Okay, publishing a start of the year post now is late by blogging standards, but it was my New Years Day only a couple of days ago. I know that sounds ridiculous, but there’s a project I’m ~heavily~ involved in at work that runs all over Christmas and into January, and it ended on Sunday. I’m a free woman, folks (except for the fact that I do still have to go to work, which is something of an annoyance).
So – happy new year!
I wanted to start mine (because it is still the start of the year, despite the fact that I’m starting to feel a bit agitated that I’m already ‘behind’ – everyone seems to be making great strides towards their personal goals and I’m still recovering on a rock here like an exhausted old toad) by thinking about what I want from the year ahead.
It’s not very trendy to say, apparently, but I’m not averse to New Years resolutions. They get a lot of flack, but using the clean slate of a new year – the promise of 12 brand new and possibility-filled months stretched out in front of you – to make a positive change for yourself doesn’t sound so wrong to me. Plus, something in me delights in a little reinvention every now and again, so they’re sort of up my street.
Still, I haven’t made any in particular so far. I have, however, been doing my Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019 journal (shoutout to Project Love, who make these, they’re ace), which is something I requested for Christmas from Rob. It’s essentially a workbook – stick with me here, it’s not like year 2 Science – with a series of questions and reflective exercises which are leading me to consider my 2018 and what I want from my 2019. The result is more contemplative, structured, and useful than the rather slapdash approach I usually take, i.e ALL the thoughts and dreams shouting their way to the forefront of my brain and an immediate panic that I’m going to be on the back foot before I’ve even left the first of January starting blocks.
And one of the processes that I found most difficult and most interesting was the consideration of what made me truly happy in 2018, and what makes me happy generally. Getting 1000 likes on an Instagram post, it transpires, is nothing on the happiness scale compared to some of my oft-ignored and sometimes contradictory true pleasures of life; being outside, reading, travel, routine, spontaneity, time alone, creating, exercise, Rob, and laughing with friends. And crumpets. (Okay, not really, but I’ll probably add them in now).
With those things in mind and thinking still to do on that particular question, I’ve got some reprioritising to do for the twelve months that lay in wait if I want to give myself the best chance of feeling a little more me at the end of it. What do I really want from 2019?
I want to spend less time on social media, and more time reading. I want to spend less time scrolling, and more time creating. I want to spend less time worrying, and more time letting go. I want to spend less time working after hours and more time getting outside. I want to enjoy a lovely combination of taking pleasure in the familiarity and stability of routine and taking pleasure in breaking that routine with things that I have a genuine want for; trips, experiences, spontaneous laughing-until-it-hurts times with friends.
Each year it becomes more apparent to me how valuable time is, how scarce spare minutes and hours or days are, and what a disservice we do ourselves when we spend it on things that we don’t actually want to do, so I want to exercise the power of saying yes purely for the right things, the things that excite and interest and inspire me.
Naturally, this means exercising the power of saying no to the wrong ones. No more coffee dates that I’m squeezing in to already packed days and won’t be able to extract myself from my own mind enough to be fully present for, no attending things that I already know aren’t for me because I feel like I need to show my face to be seen as ‘successful’, and no agreeing to collaborations from which I gain no discernible benefit apart from everyone knowing that I’m totally *in demand*. More quality time with people that genuinely fill me with love and more investing time in myself.
And of course, in 2019 I want to continue to try to be better – a better person, friend, daughter, sister, granddaughter, member of society and girlfriend – and I hope that doing those things will help me on my way with that.
So I don’t actually know what I want my year to look like; I can’t map it out, and I don’t have a plan. I can see what it will hopefully involve more of though, and that makes me feel very hopeful.
I’d say I can hardly wait, but being so damn late with everything all the time has it’s perks – I don’t have to. It is here (and has been for over a week). We have arrived. Happy 2019 pals.
What I’m wearing
Dress – H&M | Jacket – Topshop | Bag – Zara | Trainers – C/O Ted Baker
Photography: Sarah Ellen Photography