For 27 years I measured time not in the usual January to December way that most people do, but by the September to June clock that rules the life of a student and/or teacher. I still get that flip in my stomach in early September; like I am supposed to be somewhere. And somehow, summers still feel more relaxed, even when you don't take any time off from work. It may be because I have kids. It will be interesting to see if I still feel this when my youngest is gone off to university. I will have to wait another nine years to find out I guess.
In the shiny glow of this new 2014 I am feeling reflective on the last year.
Since my collapse, time has become slippery. For the longest while, I felt like I was stuck in November 2012 when I went into the hospital. Time lost its linear nature. Without work, there was no sense of weekday or weekend. Monday blurred into Saturday. Sunday was a fixed milestone however. I meant making lunches, homework checked, backpack ready, the Spouse gearing up for another grinding week. It also meant waves of anxiety, a hard time breathing and a flush of heat until I remembered I didn't have to face work the next day. It took a long time to get over that.
Social media is "abuzz" with talk of New Year Resolutions. The gym will be chaos next week. Hundreds of "noobs" will clog the mats in the group exercise room. Only a few will stick it out. By April the class sizes will have evened out again and there will be room to move in Zumba.
I live in Canada---albeit southern Ontario, I can say that January 1 of ANY year is not the best time of year to resolve to do anything; except hibernate. I do not like the cold. If I did not already have a great routine of going to the gym already, -24 C. like TODAY, would not encourage me to leave my bed, much less to change into something skimpy, to go sweat in front of strangers.
Resolutions strike me as something people invent impromptu after digging their shame out of a dark hole and thrusting it, by the throat, under a bright light. It's a cross between an interrogation and a pep talk.
What the hell have you been doing all year?
Look at yourself! Are you kidding me?
You better shape up buddy!
You know....YOU KNOW that you need to fix this.
Guilt takes over then. Action spurred on by guilt and shame and fear. I don't see this starting out well......
In my 20's, I kept a diary, and at the end of each year, I would make a list of things that had happened (usually had a lot to do with boys, clothes and dancing) and a list of things I wanted to accomplish (same....). The list was simple, and more about things to do as opposed to not do. Pleasures to be had.
This year I have decided to do things very differently. Instead of what to do or not do ---I am going to spend most of January reflecting on the question: Who Do I Want to Be?
While it may seem like I should have figured this out over the past 14 months that I have been off work, I have only just been testing the waters. I have discovered Reiki and become a Reiki master. I have learned to knit. I have returned to sketching and painting. I have completed group programs. I have started to write a blog. Who Do I Want to Be?
The first answer I come up with is ---well all of those things. But I am also a mother, a partner and have three well earned university degrees that have led me to meaningful work in the past.
Can I be all these things? Does being some, cost the others?
Who Do I Want to Be?
I find this exciting; because for the first time in a long time, I feel like I have a choices. I feel like I can be anything, if not everything.
So in January I will be working on asking Who Do I Want to Be? and listening very carefully for the voices of my Inner Wisdom to help me come up with the best picture I can put together at that time.
While I wish it was as "simple" as a clean Tetris screen ---each piece fits perfectly. Like Tetris, the pieces will continue to come and I will continue to try to fit them in. Sometimes they won't fit. How I handle it will be the real test.
Because, as always, I am a Work in Progress.