Congratulations! You’ve nearly completed 2019. How are you feeling?
A bit worn out? Oh-so-bloated from the cheese, chutney and Celebrations? Fed-up already with the howls of ‘new year, new you’?
I used to arrive at this point feeling burnt out. For a long time, toasting January involved Prosecco and passing out. I’d resolve to be more virtuous over the coming 12 months, fail, and feel sadder.
I’m not really sure any of us have the energy to reinvent ourselves in January anyway. Like flowers, we need the warmth of the sunshine to help us blossom.
The day came (in summer – see?) when I thought: ‘bollocks to this’. And so began my journey towards self-acceptance.
Choosing to become alcohol-free has added a new dimension to my life. I am so glad I’ll wake up on New Year’s Day without a hangover. I won’t wonder how I got home. I won’t have burnt a hole in my wallet with nothing but a headache to show for it. I won’t have said/done anything daft.
These days, without the compounding side-effects of alcohol, I find that I don’t reflect on the things I can’t do. I think about what I want to do (or at least give a go). Every now and then I’ll sketch out my ambitions/achievements in my diary or as a note on my phone.
Life, I’ve found, has greater depths, meaning and satisfaction. I travel more. I spend money more wisely and less time on people who cost me emotionally. I am not inclined to conjure up a new me on an annual basis.
But… (and there’s always a but) you’ll face tests. You may walk away from relationships which no longer offer what you need, or need to take a hard look at how you redefine connections and bonds. This is not easy. Choose what nourishes over what depletes. Everything will work out fine in the end.
As we march into a new year and a new decade, decide this: Don’t be new. Be fierce. Be fearless. Be YOU.
“Perseverance, secret of all triumphs!” – Victor Hugo