Christmas is coming. We are all rushing around panicking about what to buy Great Auntie Flossie, trying to get trees up and mince pies made. And once all the kerfuffle dies down, we’ll be trying to formulate New Year’s Resolutions while our heads are still spinning from the tinselly onslaught.
The blogs I follow are already jam-packed with ideas for resolutions and how to plan your goals for next year.
Aren’t we exhausted enough?
Let’s just take some time to stop and reflect. To consider what we have achieved this year, before we start pushing ourselves about next.
I don’t think we take enough time to recognise and celebrate what we achieve. We are constantly encouraged to move on to the next thing, the next goal, always more, more, more!
Because we are never enough.
Yesterday I came across Dr Brene Brown’s book, ‘Daring Greatly’, in the library. I have read and benefitted greatly from her earlier works, but I had avoided this one because for some reason I had got it into my head that it was about parenting, which isn’t exactly relevant to me. I was wrong. The first chapter, on Scarcity, had my head spinning! I highly recommend you read it.
As writers, scarcity is a constant problem. After all, in such a subjective realm, how can you measure enough? I wrote recently about the problem of owning yourself as creative. This is intimately linked to the problem of enough. How can you know when you have done enough, produced enough, published enough?
I think one way to tackle this sense of dearth is to recognise and celebrate what we have done.
This year I have started this website, something I really didn’t think I had the guts to do. This is my 86th post. That’s a whole lot of words. A big achievement? You’d better believe it! I have published over 40 fanfics too. I have put myself out there.
This is not blowing my own trumpet. This is stating the facts.
I am proud of what I have made this year. It may not tally with the list of goals I made in January, but I’m okay with that – I’ll tell you why in the next post. I’ve been telling myself I didn’t achieve a lot this year, but actually when I sit down and reflect on what I’ve done, I’ve moved mountains!
Before you get too lost in the melee of Christmas, set aside some time to take stock. Sit down with your journal, and a glass of wine if you like. Perhaps light a candle, and put on some gentle music.
Think about what you have done this year. Don’t look at your list of goals and resolutions. Don’t think about all the things you planned to do, and didn’t. Think about all the things that did get done, and the unexpected achievements too, things that came out of nowhere, the gifts the Universe has given you.
Count everything, from getting to see your favourite actor in a play, to passing that exam, from painting your biggest picture yet, to being in the village Christmas Panto. Maybe you had a poetry collection or a novel published, exhibited your art, won a competition, or maybe you read out your first poem in public, or tried painting or drawing for the first time. No matter how big all small, list everything. Think about all the creative things you did, the cakes you made, the dances you went to, the pumpkin you carved, the costume you made for your kid’s school play.
Be proud of yourself, of where you are now. Do it for yourself. Savour it.
Because you are enough.