January 1 – Rushing/Frenzy

In a way, coming down with a terrible cold at the end of the year was a blessing in disguise, because it afforded me the opportunity to do nothing but rest and heal. Going to bed before 10 every evening and sleeping well past 10 each morning has been a luxury I never allow myself of my own accord. It turns out to be exactly what I needed though.

cliff near body of water

On the topic of frenzy, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

We women who do too much find the ending of an old year and the beginning of a new year to be a difficult time. There is always the temptation to try to “tidy up” all our loose ends as the old year closes. We fall into the trap of believing that it is possible to get our entire life “caught up” before starting a new year, and we are determined to do it.

Also, there is the temptation to set up an elaborate set of resolutions for the coming year so that we can, at last, get it right. As workaholics, we tend to be very hard on ourselves: nothing less than perfection is enough. Hopefully, on this first day of the year, we will be able to remember that we are perfect just as we are.

I hope for the willingness to live this year in a way that will be gentle to myself . . . one day at a time.

Normally I spend each New Year’s Eve reflecting on the memories and achievements the past year has held, as well as looking forward to the future and all I hope to accomplish in the new year ahead. I have always loved New Year for its offering of a fresh start, a blank slate to make this the perfect year. There is no such thing, however. And to Anne’s point about getting our entire life “caught up” before a new year begins, I fall into the same trap of believing I can be caught up at work, too. Life and work are happening to us every day though, and they are as ceaseless as the flow of time. It has been hard for me to accept that.

The perfectionist in me still dreams of a day when I am perfectly caught up in all areas of life. When we focus on perfection, we are living in either the future or the past, and we miss the beauty of living life here in the present moment —where it is messy, chaotic,  and serendipitous. I still have goals I plan to work toward this year, but I am also being more realistic about what I can accomplish. I wish to live this year in a way that is gentle and kind toward myself and others.

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