Tuesday, January 4

new beginnings

so, for one reason or another, 2010 wasn't really a great year for me. don't want to mump and moan about it, would rather try and learn some lessons and move on to the new year.

i wrote a little while ago about how i struggle with self-discipline and maintaining balance. i'm also giving myself a hard time about not being in the moment enough. this, i think, is why i feel like 2010 has pretty much passed me by.

i feel like i've neglected friends and family, my relationship, our project to become more self-sufficient from the garden, i've probably not slept enough, i've certainly not read enough, we've not been out and about having enough adventures, i kind of lost sight of where i wanted to go creatively, and the housework ... well, that's always a little behind schedule.

but funnily enough, it only just dawned on me the other day that amongst all of this, the one thing that i had really neglected was myself. i've never really seen it from that perspective before! i get so much nourishment (not sure if that's the right word, but hopefully it puts across what i mean) from spending time with the folk i love, from working on our plot, from just hanging out with m, from being me and just playing and having fun.

ah, fun ... that was pretty much missing from the heavy work schedule i had been giving myself. the problem is, i feel guilty if i don't feel like i'm achieving enough in each day, so i give myself a nigh-on impossible to achieve to-do list and then give myself a hard time if i don't complete. or i stay up till all hours to complete and then turn into a tired, grumpy version of me that i really don't like.

aaaanyway, as i said, i'm not going to mump and moan!

so, for this year, i am going to try and look after myself a little better, strive for balance and really work on the self-discipline thing.

i know that what i probably need is a 'routine', but bleurgh to that! i don't work well with routines, they begin to grind me down after a while and something which is supposed to be fun can feel like a chore, plus, m works crazy shifts which are all over the place so i can't really plan too far ahead, perhaps more structure would work better?

to-do lists really do help me though, i find if i sit down at the start of the year and then review it each month, it helps me focus on what i really want to achieve and which direction i want to go. plus, on those days when i feel like i really can't be bothered and don't know what to do with myself, i just need to pick something from the list and i know i'm moving forward (even if i don't feel it at the time!).

so, this is my draft list for the year:

visit family more often.
have days off with m, where we get to just hang out.
spend more time creating with other people.
regularly bake new things.
keep an eye on the foraging season and make elderflower cordial; nettle soup; raspberry coulis; blackberry jam; hawthorn jam; rosehip syrup; sloe gin.
make this the best year yet for home-grown fruit, herbs, veg and flowers.
create a schedule for the housework.
get outside and exercise.
finish off the half-started diy projects around the house.
put time aside to read, without feeling guilty.
create a dye garden and practise with natural dyes.
finish the half-started projects.
use up my materials stash.
learn new techniques.
work on new projects.
practise new techniques and try out new ideas.
keep shops well stocked.
give myself a break from time to time, be kinder to me and remember to have fun!

so, i'm pretty optimistic about all of this, except perhaps the housework part!

what's your resolutions and plans for this new year?


Sam said...

Nice list - just remember not to demand perfection. Quickest way to fail :-)

I'm still pondering my goals, but a little more balance is needed perhaps. I was growing lots of stuff in the garden (too much - beginner) and then I got sucked into Folksy. Balance!

Best wishes for the new year :-)

krex said...

Seems like "balance" is the theme for the year ...not always easy for someone who is genetically inclined to "over-focus", and do everything obsessively .

The past two years have all been 100% about wool...learning and experimenting to the neglect of my body and house work . This year I hope to balance that out with a bit more attention to the reality that the fleshy husk I live in (getting a bit to fleshy lately) also needs to be taken care of...exercise, good foods, ect .

I also hate routine/schedules . some things I can only do when I am in the right frame of mind but I think keeping a list (without dates) can help me remember what I do want/need to do .

Good luck to you in finding your own balance .

Angela said...

wow, that is one huge list! Fifteen years ago I promised myself never to make another new year resolution and it's the only thing I've stuck to. Balance - hmm - some months it's very good, some it's not but the big questions must always be - is it fun? Let's just all give ourselves permission to have fun whether working, gardening or hanging out. :)

Shepherdess said...

That looks more like a 5 year goal list to me. You are very demanding of yourself. Maybe you need to do something like plant one dye plant and use it. Or make a list of the new techniques you want to try and pick 2 you want to try. As for house work leave it. No one will put good (or bad) house keeper on your gravestone. Muck out once and a while otherwise those that care more about your housework than you really shouldn't visit anyway. If you have to meet them go to the coffee shop or their house and let them worry about the house work.

Be kind to yourself, family and friends.

Have New Year; I am sure you will inspire all your readers.

P.S. I will try to follow my own advice too.

narkeymarkey said...

hi sam, thanks for your comments. balance seems to be the word for this year! i find it so hard though as enthusiasm and excitement usually means i throw myself into one thing to the exclusion of everything else. ah yes, the pursuit of perfection, moi?!

narkeymarkey said...

hi krex and thanks for dropping by.

ah, the housework can always slip a little but i think i'm finally starting to realise that neglecting me (and, yes, there's a bit more of me too than usual after the christmas indulgences!) has such a knock-on effect on everything else that i need to focus more on looking after me so that i can keep enjoying the things i do.

here's to a year of balance for you too :)x

narkeymarkey said...

hi ann, 5 years ... gosh, really?

i think i am quite demanding of myself but i feel like life is so short (and the day job gets in the way so often) and there's so many things i want to learn and have fun with!

plus, i do work part-time, my other half works nights, and my family lives in a different country so i have a lot of spare time on my hands.

i think this list though, is more a reminder for me of the direction i want to be taking and a guide for my year but you're right about the housework and being kind to loved ones :)

happy new year too :)x

p.s. why is it always so hard to follow our own advice?!

narkeymarkey said...

hi angela, hopefully it'll give me something to aim for and focus on, i do have a tendency to fly off at a tangent and then get to the end of the year and think oh, i didn't do this, or that.

i think you have something there, about giving ourselves permission to have fun, why do we sometimes feel guilty about enjoying ourselves - let this be the year of having fun!