New Year’s Revolutions
“sometimes you can’t stay on your own mainland.Renia White
some story of exile, unique each time: a home
you feel apart from rather than of “
It’s the beginning of a New Year and I feel slightly unmotivated. I know there are things I want to change but the effort to change them feels out of my grasp. Are you with me?
I’ve resolved to not eat the rest of the Chocolate Hazelnut confections that scream to me from my top cupboard.
They are tucked away out of reach on the top shelf in the pantry.
…and there’s a stepping stool mysteriously pressed against the wall directly underneath.
Are one of the kids stealing my chocolate? I wish I could blame it on that. I live alone.
I’ve been here before.
So many times.
How many times have I quit chocolate? Countless.
How many attempts have I made to purge sugar from my life? Embarrassed to say.
I remember once I quit for so long I became cocky, erroneously believing I would ever eat a whole chocolate bar again in my life. Who even was that person that would devour and crave things that weren’t good for her?
Oh, right. That was me! Fully me.
…and that part of me hasn’t gone anywhere.
I’m reminded that beckoning box of Hedgehogs is actually part 2. The previous box has already started its recycling journey.
Will I quit again?
Yes I will.
I will quit fully aware that some day I will also quit quitting.
I don’t know if it’s the way of all humans but it’s the way of some of what I consider the best humans I share similarities with.
We start and then one day we find we need to start again.
Then we didn’t
What if Inconsistency is the Normal Setting on the Human Dryer?
What if we normalized starting again? What if starting over wasn’t accompanied by shame?
How boring would life be if there weren’t moments when chocolate was indulged in?
How bland would our days drag out if we didn’t sporadically hold the belief that this new exciting program was going to completely mold a new framework from which to live our lives.
What if, instead, it was shameful to be the kind of person that set their minds to something and never wavered, or second guessed, or reneged, or slept in, or didn’t want to do it so they didnt.
What if our inconsistency is the normal setting on the dryer of human life?
I was reminded by a social media post that every dead body on Mt Everest was once a highly motivated person. Maybe it’s okay to chill out and let some goals lapse.
Why Even Start?
I know on the other end of things there is a push to never make a New Year’s Resolution.
They are seen as redundant. A pointless endeavour.
We are reminded 80% of January gym memberships have fallen off by May. So why even start? You know you wont keep it up.
We are encouraged to embrace ourselves and our curves the way we are. I do love that.
I don’t disagree with the thought but I also know that things are not static either. Just because you don’t make a resolution doesn’t mean things aren’t going to change. Change happens one way for the either.
Loving and taking good care of myself is not synonymous with not attempting to change things. If I embrace myself as a person who can devour an entire bag of Lindts in record time leaving a trail of wrappers behind, I’m fooling myself into thinking I’m not changing. The sugar rush and crash and returning bulges that follow bring about changes. The only difference is they are changes that are happening and not ones I’m consciously choosing.
Even if you resolve to not change anything, changes will still take place around you. The difference is you won’t have any control or input over the outcome. It will just happen to you. You will stay stuck. You will become more disorganized. Credit card balances will increase. Clutter will grow. Clothes will shrink. Waistlines expand. Embarrassing wrappers will litter your landscape.
You can accept and love yourself AND still take responsibility for the areas where you are struggling. You can learn to not beat yourself up while you work at changing some things in your life.
What if, beneath all this surface struggle, who you are is changing?
What if your boring job, your overwhelming life, your cluttered spaces don’t fit anymore.
I’m fascinated by the Luna moth. They shed their skins that no longer fit over and over. And one point even their face comes off!
What happens if they refuse? What happens if they decide. “This is ridiculous. I can’t do this again. I’m going to resist that urge and stay right the way I am because there is nothing wrong with how I am.”
It’ll die. It’s that simple. It’ll one day be strangled by it’s too small space.
So we wrestle. I see you wrestling.
Something inside you is a little more stressed, a lot more exhausted and feeling stuck in the spaces you are in.
You want the change but you’ve tried before and it’s so disheartening to even look in that direction again.
Yet you know there is a deep dissatisfaction sitting within you, calling you to try again.
And you want to embrace just accepting yourself as you are. Loving what is.
You Can Accept Yourself AND Still Change
What if you work at both.
What if you resolve to make whatever change you want AND you love that you’re the kind of person that one day will choose not to make that choice AND then you’ll start again.
You’ll start again and then, in a hot minute, you’ll revolve and do it again
And you accept that this is normal.
This is precisely the way it is for most growing humans.
Perfection is just a deceptive mistress that promises a different life but in the end makes you feel terrible about the life you attempt to have.
At a New Year’s Party, I met someone who seemed fascinated by my life. They couldn’t fathom that I changed my career, my relationship, moved across the continent and started a whole new life. When you live the change, the miracle of change is lost on you. You are far more aware of the struggle.
When did I resolve that my life would change?
I simply accepted that the part of me, who was no longer content to just settle and only half live, would no longer be silenced.
I needed to make a change.
Did I pack up and move that day?
No, I went back to my job, enjoyed what I did as best I could and turned on a podcast.
I started to listen to people that were modelling a difference. I changed my inputs to sources that aligned with my goals. Hint: I didn’t find that on Netflix or Crave.
Some days, though, I didn’t do that. Some days, I let myself hate my life and I’d stew in my misery instead of strengthening myself for the climb out.
But then I’d start again.
And one day I woke up with a new thought.
I could stop funneling time and money into my present career and store it up for classes toward a Masters Degree.
So I did.
And things began to change.
I was able to shed what no longer fit and move forward.
Unfortunately, if I were to give you a guide on how to design a life you love based on my life, it would be really confusing. I look back and see the only predictable thing about my path here was that I never failed to be consistently inconsistent!
You can too.
Normalize the restart.
Smile at your inconsistency.
Embrace the imperfect path.
Honor the previous attempts.
I know you’ve been here before.
I have too.
I woke up this morning at 5. Made myself a cup of tea and sat down to write.
It feels exactly like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.
But I’ve done it before and never stuck with it.
I’m scared tomorrow I’ll want to stay snuggled in bed instead of taking advantage of what appears to be my most inspirational hour of my day.
I wrestle with the urge to not do it because I’ve proven I can’t do it perfectly or consistently.
You get it don’t you? You nod along, quickly able to populate a list of your failed attempts.
I see you. I’m with you.
What will you join me on?
What do you need to start over?
Not in a New Year’s Resolution but in a New Year’s Revolution.
Like the sun tripping across the horizon every day, we too can embrace that life is more of revolution – doing things over and over. It’s normal for us. I love that about you..
Come revolve with me!
So my inconsistent friend, what do you need to restart today? What is your New Year’s Revolution calling you to that you’ve visited before?
Let’s revisit it together. I’m going to go fold up the step stool and remove it from the pantry. What are you going to do?
If you are serious about choosing the change, I’m inconsistently working on an online group for people that are restarting something and want support. Together we can make these changes. I’m currently calling it: Embracing Your Big Sexy Life. If you are interested or even a little curious, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject LIne: Big Sexy Life. I’ll make sure I keep you in the loop. For now…go restart something!
Trish White is a counsellor in Kamloops, BC who currently has little chocolate Hedgehogs crying for her attention from her pantry. But not today Hedgehogs! Today is a day of revolution.