New year plottings

I’ve kept a diary since I was eleven, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Each year, the New Year’s resolutions have gone in, and for most of my life that’s been a yearly ritual of beating myself up a bit. For most of the way the intention to become thin and somehow attractive has underpinned my intentions every year. I did not have a good body image in my teens, I can’t say my twenties represented a vast improvement, while pregnancy left me with a lot of bulk. I’m nothing very unusual in any of those things. The standard New Year’s resolution to get fit, thin and healthy, is mostly about the thin bit. I’ve also made an abundance of worthy resolutions, to do more, try harder, achieve something. In essence these are all ways of reminding myself that I’m not really good enough as I am.

Over the last few years I’ve become more conscious of the ways in which I beat myself up. It helps that I have no external encouragement to do that anymore. I’m working on not doing that. I’ve also learned, via some self help and New Age books, the rather important truth that negative statements don’t work. “I will get thinner” is in so many ways a negative statement. “I will have a healthier lifestyle,” is a better way to be thinking. Positive affirmations are easier to work with and fulfil, and encourage warm thoughts about the self. Very few of us are going to benefit from having a stick to beat ourselves with.

Still, as the New Year rolls round and the arbitrary calendar date approaches, I still get the inclination to make resolutions. Old habits die hard. Plus its traditional, and I’m a total sucker for that. 2012 was a really hard year for me. For most of it there was just one horrible challenge after another, with a lot to stress over, a lot that did not go smoothly, the pressure of constant scrutiny (now mercifully at an end) and some legacy mental health issues that have been painful to face, much less fix. A bloody hard year, made harder by the incessant rain. I’m hoping 2013 will be gentler with us, although there are several big challenges ahead that I know are going to demand a lot of me.

Resolutions then. No diets. No worthy, virtuous try to turn into a much better person sort of projects. I’m a work in progress, and I accept that. What I really want for myself for this next year is to get the depression and anxiety under control so that they stop sucking the marrow out of me. To this end, it is my resolution to devote more time and energy to fun things. This will include getting to more events, where I get to meet cool people, travelling to see friends, taking time off, and making more time for the good things in life. I expect there will be a lot of work along the way, but this next year is going to have some play time in it as well.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “New year plottings

  • Suzanne Thomas

    Try, “I will burn excess fat, eat healthily and crochet more” thats mine, not necessarily the crochet bit, but “losing weight” is a negative mantra, that weight is there for a reason, either it has been comfort in times of anxiety, or it has been a good meal out. I am with you on this, I stopped eating chocolate on Boxing Day, I am shouty, angry and tired, but this is just me adjusting. Good luck with all you want to do, and may you achieve what you need xx (that goes for Tom too and young uns)

    Hope to meet you again in 2013 x


  • Alex Jones

    It is worth fixing yourself up with a business-like plan but focussed on YOU. Break everything down to the smallest chunks. Use the lunar and solar cycles to keep a track of your goals. Review, Focus, Do.

  • Jennifer Tavernier

    I had to laugh! – since my thought were turning to that last night, as I penned and scribbled. Aside from the ol’ regulars wanting to crowd in, which I shushed away, (and obviously never worked, since they keep trooping back ever year) – I decided on Abundance and Wealth as the focus for self and others, made a resolution to find and renew my passport, to be ready at a moment’s notice should I win the England trip to pbs’s downton abbey, (Sept.) or at least ‘start’ on the travel road! To drill formatting and e-formatting til I can do it with my eyes closed with any manuscript, and maybe start submitting again, to drink tea after supperish, although it’s easy to inhale coffee 24 hours a day, to enjoy every moment as if it were really NEW, and to stop grousing when I wake up, and even though I feel grousy, to announce out loud to the universe that this is an exciting day, and will bring surprises and good stuff, every morning. (actually talking out loud, on arising, whether for self, or to the cat, was totally surprising.seems to center me in the now: oh! – I AM here! lol

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Gave up resolutions long ago, there for have nothing to beat myself up for. [Grin]

  • Angharad Lois

    I usually like to start the year with a sense of where I would like to be at the end of it – living somewhere else, or working on something else. This year, amazingly, I find myself living where I want to be (for now, at least!) and working on what I want, which leaves me free to think about the littler things.

    My strictest and most difficult ‘resolution’ (I never call them that; I tend to call them ‘things to do’) is to travel less, limiting myself to no more than one long-distance train journey a month. It won’t be easy, with friends and family scattered far and wide, but it is necessary for the sake of my bank balance and, well, my soul.

    And by way of balance, another thing to do this year is to permit myself the luxury of notecards, with which to keep in proper touch with loved ones, the good old-fashioned way 🙂

    May you find much joy and inspiration in all the fun things you encourage yourself to do this year!

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