This morning I started out the day by turning on the Calm app. Not that I was stressed, well, maybe just a little. Setting new goals for the new year can do that to you. At the end of the meditation, Tamara offered up her usual pearl of wisdom.
“Instead of deciding on a New Year’s Resolution, perhaps think of it as a New Year’s Intention.” That way, if you fall off the wagon, you can just get up, brush off the dust from your pants and keep going.
Recognize a Pattern?
People say, “If it happens once, it’s an accident, if twice it’s a coincidence, if three times – it’s a pattern.” It’s not the first time that the beginning of January has brought me stress. Wait, let me rephrase that. I have a tendency to stress myself with too many goals around the new year. Two years ago, this coincided with the official beginning of my burn-out, and it took me a good 6 months to get back on my feet. Since then, I’m very wary of overtaxing myself. And yet.
Setting the atmosphere
I am sitting at our beautiful round mango-tree table, writing, as Theo is in the kitchen, making dinner, Yoav is out having a creative afternoon with friends and Naomi doesn’t live here anymore…! (That’s what happens when kids turn 23). So, it’s quiet. And peaceful. Almost warm too. Outside it’s around 2 degrees Celsius, so the toasty warmth of 22 degrees indoors should be more than enough for me, but it turns out that you can take me out of California, but you can’t take the longing for Californian warmth out of me. I’m almost always chilly, except in the summer, when I can’t stand the heat. In short, I like to complain. Which is a good thing, because in the Netherlands, that’s one of the national pastimes, complaining about the weather. But seriously.
So, about the writing… I’ve signed up for something which I hope won’t be too overwhelming for me. I do have a day job, after all. And a lecturer’s job is never done, even if she has a part time job. There are always papers to correct, and students to coach and colleagues to encourage and administration to complete, new software to learn, a video on brainstorming to create, just to mention a few of the things on my plate in that day job. Keep breathing, I tell myself.
Jessica, our trusted leader in this 365 Writer’s Challenge, asked us today about self-care. I posted that I paint, which is true. I do paint. At least every two weeks, in Margot’s class. And in between, I sometimes paint, and often think about painting, and very often, on my walks, I take pictures of things that I’d like to paint. In fact, here are some pictures from my walk in the dunes yesterday:
But what I do more often than paint is ‘waste my time’ on mindless games on my telephone, checking Facebook, Instagram, and whatsapp. I am also watching at least two girlie Netflix/ Videoland series: The Bold Type and Virgin River, just to keep myself sane and calm. And with Theo, I also watch something nearly every night. We recently finished three seasons of Fargo and we just started Bridgerton.
Of course, I have to keep fit as well, right? So, I work out a few times a week, to supplement my walks, sometimes with Lucy (I LOVE Lucy!, can’t believe she’s 50!), sometimes Body Groove (LOVE Misty!), and sometimes find a ‘senior’ workout to do with my mom, via zoom. This too takes up my time.
Ready to give up, yet?
Are you tired? Me too! And the school year / work is starting up tomorrow. So is the 365 challenge. I guess I’ve signed up for the minimum – 100 words a day. That is so totally doable. Look, right now, I’ve written 545 words while dinner is being so kindly prepared for me (It smells amazing by the way! I smell mushrooms, garlic, ginger… wafting into my nose, and somehow cumin too!) Not to mention the fact that I also wrote morning pages this morning – probably got down at least 300 words right there.
You want to know where all this is leading? What intentions (great word, right?!) I have? Of course I have goals… to survive all these challenges! And publish my darn book already! And, start a new one! Ok, I feel a bit calmer. That’s why I write. It calms me. Writing is my self-care. It’s not a chore. I love writing, and I need it. For today, it’s done!
What are your
resolutions intentions for the New Year?