I’ve been watching with a vague, perturbed fascination as bloggers sign up to a defining word for the year. I noticed this happening last year too, in lesser numbers. Perhaps it is something like a January ‘Elf on the Shelf’ and it will sweep every manner of social media channel for a while, piling up motivational images and quotes and fueling a right on positivity wave that makes everyone happy, successful, creative and marvellous.
Perhaps everyone will be the happiest mum, with the most successful blog and the most improved photos with the most bestest selling of novels and the top pinned craft post by next year.
That would certainly be a lot of worthy happiness.
I might say I’d worry about the fallout, of the people who pick aspirational words and then measure themselves against everyone else as they sculpt a social media presence to prove how they’ve achieved it.
But to be honest, everyone else isn’t really my problem.
It’s not that I don’t understand, or even admire the sentiment and god knows we should all do whatever works for us. I had years worth of blogging where people repeated “You write about yourself online, for strangers, with your real name??? That’s WEIRD! It’s probably DANGEROUS! WHY????” at me. Years of New Year posts and aspirational planning, navel gazing or positive thinking.
I’ve not changed. I’ve been doing all that over this festive break too. (Not the new year post round up though, I’m rather scared of rocking the boat with those, these days and ending up in despair a year later.)
I’m certainly planning, evaluating, allowing myself the concept of a fresh start. It always feels natural for me to do it now, when the rush of Xmas at work closes down and we can breathe and be together and think about preparing ourselves and the business for the next onslaught. It’s not so much the change of year date that causes it as it being very much part of our rhythm.
I love a fresh start. I hate placing expectations on myself and anything imposed, even psychologically, on me causes an instant fail mechanism to kick in. The minute something external is measuring me, I work out how to fail. It’s a dreadful habit. If I join a diet club I figure out how to cheat so I fail. If I came up with a word, I’d come up with a reason at the end of the year why it didn’t work to me.
One of the girls wrote up a history of her life over the last 4 years the other week and it struck me painfully how almost nothing but Freddie, Bene and surviving have occurred for almost half her life. We’ve had no great amazing adventures. There has been very little fun or innovation or excitement. Nothing memorable but living or dying brothers. I can’t define wanting to change that in a word.
I can’t even define how I want my other blog to be in a word: I managed to say I want a return to “record” and “legacy”.
I’d like to be more meaningful.
I’d like to be doing more than surviving.
I’d like to get some adventure back.
I could sum that up in explore. Or grow. Or climb. Or create. And none of those would be all of it.
I don’t want to dream, I want to do. I don’t want to write, I want to publish. I don’t want to improve, I want to be brilliant. I don’t want to be a survivor, I want to be an inspiration.
I don’t want to publish, I want to publish brilliantly.
I am ready to shine, but I’m lacking the time or head space to do that in a way that I would believe if I did it.
Besides which, I can barely manage a week without one of 5 kids needing me to divert to focus on them and it is hard to believe in shining if mostly you spent the week saving other people from drowning.
No word can define what changes I want to make or aspirations I have to follow.
Success sounds too commercial. I don’t need roots, I need leaves and flowers and to thrive where I am so that I can transplant safely.
I’m bored of dreaming. I’m bored of existing. I’m bored of grey days and managing to stay breathing.
I’d like a little mystery and beauty.
I’d like to stand on top of the hill and say “I did it. I got here.”
I can’t do any of that with a word because there are about 6 people living in this body, all fighting for airspace and none of them believe in the same word. And that before you count the 6 people living in the house with me (all of me) who all need accommodating too. There is probably at least 6 of several of them too.
It is plans that work for me. Goals, measurable goals and ideas with a list to be ticked.
January has some simple goals.
- Write 7000 more words.
- Write a synopsis.
- Send it to someone.
I need that out of my system. Either it will work and I’d find someone who thinks I’m worth publishing, or I’ll forget that dream forever.
- Read 3 interesting books.
- Lose 6lbs.
- Run more days than I don’t.
After that, we’ll see. Best to re-evaluate in February. I might be someone else by then.