It’s June. We’re almost at the middle of the year 2020.
So, how’s it going for you so far?
Yeah. I know.
I doubt any of us is experiencing the year we thought we would on January 1. Nothing quite like a global economic downturn on the back of a global pandemic to put a kink in your plans.
Although, as the world protests and campaigns against racial injustice on a scale not seen in decades, I can’t help thinking that this forced global awareness and time to reflect has some up sides.
I’m wondering if you made any New Year Resolutions for this year and how they’re faring in this “new normal”? Are you still on track as planned, on track but in a modified form or have you abandoned them altogether?
Did you give up on “going to the gym every week” or just adjust it to online classes? Did the lockdown actually make it easier to “learn a new skill”? Did it become just too challenging to “spend more time with friends”? Did you lose your job making it impossible to “save more money”?
At the end of last year, I announced that I wasn’t making any resolutions for 2020 because the family was already facing enough challenges with an ending of long term employment and high stakes final years of education. Just surviving the year intact was enough of a goal to achieve.
But now, at the midpoint of a year that threw in even more challenges to exacerbate the ones we were already facing, I’ve realised I actually did make a resolution of sorts. A Claytons resolution. The resolution you have when you don’t have a resolution.*
At the end of last year, on the back of some work I had begun on improving my mental health, I made a commitment that in 2020 I would put my wellbeing first, closely followed by the needs of my own family. I would no longer be “on call” to others and if something wasn’t right for me and my wellbeing, then I would politely refuse/withdraw.
I also took on a mantra from a card I read early in the year: “I did not cause it. It is not my job to cure it.”
This wasn’t easy. I’ve been known to answer the call when unwell, when it inconvenienced my own family and when it probably wasn’t appropriate and it’s in my nature to want to step in and make things better in any way I can. But I knew I couldn’t go on the way I had the last few years and for my own health I had to change.
Of course, when the pandemic and subsequent restrictions hit, it became even more important to try and maintain this promise to myself as anyone who has followed me through the last three months will be aware.
But with support, I stuck to my plan. And, as it turned out, reaped the rewards.
- It is not selfish to take care of yourself. In fact you owe it to the people around you to do so.
- You can look after your own wellbeing and good things will still come your way.
Even in the midst of all the challenges this year has wrought, I have been blessed. I’ve reached out and discovered the true friends in my life, been acknowledged and respected in my work, found joy in running for fun and explored new places to be fed spiritually and creatively.
My wish for you at this midpoint of A Year For The Ages is that you are finding the kindnesses in life and that the route you are travelling while occasionally bumpy has stretches of smooth straight road in the company of people you love and who love you just as equally.
Blessings from my heart to yours.
*This phrase comes from a drinks commercial in the 1970s whose catchphrase entered the Australian vernacular to mean anything that you have without it really being that thing. More info here. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a video of the original ad with Jack Thompson but here’s a blooper: