If you have the possibility to watch the series « Around the world in 80 days », (loosely) adapted from Jules Verne’s book and starring David Tennant, I suggest you have a look.
I wanted to wish you a happy new year sooner but my brain took a month to get back into writing mode.
I don’t know if it’s because I am autistic or if it’s due to what I’ve learned on social media but I have a hard time writing new year’s wishes.
Health? Yes, but chronic illnesses.
Love? Yes, but bad situations.
Money? Yes, but the unequal system we live in.
Success? Yes, but it doesn’t look the same for everybody.
Joy? Yes, but depression.
I prefer wishing “the best” as I find it contains all of this.
When writing to people I know, I try to do personalised ones – joy, softness, creativity, good times with family…
This said, of course I wish you all of this, or something close to it depending on your situation.
When it comes to resolutions and goals, I find them far too stressful and I know I won’t keep them or follow through.
Instead I write aspirations, as small as possible. “I would like to be able to…”:
Read regularly – I would like to replace at least part of the time I spend on my phone with reading;
Go out of the house alone once a week, even just fifteen minutes – it takes me about that much to go to my parents and back and I do it almost every week, everything else is a bonus;
Doing some exercise once a week – I need to do some stretching and movements “as often as possible” and I love practising some yoga poses;
Write one blog post a month – I nearly missed January, which wouldn’t have been catastrophic, and once a month is much less pressure than once a week like I did last Autumn;
Write some fiction and finish at least one – the one for next December in advance would be nice;
Cultivate my spiritual and philosophical life – I had to put something abstract, it wouldn’t have been fun otherwise…
The good thing is that I can combine some: I can write about what I read on my blog, or about whatever I’ll do to cultivate my spiritual and philosophical life, for example.
By phrasing it as “I would like to…”, I take away the stress and pressure of “I have / must…”, whilst giving me a common thread and possible activities. I need to know “what I have to do” without it being fixed and mandatory. Or, rather, “what I can do to occupy my time”.
I would like to, but if I can’t it’s not a problem.
If I can’t manage to get out of the house or get on my mat, if I don’t manage to read (with writer friends I will read occasionally anyway), if I don’t manage to write… it’s OK. I’ll cuddle with my cuddly toy and remind myself that I will keep nurturing those aspirations, even if it’s just in me.
At some point they will bloom, and if they don’t it means they weren’t the right ones.
January check-up: 4 books, amongst which two friends’ manuscripts; I went out alone every week; I exercised every week; and I managed to write this article.
There were also the mood drop, the difficulties with eating, the hours spent on the phone…
Even if I don’t talk about it much, it’s part of my life and all the resolutions or aspirations in the world won’t make it disappear, and certainly not definitely.
However, they help me create a day to day basis in which I think less about what I am and do not, and more about what is good for me and that I want to cultivate.
I am curious to see how this year will go.