Tuesday, 2 January 2018

2018 - Brand New Year, Same Old Me?

So, did life suddenly change for you at the stroke of midnight this New Year's Eve?
Well maybe for some it did, but I'm guessing for an awful lot more of us 2018 will hold much of the same old, same old... and perhaps that's not such a bad thing.

Having probably spent the past couple of weeks (and in some cases possibly months) eating our way through mountains of mince pies, spending obscene amounts of money, and having watched endless TV repeats of festive 'classics', I don't know about you, but I'm more than a little relieved to get back to some normality this week.

With Christmas behind us yet again, our thoughts now turn to the brand new year ahead and what it might hold for each and every one of us.  And, once the multi million pound firework displays have quite literally gone up in smoke in capital cities across the globe (whilst children starve and the homeless perish), when the party popper streamers have been eaten up by the Dyson, and when you've finally managed to shake off that Prosecco party hangover, what next? Will we, and/or the world around us change and improve overnight simply because we are entering a new calendar year? I think we all know the answer to that one!

Of course change (for better or worse) just happens, it is one of life's few inevitabilities, and I shared my thoughts on this in an earlier post 'My Thoughts on Change... the Only Constant'.  However the kind of change or improvement many of us look to make each new year include things such as give up alcohol, eat less chocolate, and not just join a gym but actually visit and work out there once in a while! Sounds great eh but if you're anything like me, whilst all of these things are not impossible, buckets full of determination would be required to achieve them; as well as a level of commitment which, if I'm going to be totally honest with myself would not last beyond mid-February... at best!

So, (not for the first time) I've decided once again that for me the dawning of a new year will not only provoke thoughts of things I might want to change or improve, but also of those things that make me happy just as they are.  I will not therefore be half killing myself at the gym in an attempt to achieve that washboard stomach or pretending to myself I could ever become teetotal (hey, I turned 50 this year, I know myself very well... and neither of these things are ever going to happen).  Instead I am determined to regularly count my blessings and appreciate the things about myself and my life with which I'm already absolutely content... those things which I hope will never change.

Of course there will always be things in our lives we may well want to change and improve, but know (for whatever reason) that we never can, some things are simply beyond our control. Acceptance in this case, I have found, is the key to peace of mind (indeed sanity!)   Looking back, during my younger years, I caused myself a great deal of upset and anxiety trying to achieve the unachievable, to convert the unconvertible.  These days,  I find it easier to accept things (and people) for what they are, take them or leave them, love them or loathe them - c'est la vie!  Cliche but true, we may not have control over everything around us, but we do have control over how we react and respond to what life throws our way. 

Don't get me wrong, far be it from me to rest on my laurels... I know there's always room for improvement and that it's healthy to strive for it.  Indeed I will for sure (okay perhaps) try to drink less alcohol, eat less chocolate and work on improving my fitness level (just a little!). However, I certainly will not be losing sleep or be beating myself with a big stick if I happen to have lost the will by Valentine's Day!

And maybe... no hopefully, no definitely, I won't be just the same old me in 2018.  But the new and improved me won't be the result of anything to do with chocolate, alcohol or any old treadmill, it will be the result of my realisation that there's an awful lot to be said for just being happy and content with who I am, and with what I have.  Each day of the year may well be an opportunity to change and improve, but don't forget each day is also an opportunity to celebrate and be thankful for some things... just exactly the way they are.

Happy New Year, and good luck with those resolutions!

(Adapted from my original 2016 post... two years on, sentiment remains pretty much the same!)

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