Have you made a plan for this year ? Do you make resolutions ? Is it all about New Year New You ? If I'm entirely truthful I usually do. I decide to make a fresh start and make unrealistic plans to do things every day or or eat different things or stop eating things. Every January I give myself a 'reset' by stopping sugar, alcohol and bread. It isn't for long and I've been doing it for a few years now so I don't really notice it much any more. It's not a detox. That's what my liver is for thanks very much.
You already know that last year I was a hot mess. At the end of the year I lost my voice, my energy and on New Year's Eve my capacity to move as I put my back out. The upside to all this has been that not being able to move has forced me to stop. Every time I wanted to go and tidy or declutter or wash up or something urgent I would get up, feel dizzy and have to sit down again. In the end I gave in and decided it was best to just let my body and mind have what they were craving. Rest. For the first time in a long time I don't feel tired. I'm not exactly bouncing with energy yet, but that endless exhaustion has lifted - finally. I haven't been well enough to swim or run, but I also don't want to overdo it.
The thing is I'm taking my time because I don't want to fall into familiar bad habits. I'm already doing things differently. Instead of getting up and 'doing' from the minute I wake up I'm embracing the art of the weekend lie in. Ok sometimes I do have to get up to do my radio show, but if not I'm in no rush to get up. Yesterday I was out early because I went to see my gorgeous friend Yasmin for some pampering. After a relaxing facial and soothing massage I felt ready to take on the task of taking down the Christmas decorations.
This morning Hubbie went for a cycle ride (his new thing on a Sunday morning) so I made myself a cuppa and went back to bed. Brown Bear climbed in with me and Neo and we relaxed. It was blissful. I honestly don't know what I was doing on a Sunday morning before this (probably getting up and going for a run or something), but you know what this feels good to me right now.
Clutter stresses me out. I spend a ridiculous amount of time planning how to reorganise my home. Hubbie bought me the Marie Kondo book two years ago and it stressed me out even more. I now accept that as I have young children my home isn't going to be pristine or minimal. Yesterday while the boys were at football I sorted out the DVDs and CDs - are we the only people who still have those ? - and reorganised the living room. I am really pleased with how it looks. Hubbie laughed when I told him to sit down and appreciate the 'flow' of the decor. Brown Bear came in and immediately said, "it looks really good Mummy." Blue Bear asked, "What did you do ? It all looks different." Neo miaowed his disapproval at me, then settled down on the newly moved sofa and promptly fell asleep.
Yoga has always helped me to deal with stress both mentally and physically. With everything that happened last year I should have been doing more yoga. Instead I did less and finally I wasn't doing any at all. It's my promise to myself to get back to taking care of myself and others through yoga. I want to share the gift of yoga with other people, but if I'm not taking care of myself, how can I offer it to anyone else ? Self care has always eluded me. If I swim I go hard and swim until I'm shattered. If I run I go until I need to see a physio. Today I went for my first swim of the year. I didn't set a goal, I swam until felt I had done enough and then splashed around with Blue Bear. We played and he showed me how well he can swim now. It was just enough.
My lovely friend Pippa has been a great help in teaching me about taking care of myself and she has created these lovely 'Sea Soul Blessings' cards. Hubbie gave me some for Christmas and I have made a special place for them by my bed so I can draw a card whenever I feel the need. I am hoping to see her in a few weeks for a mini retreat as I find being in her presence does me so much good. Pippa is a big fan of sea swimming - her bravery and wisdom inspires me so much.
No resolutions then. Let's call them habits of kindness. A promise. To myself. To others.