It’s the most delusional time of the year.
This time last week we were checking the Santa-nav and leaving carrots for Rudolph. Fair enough – how will Santa get to where he needs to be without fully fuelled reindeer?
However fast forward seven days and the world is believing in nonsense. Twitter is awash with mentions of Zumba, anti-smoking and losing pounds before Easter (when we’ll put it all back on in time for the next round of resolution writing). Yes folks it’s New Year’s, Hogmanay, Ano Nuevo – call it what you will, it’s the time of year where our imaginations are stretched to the limits of tv advertisers as we drool over the ‘new year, new life’ we’re sure to achieve by December 31st 2015.
Don’t get me wrong. I bloody love a resolution or two – last year, mine had sub-clauses which perhaps says more about me than I’d care to admit. Needless to say I didn’t achieve them all but the resolutions I made last year and how I have set about reaching, ignoring and adjusting them has taught me more about the path I’m on – and who I am – than any other year.
The events of the past two years has changed me more than any other 24 months of my life so far. I hate change, but I’m also good at it and so mostly it’s been okay. Then there are the changes which have left me wondering which side of the looking glass I’m on. The discombobulating kind of change which makes me run for my dressing gown and hibernation tank. I decided exactly twelve months ago – almost to the minute as I write this – that I was going to spend 2014 getting back to me, to being the best me I can be.
I wanted to blog, I hoped to write for the Guardian, I dreamed of working with clients who believed that mothers belong in the home and the workplace too, I longed to get back into those jeans at the back of my wardrobe. Tick, tick, tick…well, three out of four ain’t bad.
The absolute truth is that I had intended to blog every week when in reality I have blogged once a month. I dream of writing a column for the family section of the Guardian and whilst I’m chuffed at writing for the Careers and Women in Leadership sections (please Work Santa, may I continue to do this in 2015) I still want to write about my tortoise! If I felt inclined, I could be a complete bully and tell myself I haven’t fully achieved every resolution EXACTLY the way I set them out in my little resolution book last year.
But what I’ve learnt this year is to be kind. To myself. I’ve noticed that people are kinder to me when I’m kinder to myself, life is lovelier and work is more manageable. My New Year’s Eve 2013 resolutions are not to be thrown out or forgotten about. They are being achieved right now. They’re just not finished – not yet.
2014 has taught me lots about being brave, about standing up for who I am and what I believe in. I’ve not accepted some really shitty behaviour directed towards me, I’ve approached clients that I want to work with and have reaped the rewards, and I have decided to reignite the writing passions I had prior to my move to Scotland.
Two children’s books in draft version and a screenplay in the very early stages. Here I am.
Should I make New Year’s resolution number one: “In 2015, I will finish my screenplay”?
Nah, I’m going to be kinder to myself this time round. If I make it so resolutely about NOW, it will never happen. If I make ME so resolutely about now, I may never happen. I would sit in the library three nights each week and tell myself that I’m not a writer, that I don’t know how to write a screenplay, that it’s going to be crap and before we know where we are the nights will draw in and the librarians will be talking about going home to watch Bake Off again and I’ll not have reached beyond opening credits.
Throughout 2015 I’m going to write for pleasure and for work, continue to grow my marketing business and dream. Big, beautiful, scary, may-never-happen-so-why-not-try dreams.
One day I might have a successful film on my hands. I might get into those jeans. You may see my tortoise in the Guardian.
But not now, not yet.
Happy Hogmanay – thank you for reading in 2014.
Both this blog and this person was inspired by Carol Dweck for TED:
“The power of believing that you can improve.”