As the new year approached, I wasn’t feeling the optimism and sense of ‘a new day’ (in the NINA SIMONE vein) that the change to the new year often brings. Mainly I was feeling tired from a crazy 2011. New Year’s Eve came and went.
…but then, hanging out at home with the family on holiday…mooching around, finally some time for reflection, a few things rose up into my mind about changes I would like to make for this year. It was interesting in that it felt like they quietly presented themselves in my mind and I mulled them over and thought, ‘OK, that feels about right’…..they seemed to come ‘organically’ rather than being the usual overly-ambitious, top-down imperatives of New Year’s past.
Also, rather than the harsh denotation of ‘resolution’…’I hereby resolve to do this thing perfectly from this moment forward….’ kind of thing, these feel like ‘intentions’. These are things I intend to do. If I do not do them, it is because life is life and I am me and there won’t be any punitive thinking around it!
My New Year’s Intentions
–to do an hour of gardening per day, rather than the current non-system of doing big binges when I can, which isn’t often enough, meaning that the garden gets out of control in between them, which means I start to feel stressed and low about the state of my garden, which I love and want to tend well. I always tend my vegetable garden, because I like to eat out of it as much as possible, but the rest of the garden gets very neglected. Currently the back of the garden is a wild jungle…
I bought a small 2012 diary with a page for each day. When I get into bed at night, I’m recording what garden tasks I did in the garden in my garden hour, making observations, and noting what we ate out of the garden that day. It’s very motivating and I’m enjoying it.
Like most things in life, the hardest part is starting! Once I’ve grabbed my trowel, put my sun hat on and ventured outside to pick a task, the hour flies by! I feel like the garden is looking more loved already after only a week of this new practice. I can tell that if too many days go by with blank pages in my garden diary – it will be very motivating!
-to be more conscious of my spending, to save money and to make money by decluttering. I have always been fairly thrifty, so this is not a major change for me, but I know I can improve. I’ve started by buying a two cup plunger for work so I won’t dash out for cafe coffees. (I know, I know – I started my thrift regime by spending. Call the irony police!)
Usually when I declutter, I just donate things to charity or give them away to friends, but we have a lot of financial pressures on us this year, so I am going to try to turn my decluttering into cash, through a big garage sale and trademe sales. The decluttering will be great, too, as we are into our second year of living in this house and it is starting to feel like the zen state that happens when you move house and have to evaluate all your posessions has gone and there are piles of ‘stuff’ around which can go, go, go…
I think that trying to be more conscious about my spending will also result in: being more ‘green’ with money – buying less, buying local, mending and making do.
Every year, I have a word or phrase to represent something I am working on in myself. For about five years in a row, the phrase was ‘say yes to no’ – because I had a real problem with saying no to people and asserting my own needs. I feel like I’ve done a lot of work around this and although it remains ongoing, I am so, so much better at it than I used to be!
This year I want to work on focus. I get so easily distracted by the newest, shiniest thing! So, I’ve written in large writing in my journal: FOCUS: Family/Friends :: Writing :: Yoga :: Garden.
Those are the things I want to give my energy and focus to this year. In that order.
So there I was on the 31st of December feeling cynical and jaded about the turn of the year and thinking I had no energy for any New Year planning, but it ended up happening anyway….I feel like all of the above is gentle, achievable, self-loving and I am starting to feel a little ‘Nina Simone’ about the year.
Do you have any New Year’s intentions? I’d love to hear them.
I wish you all the best with your 2012 projects and intentions!