new year, new word

Hello, readers. It’s been a while and this post is probably just about still relevant. I figure if I post it before February is over it’s still of interest (though I’m aware I’m currently wearing a vest top and enjoying such a warm, sunny day that the New Year feels distant).

I have a love-hate relationship with the New Year. We tend to have busy Christmas’s involving a fair amount of travel. When we get back home and all the Christmas festivities are officially over, I am overwhelmed with a desire to rid the house of the Christmas-clutter and get back to normality. A tidier, less-cluttered normality than we had before Christmas.

I think there should be a New-Year-clean rather than just saving it for the spring. Instead of feeling overweight and lethargic, I feel overweight and energised towards a fresh start. A new beginning. A clean slate.

Last year, I was inspired by Ali Edwards’ ‘one little word’ project. She chooses a word to inspire her for the year rather than a list of resolutions. This is the basis for a scrapbook that she will create that year to record memories. All somehow shaped and nuanced by her engagement with this word. What she creates is beautiful and if you are the scrapbooking type you should check out her website.

I’m not a scrapbook-er but having one word to focus on feels interesting, manageable and, let’s face it, who can actually remember their list of resolutions by pancake day?

This year I’ve decided to go with…

Last week, I found myself explaining to one of my children how I feel most happy when I am enabling them to be happy. That when you go after your own happiness all the time, it feels a bit like trying to catch a snow flake. But then that seems like twisting selflessness to ultimately be about your own happiness as well. Am I still just chasing happiness here? Brain ache ensues. We’re only human and happiness feels good. It’s not entirely lacking in nobility.

I’ve been using the Headspace meditation app, not every day I hasten to admit, but a major component of their approach is to encourage you to reflect on the benefits of your meditation on others. This is because being introspective is unhelpful for your mental health. Escaping your own head and not focusing on your current state of mind is one of the best things you can do.

What am I aiming for, then?

Well, when I find myself getting anxious or low, I will aim to refocus on those around me and how I can encourage and positively impact their lives. I won’t just pray about my own problems but will pray for others. I will seek to enhance the joy of others for THEIR sake.

Will let you know how it goes…

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