Happy 2019! I don’t know about you, but I have mixed emotions about the New Year.
Yes, yes, it’s a chance for redos, starting over, goals, the blank page spread out before us. But I also love the idea of doing absolutely nothing different for the coming year, except for one thing.
This one thing was inspired by listening to one of my favorite podcasts: CBC Radio’s ‘Now or Never’.
This particular episode was all about New Years and resolutions. Let me be accurate, it was about saying NO to New Year’s resolutions. They posed this question: “January brings with it a lot of pressure to change. But what if the thing you need to do in 2019 is just… Be you?” I loved it immediately.
Just. Be. Me. O.M.G. Yeeeessss! What a relief! Relief. I could use me some of that. I think my husband, Gord, could use some of that. I was up and down and all around in 2018 and he was, well, a rock for me.
Not having to do anything, but be ourselves? What a great forkin’ concept! (TY to the TV show “The Good Place” for my new fave euphemism).
Being in recovery from mental illness (or life for that matter), living with mental illness, and managing my mental health, sometimes feels like I’m supposed to be doing more, better, different. Always growing. Also expanding. How exhausting!
We are inundated by messages from society and the media to focus on growth and personal development.
Whether it’s for a small business you run, a family you take care of, a job you have, a home you keep, a relationship you’re in, your fitness level and health, the quality of your friendships, the hobbies you partake in, your chakras, your yoga practice (ok wait maybe I’m taking this a bit far). But, generally, ours is a culture that has an insidious but pervasive bias on improvement.
I’m not saying self-improvement is bad. I’ve read my library-sized share of self-help books and gone to counselling for years. And it helps. Most of the time.
What I AM saying is personal growth can backfire and do the exact opposite of what I’m trying to accomplish.
Uhem – like a couple months ago. I was trying so hard to find inner peace. But all the things I was doing, all the things I was trying to change about myself and my life, kept the goalpost of serenity moving further and further down the field. The more I TRIED to find peace, the less I had it. I was constantly seeking with no finding (so to speak).
I ended up feeling less happy, more worthless, really tired and combustibly anxious.
So when I heard the call to arms, or rather the call to lay down the arms, from the hosts I jumped at the chance!
TY CBC Now or Never and you fabulously honest hosts Trevor Dineen + Ify Chiwetelu!
I loved hearing on radio (that’s NATIONAL radio, folks) a host admitting he too has a (sometimes not so) little voice that says “I’m not enough”.
A radio segment that rings in the New Year by celebrating our unique messy lovely selves with a particular partiality on self-acceptance. That’s my kind of resolution.
My no-resolution resolution: the only thing I need to do this year is be me.
Write me and let me know how it relates to you and how it changes how you see this coming year.
© Victoria Maxwell
This gives me insight to my daughter’s journey. Also helpful for a discussion with my daughter. Thanks
Dear Victoria, First, wishing you a very wonderful year! Make it magical just like you are. Thank you for your above message. It reaches my soul.
The expectations we put on ourselves with goals and resolutions are often out of reach and brings lots of anxiety and depression phases. I have been following the author James Clear and he promotes the process towards growth. I like that, it reduces my anxiety one thought at a time and one step at a time. Victoria, it’s always a pleasure to read your posts and newsletters. Hugs