I’ve really enjoyed reading recent blog posts from other spoonies, sharing both wellness tips as well as how they are setting themselves up for 2022, but I just haven’t yet been able to set out my intentions for the year.
Last week, I did sit down with my brand new journal, specifically to write down what I hoped to do in 2022. But almost immediately I started to think about all the things I had intended to do in 2021 and didn’t – the weight I’d wanted to lose but didn’t, the 5km swim I’d signed up for and didn’t do, the online course I enrolled in and didn’t complete, the work in the house I’d wanted to have done which I never got round to. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture…
Living with depression and being a real “all or nothing” thinker, I considered all of this and came to the conclusion that 2021 was rubbish, I was rubbish and that it would be a total waste of my time to even set out intentions for 2022, as I probably wouldn’t achieve them anyway. Demoralised and dispirited, I packed away my journal and pencils.
A few days later, needing to find a piece of information from last year’s diary, I began leafing through and whilst doing so, read some of the things that I had done during the course of 2021. I realised that despite not achieving much of what I’d set out to do, I had actually done a raft of different things – I’d spent a lot of time at the bedside of a terminally ill relative, had articles accepted in several magazines, had some urgent repairs done on the house, climbed 3 large hills and also started this blog.
But it took going back and reading all of this to convince my brain and its depressive tendencies that 2021 actually wasn’t the disaster I’d thought it to be. Afterwards, I felt much better about myself and how I had decided to spend my time during the course of the year.
Of course, that’s not to say that there isn’t room for improvement, as there most certainly is, and this is something for me to think about as I capture my 2022 goals in the coming days.
So, if any of this resonates with you, here’s what have I learned from this experience:
1 – Keep a note of what you have done during the year, even if it doesn’t tie into any of your resolutions and goals. At the end of the year, review this and you will probably find that you have done more than you thought. Give yourself due credit.
2 – Review your goals and resolutions regularly throughout the year. I could have saved myself those initial feelings of despair if I’d actually sat down during the course of the year to see if I was on track or veering off piste.
3 – Don’t be afraid to change or scrap resolutions part way through the year if they no longer serve you or become impossible to achieve. Life has a habit of throwing us curve balls and sometimes, we just cannot do it all. I chose to spend as much time as I could with an ill relative, which was both physically and emotionally exhausting. This left me with very little in the tank. So rather than be disappointed on not achieving my goals, now that I have reconsidered 2021, I am glad that I made the choices I did. After all, the weight loss and the swimming can now be picked up again this year. But I’ll never have those hours at a hospice bedside again.
4 – Most importantly, be kind and compassionate to yourself. Living with any chronic illness is hard work and just getting through another year of pain, fatigue, brain fog, mental illness or any other symptoms deserves massive credit.
Happy New Year everyone 🙂