Embracing the new year

This year is off to a slow start – in the best possible way. I always feel the first week in January is for slowly easing myself back into a semblance of a rhythm, uncurling from the hibernation of the holidays. We have done very little in terms of structured activities this week – lots of pottering, painting, bird-watching (a LOT of bird watching), reading, cleaning, and most importantly playing. 

I’ve also been continuing to reflect on what I want from the year ahead of me. I am always torn on new year resolutions – on the one hand, setting yourself punitive goals whilst suffering the inevitable festive come down hardly seems gentle. But actually I find there is something gloriously optimistic about setting an intention for the year to come, thinking about the path you want to take, and how you might best achieve your goals. 

Something I love is the idea of setting a word for the year – a word which encompasses your hopes and intentions for the year ahead. My mind was first drawn to negatives (“what’s a word that means ‘feel less guilty about stuff that doesn’t matter’?”) but quickly settled upon embrace. I think it’s a good one. 

The last year has been wonderful but has also felt very cut off from my old life – and indeed my old self – pre-Frida. Motherhood changed my priorities and ambitions and desires, and changed me, profoundly. But as I come out of the baby fug and start the year with a toddler who can afford me a bit more “me time”, I am going to try and figure out how those two halves of my identity can mesh – or at least, figure out if I want them to. 

This year I hope to embrace opportunities to catch up with my old friends as well as new, go on more dates with my husband, and embrace myself (meaning: look after myself a bit more!) as well as embracing motherhood and all that goes with it. 

It’s also about embracing my choices. I want to say yes more, in every avenue of life, even if sometimes it’s tempting to say “no, I’m too tired”. And equally, I want to be better at saying no, simplifying my life and not taking on too much when I know it only leads to guilt and stress and burn-out. 

There are however a few tangible things I want to achieve which fall under this broader intention:

  • Read more, specifically at least 26 books (one a fortnight, that seems very achievable). I’ve found that reading actual books can fall by the wayside when tired – the lure of blogs and social media is powerful! But I love reading so I am going to carve out time for it. 
  • Learn to drive. I know, I know, it’s shameful that I haven’t. But I will. I’ve texted some potential instructors and will report back!  
  • Finish some of the little annoying bits of house renovation I keep promising myself I’ll find time for. Painting window frames, painting wardrobe, finding someone to finally renovate our bathroom. 

So those are my hopes for 2017. I hope you’ll forgive this very introspective post. I would love to hear what your word is, or about the intentions you have set yourself for the year ahead.

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2 thoughts on “Embracing the new year

  1. I love the idea of having a word as a motto for the year ahead. I never make resolutions but I quite like the idea of having an intention to underpin the new year. I must think of one and come back to tell you.

    Your hopes for the year seem really achievable and purposeful. Wishing you the best of luck in tackling them.
    I love what you said about discovering more about the ‘new you’. This is quite interesting and something I can relate to.

    Some of mine are:

    * read more books too. I’m totally with you on the whole social media being tempting. It has been ‘stealing’ a lot of my time and I have a huge book list I’ve been meaning to get stuck into.

    * learn to spend more time outside. I feel very guilty for not making more of an effort with this. It really does not come naturally to me and I struggle to make it a priority.

    *do more and procrastinate less. Just get up and do stuff instead of finding excuses.

    Like

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