In which the year draws to a close…

I don’t really believe in New Year resolutions. Not for me anyway. I just don’t have the right personality to deal with them. I used to try them, but more often than not by mid-March the bright and optimistic promises made to myself at the end of the the last year served as nothing more than bitter reminders of my failure to make a positive change in my own life, or at least of my unrealistic expectations for it. And yet, unwilling as I always am to provide the very criteria by which I may be judged a ‘non-achiever’ for the following 12 months there is something, somewhere, deep inside of me that almost cannot resist taking the gamble. None of us, I’m sure, truly believes that our wish will come true when we send a prayer up to that shooting star that flashes overhead or murmer softly before blowing the proferred eyelash from a friendly fingertip, but we all still partake in the hope that the universe may give us a break sometime soon…

At the end of 2012 I threw out the usual pledges to eat more healthily, learn a foreign language or go to the gym (I have not, in over a decade, come anywhere near achieving any of these things) and went instead for this –

1. 2013 will be my ‘Yes’ year – whether I want to or not I will give every offer a go.

2. I will, at some point in the year, give up smoking.

3. I will change my career and do something that I actually care about.

4. I will buy or get much closer to buying my own home.

Strangely, incomprehensibly, bizarrely, I think that I’ve almost managed to achieve these things. I don’t tell you this to boast, dear readers, but rather to share with you just how unpredictable life can be and to add my own experiences to the records to show that ‘hope‘ is sometimes all we need…

It looked unlikely, at the beginning, that 2013 was going to be anything other than another year of chaos and disappointment. The first 3 months of the year were swallowed up in a fog of misery as I sank into a fit of depression and found myself signed off of work and experiencing what can only be described as complete apathy for my existence. Hitting ‘rock bottom’ however (is this starting to sound like an AA meeting?!) seems to have been the catalyst for all of the positive changes that came after. I stopped forcing myself to conform to the professional career path that I had been groomed for and within a month of returning to work quit to take a new job elsewhere with less money, less politics and less stress. It is so easy to get caught up in the common misconception that we are all obligated to work as hard as possible for as long as possible, earn as much cash as possible and get as far up the promotional ladder as we possibly can. Who do we do it for? Certainly not, in my case, for ourselves. There is nothing wrong in enjoying the simple things, in taking quality of life over anything else. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to avoid dropping down dead of a heart attack in some boardroom somewhere, 20 years before I ought to. 

I believe now, though I was unconscious of it at the time, that the following six months were given to me in preparation for the ultimate decision that I had to make in the latter part of the year. Could the broken and unhappy version of myself that inhabited my body during the first part of the year entertain any idea of change long enough to allow any optimism or excitement to penetrate his numb heart? I do not think so… but after finding my feet again in the new job, changing my lifestyle a little and undertaking fresh challenges in a delightfully less demanding environment allowed me to get to a place where the question ‘do you want to move to Aberdeenshire?’ was not met with the usual, knee-jerk reaction ‘No!’… 

And now? Well, now I’m here, living in Aberdeenshire and on the cusp of starting my own business. Away from all the stress of my previous existence and the comfort of ‘habit’ the smoking came to a natural conclusion and, whilst I’ve not purchased a property yet, I’m finally in a place where I can actually see myself living and I’ve started attending viewings to make the dream become a reality…

I suppose that all I’m trying to say in a very roundabout way (Nathan always jokes with me ‘why use 3 words when you can use 10’!) is that however bleak things may seem at times in the year ahead, however far we stray from the plans we make, however low we may fall, it is still possible to reach the destination we dreamed about no matter how arduous the journey turns out to be (you’re glad you read this far along for that cheesy Oprah-esque moment, aren’t you?!) But remember, fundamentally our goals always have to be in some way, however small, unattainable. In striving for our ideals we find our impetus, our incentive, to carry on. If we achieved the perfection we so desire what would we have left then? What reason to continue? Where does one go from perfection? 

In closing, dear readers, whatever (if any) resolutions you make this year keep them small, keep them manageable. Aim for improvement over perfection and in so doing avoid disappointment. Trust me – you’ll get where you’re going anyway, whether you like it or not! 

I raise my glass to you all and wish you a very happy new year. I hope all of our days are filled with love and laughter, fun, fabric, stitching, vintage treasure, making, baking and yarn! 

 

2014 may take us anywhere, but let’s share it together, shall we?…

 

MR xxx

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