I am not really sure why I am writing this post but it feels like the first post of the year should be a proper one. A formal one to mark the start of a new bunch of 365 days. Like using your neatest handwriting and only underlining with a ruler on the first page of a notepad, before it all goes down hill five pages in. Or if it is this blog it will be page two, but at least page one will be written with the best of intentions.
I had lots of those for this year and on day three I am admitting that all of them are now in the bin. I had resolved in December that this year I would make tiny tiny changes each day that maybe over time would add up to bigger changes. That maybe nobody would notice the small changes as they happened but that when they, or indeed I, looked back at 2017 this time next year they might go “oh yes, look”. If I set myself tiny changes to do I wouldn’t fail at those, surely? But by day two oh yes I had and then I thought “bugger it” and decided that the resolution I made in 1989 that I would never make another new year’s resolution was the best one I ever made.
It seems I have confirmed to myself already that it is just too easy to fail when you set yourself challenges and targets and then you spend the rest of the year beating yourself up for not achieving whatever goal it was you had set in your own head. It is just a vicious circle of doom and one that I no longer buy into. I don’t really see the point of making huge life changing changes at the beginning of the year and I am getting increasingly grumpy with the “new year, new you” headlines. I don’t want to be a new me. I just want to be a better version of me. Ditto my friends and family, I don’t want them to be all shiny and new like shoes that make your feet hurt every time you wear them but you persevere because you know one day you will love them like the last ones you loved.
But now the Christmas tree is down, the decorations are away and we are back in the old routine I am thinking that maybe all is not lost. That to write off 2017 as a disaster because I have’t made and stuck to resolutions is a bit childish (even if I don’t want to admit that out loud). Take this blog post for instance. I wasn’t going to write it because it is a jumble of about four other blog posts I have had floating around in my head since the middle of December. I couldn’t get any one of them into any kind of legible post so I gave up. There are also a pile of other posts I want to write, posts about holidays and trips we have done, photos I want to share, commenting on things that were relevant at the time but are now long since irrelevant, things I have been sent to review, recipes I want to blog and all of them are still on my to do list. Either on paper or in my head.
My head is a mess, still is. Has been for months. Will be for the forseeable future and there isn’t really a whole load I can do about that without trying out some fairly major life changes that I can’t do in one “Right, I am doing this” approach. They might not even work but I am running out of options unless this head transplant idea becomes a viable reality. So it is back to the small changes in the hope they all add up to something bigger.
Starting with breathing. I am starting off by vowing to breathe better. That sounds mad I know, but because breathing is something we never really think about we don’t pay any attention to it, do we? So it got me thinking about how much better things might be we breathed every now and again with a bit more purpose. I am a big fan of standing still for five minutes and just breathing in big lungs full of air. It cements a moment in time for me, such as on a beach when I want to drink in the view and make a memory. It also clears my head if I am just doing it in the garden whilst holding a mug of tea.
It can stop me wanting to scream and shout at people or reply to stupid emails with “are you having a laugh?!!!” if I just breathe first. Focusing on the process of breathing in and out five times a couple of times a day to just see if it makes a difference.
If nothing else I might bring my blood pressure down when I see another pile of cat sick on the kitchen floor.