2017 is here… and it’s time to slow down.
Admittedly, this wasn’t the first thought that went through my head when I thought about planning the year ahead. My instinct was to cram in as many projects and resolutions as possible in the hope that some (okay, one or two) might actually stick… but guess what? That’s what I do every year… and it doesn’t really work out. I do end up making improvements in my life over the year, but most of them don’t happen in January. In fact, the first couple of months are usually pretty miserable. It’s dark, cold and I feel crap for not sticking to my myriad of new goals.
Anyone else know the feeling?
Yep. Thought so.
So this year I’m trying something different. I’m getting my admin ready (as in, my templates for keeping track of my freelance work) and forming a couple of vague writing-related goals in my mind, but the only other commitment I want to make is this: I want to slow down.
That doesn’t mean I want to do less work. On the contrary. 2016 showed me that when you persevere despite all the little voices in your head telling you to go watch the latest Netflix opus instead, you can indeed get things done. I finished and edited my novel, which is now waiting to be read in full by an agent (yay!). My idea of what it should feel like to be a writer and what I was actually doing with my time finally converged. It felt great. The dark thoughts and depression that plagued me during the first part of the year simply didn’t have any room to thrive anymore.
I was busy. It was exhausting. I loved it (most of the time).
But I often had the impression that I was rushing. Other aspects of my life started to lose some of their flavour. I caved in (for business reasons) and got a smartphone. As I feared, I let myself get hooked. I spent a lot of time on Facebook. My list of friends grew, but the time I spent outside the house dwindled. As you can imagine, writing can be a solitary pursuit (even with the daily support of those aforementioned Facebook friends and the ever-buzzing Nanohana – you know who you are). Weeks can go by and then you get invited somewhere, and you get so excited by the idea of seeing actual living, breathing human beings that aren’t part of your immediate family…
That’s when you know it’s time to slow down. Pay attention to what you’re actually doing with your time. Are you furthering your projects? That’s great. Are you scrolling through your FB feed for the twentieth time because your brain is slowly going stir-crazy? Well, it might be time for you to put those muscles and bones (yes, the ones that are starting to creak) in motion and go for a walk. Or pet your cat. Or pick up the phone and call someone you love.
Lucky for me, we’re moving house in a month’s time… so I’ll have plenty of tasks to keep me busy and help me get fit, but I hope to take each challenge as it comes and keep stress levels to a minimum.
In 2017 I want to:
- Taste every mouthful
- Admire every word
- Listen to every note
- Treasure every moment
And even if I happen to forget, it doesn’t matter. When you take your time, each new day is like a fresh new year. Slow down. Start over. Live and thrive. 🙂
Happy New Year 2017!