Instead of resorting to my usual ‘quick fixes’ to give myself a temporary boost, I wanted to create a sustainable way to live my life in the best way that I can. No fad diets or mad gym dashes, just good food and enjoyable exercise. I no longer wanted to be that stressed-out Lauren with no way to control my anxieties besides making endless ‘to-do’ lists. So I decided to go to mindfulness classes to try to understand how my brain works and find ways to manage life in a way that won’t give me short-term ‘fixes’ but will hopefully bring long-term relaxation and peacefulness.
I am now finding that I am spending more time with my friends and family and have discovered a deep and fulfilling relationship with my mum that I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t taken a look into what I really want and what really is important. By taking a step back from the quick fixes and honestly working on ourselves with a long-term vision, we won’t always feel like we have failed or that we didn’t manage to do this or that. We will be gentler with ourselves and find what really makes us happy and content.
As this is the church magazine and my mum is the vicar, I suppose I ought to at least mention God!! I guess, for me, I can see how an awareness of my own self and how I relate to others is not so far apart from a journey of faith and how that is lived out every day. It’s not about your New Year’s resolution being that you
go to church every week or commit to reading the Bible every day because you will set yourself up to fail. It’s more about reflecting on what is important in your
faith and focusing on making that sustainable - making more time for prayer, giving yourself some space for reflection, becoming more aware of how things you do daily link back to your faith.
It doesn’t have to be spectacular, I just think we should all be kinder to ourselves and celebrate the small, sustainable ‘wins’ - life is hard enough already without us adding to our own load!!
(PS - this being a Vicar stuff is easy!)
Well, when did she become all grown-up!!! Seriously though, I could’ve kissed her! I had no motivation to write anything and was feeling very much a failure. My lovely daughter has taught me several things this week.....1. Life is better when it’s shared with someone who cares. 2. Help comes from the most unexpected of places. 3. Even one tiny step in the right direction is still one step closer to the ultimate goal. 4. The only time you fail is when you fail to try. And 5. I am one lucky woman to have the love and support of my family
and friends. So this year, I have just one resolution......simply to notice each day something I have to be grateful for. Thanks Lauren!!
With love - Ginni