Lately I have been feeling overwhelmed. I'm not going to lie, I hate winter, it's cold, I don't want to go outside and quite frankly I wish I was a hibernating creature. Maybe a bear or a hedgehog. I have my ups and downs like everyone, but I am an internal processor which means I often spend a lot of time thinking and don't always say what I'm thinking out loud. This results into me spiralling into a train of thought where I think I'm the only person who has crazy thoughts or strange ideas and after many of these out loud conversations with my husband, it turns out it's all of us. So, prepare yourselves for the closest thing I have to external processing; writing a blog post to share with strangers on the internet.
When I was 16, young and dreaming, I loved to write songs. I dedicated all my time to it and over the years I performed countless gigs and wrote more and more. I was convinced that I would have a top ten single by the time I was 21. Here I am at 27 and I haven't even come close. Also, I really hate January. My birthday is the 2nd and I still hate the month (and I LOVE birthdays) and here's why; you've all heard of a midlife crisis, maybe even a quarter life crisis well I have a post-Christmas crisis. I go through a phase every year that happens between 27th December and 1st January. Once all the celebrating is over, and the Christmas decorations are gone and I'm starting to regret eating my body weight in Christmas chocolate, I just get a bit sad. I start thinking about the new year ahead and the fact that I need to achieve something. I'm reminded I haven't achieved my teenage dream of a hit song. I review my year and start to convince myself that I need to commit to the gym, never eat another take out and that I need to tick off at least 6 life goals by February 1st. Now this may sound laughable and slightly nuts but unfortunately that's just how my brain works. Yet, SURELY, I am not alone in this?
I feel the pressure of 'new year, new me', the pressure to achieve 'something', ANYTHING. With my 30s creeping up on me and I am constantly reminded of the fact that all I have to show for my 20s is a pair of mini humans (who are fine specimens if I do say so myself). Yet we live in the age of comparison. Social media tells me if I haven't started my own business, whilst managing my children, feeding them the finest organic food (preferably vegan) and not letting them have sugar until they are 35 WHILST going on the dream holidays, with the colour-coordinated, matching outfits and the perfect body that has bounced back immediately to its pre-pregnant state, well then, I'm failing. Now, I know I'm being over-dramatic and exaggerating. There's certainly nothing wrong if you can achieve any of those things. Honestly if you have, well done, I'm a little jealous. You certainly deserve to celebrate! I'm just saying for the rest of us mere mortals that haven't achieved any of these things, that we're also okay. Life isn't over, there is always still time.
Be gentle with yourself. Perhaps instead of committing to the five 6am-gym-sessions a week (nothing wrong with exercise and getting healthy!), but instead maybe focus on the little changes. Instead of the achievement, focus on trying something new for the pure joy of it. Although I love the idea of a fresh slate at midnight on the 1st January, nothing magical has changed. We don't need to make huge decisions based on the change of date, instead take a baby step towards your goal because it's the small everyday decisions that make the lasting changes. Choosing an apple instead of the chocolate bar. Choosing a reusable bottle over a plastic one. Celebrate how far you've come, instead of focusing on how far you've got to go. Sometimes I should remember that getting two little people out to school and feeding them three times a day is a big achievement. Give yourself the gift of kindness this year. Remind yourself of the little things you achieved today and celebrate that. Say 'jog on' to the post-Christmas crisis.
I hope me saying some of these things out loud has helped you. So here you are, my gift to you; unfiltered honesty. You're welcome.
On that note I'm off to consume my body weight in chocolate and then eat an apple. Until the next one; happy new year!