New Year, New Me

(And Why I Won’t Be Making New Year’s Resolutions)

Sun rise over fields

Happy New Year! I hope that you had a fun New Year’s Eve and are enjoying 2018 so far.

I, along with so many others, often see in the New Year with a list of resolutions for the months ahead. What I shall do more of, what I should do less of. Things to start or to stop. This year, however, such a list is nowhere in sight.

2017 taught me a few key things:

1. Health

You would think that having been diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2004 I would have realised that you should not take your health for granted. Having plateaued for several years and seemingly having gone into remission when I was pregnant, nobody was more surprised by the deterioration in my health last year than me. Being formally diagnosed as having reduced function in my upper limbs may not have the detrimental impact that others suffer from day in and day out, but it was a blunt reminder of how physically damaging Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and associated Chronic Pain can be. I naively thought that waking every day in pain was not something that would happen to me in my mid-thirties, and it has taken me some time to make peace with it.

In bed with a good book2. Family

Nothing is more important than family. Close family, slightly more removed family, chosen family of close friends. People who support you no matter what. People who you can turn to with anything. Sometimes there is so much power in a simple “hello”, a smile or a hug. A telephone call, a catch up, a trip out. Sometimes you can be looking for support and friendship, and fail to notice that it is right there under your nose.

Me and my husband3. Friendships

That brings me on to friendships. People do come and go but sometimes people are there all along. You just have to see them. Pick up the phone or drop them an email. Similarly, sometimes people are not there for you. That’s ok. Life would be dull if everyone looked at it in the same way. As I reached my mid-thirties I came to realise that you can make attempts to see people but sometimes you need to let go of expecting that every arrangement will work. There were many occasions when I felt quite isolated in 2017, but if I’d actually opened my eyes and made a little effort I’d have noticed the support that was right there, if not physically then on the other end of a telephone. Blogging has helped in that respect too. There really is such an amazing community online. Someone commented recently that it’s like a village, and that’s exactly how it feels. That surprised me during the course of the year, but in a lovely and very welcome way.

4. Weight

My weight has played constantly on my mind for the past couple of years. When I was running it started to decrease. When the pounding on pavements seemed to make my joints a little worse and fatigue hung over my days like a grey cloud those kilos reappeared. 2017 was the year that I made peace with this. There’s far more to worry about right now than what’s happening to my waistline, and although others offer their opinions from time to time, as long as my doctors are happy then I’m satisfied.

Feet up with maltesers5. New beginnings

Perhaps the most important point. These can start on any day of the year. We always have 365 days of blank pages ahead of us, and the best time to define how we spend them isn’t always the first of January. For me, putting some measures in place in the autumn months last year actually worked very well. As James R. Sherman so eloquently puts it: “You can’t go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending”. I’m not looking at an ending just yet (!) but the course of how I live my life is in my hands and I woke up to that more than ever before Christmas.

Overlooking a lake

So, for 2018, I’m not making New Year’s resolutions. My expectations are that I will continue with more of the same. I am learning to pace myself better with my new reduced energy levels and I am focusing on the people who are important to me. I am building in quality family time. I am planning better than ever before. I hope that with these measures in place I will have an extremely good year but, if it ever appears to be going a little off track, I know that I can turn over a brand new page and press reset at any time.

New Year, New ME

What about you? Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

 

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1st January 2018

24 comments

Sorry to hear that you’re suffering from pain. It must be very draining. It’s good that you’ve got a supportive network of friends and family.

I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions. I’m terrible at keeping them and they always seem a bit forced, but this year I returned from visiting family in Spain at Christmas with a very clear realisation that I needed to slow down. We had such a great time as a family on holiday and I enjoyed watching the kids enjoying the simplest of moments. I’m always rushing to get somewhere and it reminded me that the requests to puddle jump, wall walk and have piggy back races won’t last for long, so I should savour them.

Oh yes, I absolutely need to do that too! Part of becoming better organised in the latter stages of last year was recognising that I need to stop filling our calendar with events and block out time to go for a long walk or have a board game morning. Makes so much difference to us all slowing down to have quality time together, even when it’s been planned in!

Great post and similar to my thoughts about resolutions. I have a couple of ‘goals’ I would like to aim for in order to adjust my lifestyle a bit, but diets and dry january’s and paying extortionate amounts for gyms I’ll never visit are nowhere to be seen on the list!
So sorry to hear your health has suffered this last year but sometimes it can definitely make us realise what’s important in our life’s and what isn’t. My anxiety has peaked this year and has made me realise, more than ever, that my priorities have to change which will hopefully be for the better this year. Happy new year and hope to bump into you a few more times in 2018 🙂 x

I’m sorry to hear that. Yes, definitely a year of small adjustments and gradual change rather than a tick list of things to stress about. Oh yes, we’re so close we should arrange a catch up! X

Happy new year and hope your health will improve in 2018! I love your mindset and how you view this coming year. I haven’t set any resolutions either as I know life will throw it’s little hiccups at me and I don’t need to know that I have failed at something I set out to do. So baby steps and one day at a time for me. #Blogstravaganza

Thank you! Yes, exactly. I’d like to continue with the tweaks I have already made here and there but I’m going to give myself a break from achieving a whole list 🙂

I’m so sorry to hear it’s been a tough year for you Jo. You’re so right about the online community, I for one have been glad to have you in my life this past year. Here’s to 2018! It’s amazing to have you as host, as always! #Blogstravaganza xx

What a lovely comment, thank you! I’ve been so pleased to get to know you during 2017, here’s to a wonderful year! xx

Bravo you! What a lovely post. It’s so good to appreciate the things you have and sounds like you’re prepared to be happy going into 2018. Good luck for the new year x #blogstravaganza

Thank you! Yes, so much to be grateful for and to work with for a wonderful 2018 🙂

I don’t make any new year resolutions. I think there is too much pressure! I just promise myself always to try my best at everything I try to do. #blogstravaganza

So important not to overload ourselves with pressure. Thanks for your comment 🙂

I’m so sorry your health has been poor. I agree that with a new year comes a blank slate. I don’t make resolutions either, except a promise to myself to live each day the best I can. I hope 2018 brings you happiness and good health!

Thank you, and to you!

My resolutions are similar to yours – I don’t go in hard but just want to be a better version of myself. I also have a chronic condition and came out of remission before Christmas. It does put things into perspective tho’ and my darling family were wonderful. Here’s to peace and happiness in 2018! PS thrilled you are joining the lovely Zoe with the linky x #Blogstravaganza

Thank you Maria, what a kind comment 🙂 . Here’s to a healthy 2018 for us all!

I don’t make New Year resolutions either. Towards the end of last year I decided I needed to be better to me. So I’m just doing that still. #blogstravaganza

Yes. I think we can make resolutions on any day of the year, and they can be constantly evolving!

Such a lovely post Jo. Sorry to hear about your illness; hope 2018 brings you good health, good times and everything you desire!
#blogstravaganza

Thank you. Here’s hoping we all have a wonderful year!

Sounds like you are very focused on the positives for the year ahead I don’t make resolutions but do set goals #blogstravaganza

Thank you. Yes, feeling determined to just keep on making those smaller tweaks that can make a big difference!

Sounds like 2017 was pretty tough, hopefully 2018 will be a bit better. Like you there’s no resolutions this year just plans to look after myself a little more. Planning is something I need to get better at, well at the blog anyway. #Blogstravaganza

I’m the same, I just need to remember not to over-plan or book too many things in! Here’s hoping for a great 2018 🙂

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