Post-Christmas and New Year
On New Year’s Eve I didn’t feel like going out on the town nor popping champagne and watching the fireworks. I was physically and mentally drained from weeks of excitement and home preparations in readiness for my five family members who stayed over at Christmas. It was an emotional and happy time when they arrived but it takes its toll, particularly in our hot Queensland weather. It was even harder when they left.
New Year’s Eve was already upon us and all I yearned for was to be home in my comfy secure environment. My family had returned to their homes and sadness crept in. It hung like a stubborn cloud refusing to dissipate.
I was annoyed with myself at first, then realised it’s okay given all the activities that had taken place. It was time for self-talk and acknowledgement, not only to myself but to my mates that “I need to stop”, and so I did.
Be kind to yourself
It was a treat to stay home, pour a glass of wine and veg out on the annual New Year’s Eve movie. I had long come to terms with the fact that you do not have to wait up for the magical midnight hour to witness the crossing of the timeline.
It’s okay to be kind to yourself and there is no need to feel guilty. Life will not go into eternal meltdown, it is only a man-made date after all! Mind you I am not against celebrations of which I have had many, but there are times when you need to spend time alone.
This week I shared my sentiments with a young woman at the gym. She also chose to see in the New Year lying on her couch watching a movie. I felt a sense of relief that it’s not an age thing!
Time to reflect
With reflection can come sadness. As I removed the decorations from my Christmas tree, I thought about each decoration that held a story. I have collected many pieces from my travels and received many as gifts. Every piece has a story and I would need pages and pages to write about each one. However, the one that gripped my heart was the small picture frame of my parents, taken only four weeks before my mother unexpectedly died and my father nine months later. That was fourteen years ago and needless to say the hole in my heart remains open, covered by a gauzed shield. It was also a reminder of all the good things I have in my life, the love that surrounds me, and my children and grandchildren who were able to visit.
It’s about gratefulness
New Year’s Eve began with reflection and New Year’s Day ended with gratefulness. My parents taught me to appreciate what I have and I continue to practice this even in times of sadness.
Gratefulness is about the simple things in life and family. It is also about friends who know how to scratch the surface to reveal your true feelings. The ones who recognise a hint of how you may be feeling. They may say little, but their actions are great.
Let me share two examples from my girls’ network that helped me to begin the New Year. One friend popped in for an unexpected but welcome visit. We talked about how she felt, her feelings of recently turning forty, her friends all married with children and her sense of emptiness with her dream not yet realised. We shared a mutual gratefulness, there to listen and there to be listened to.
My other friend, who had already sensed I was down since my family had left, encouraged me to meet for late morning coffee at our local shopping centre. We ended up with a teary, open conversation, some laughs and a few more ad-hoc tears over our coffee.
Neither of us had anything major planned for the rest of day so what do girls do on days like this, check out catalogue specials! We ended up splitting the costs of a Google Home Mini package of two and texted how much fun it was to talk to our new companion when we arrived home. Our unplanned day included lunch in the local area and girl talk about what’s next in 2018.
Tears were no longer on the forefront and life was back on track. The sharing of our blues was an effective tonic.
Don’t rush on the resolutions
You don’t need to establish resolutions during the changing of the guard. Last new year I wrote about setting simple goals and I stand by that. But if you don’t have any at this moment, that’s okay, as long as you at least begin to consider what you would like to work on.
If we are honest with ourselves, they are difficult to keep particularly with everything else going on in our lives. You may need to postpone new objectives until you are in a better state of mind and all the festivities completed.
Life has taught me about works in progress throughout the year and to embrace them at the time rather than wait months for a new year to surface. It also lessens your temptation to procrastinate. It is about a discovered need to change something at that particular time.
On the other hand, if New Year resolutions work for you at the beginning of each year, then do it.
My New Year’s resolution has been not to make one, but to review what I already have.
Apart from playing with a new Fitbit Alta HR and my new Google Mini, I intend to continue to appreciate and work on my healthy lifestyle and to monitor the shenanigans of Sam Heughan aka Jamie Fraser from the TV Outlander series and “patiently” wait for Series 4.