Back in December 2018, I made a set of 5 New Year’s resolutions and vowed to make this year the year I actually stick to them and make some progress towards my personal goals. I set these goals for myself with good intentions and reflected for a long time on what I wanted to “achieve” by doing them. Whilst I wouldn’t say I’ve had a total transformation in the first 3 months of 2019, I’ve certainly kept these resolutions in the forefront of my mind more than ever before, have discussed them with friends on an ongoing basis and have made some positive steps towards them, even if it doesn’t feel like enough (the story of my life…I’m learning).
Everyday I listen to some of an audio-book or a podcast. Since the year began I’ve started about 4 different books (although I’m yet to finish any of them) and I’m continuing to de-clutter whilst learning and implementing more about living a “low waste” and minimalist lifestyle. I’ve started a daily writing habit, whether that’s a blog or an Instagram post or simply journalling about my thoughts and feelings.
My friend and I were chatting the other day about how we can use the start of any new month to reflect again on our goals and where we are up to, to re-group so to speak. We shared our goals with each other and set realistic expectations for ourselves in order that we stay “on track”. For me, this was aiming for 2 early mornings a week to get up and seize the day, to finish one of the 4 books I’ve started and to publish two blogs that I’ve been eager to write for months. We both have a system in place for monitoring our goals, a way to hold ourselves and each other accountable and have a visual reminder about what we want to achieve. Fantastic. All set. April, let’s do this. Yes! This all sounds great, right? So what’s the big epiphany?
As I sat down to write something I wanted to share about how crazy things have been throughout the month of March, I realised something. Throughout March, without me even realising it at the time, so much has happened that has enabled me to grow. In our family, March is known as “the birthday month” because we celebrate Jasmine’s birthday, followed by mine, followed by my Mum’s. This year, we also threw in my parents 40th wedding anniversary, Mother’s day and also remembered Ben’s Grandma Jackie who passed away in March last year. On top of that we have put plans in motion for moving house (more on that another time), I’ve finalised my return to my NHS job whilst continuing to work hard in other areas and we’ve been to the hospital with both girls (for different reasons) as well as a whole load of everyday “stuff” of which there has been a lot.
So the epiphany….amongst all this beautiful busy chaos, there has been learning and there has been personal growth. I may not have been able to attribute it to one of my specific goals but just by living life, there has been growth. Just this last month I’ve learnt more about Jasmine and her resilience and confidence and I’ve learnt how best to support her through challenging situations. I’ve learnt about myself too, when faced with difficult parenting situations that I haven’t known how to manage. I’ve been forced to reflect, to learn and to vow to do better. Growth. I’ve had conversations with Ben about our work, our desire to strike a good balance in life and a whole lot about our future plans. Growth. I’ve read articles, quotes and posts by people I admire and those things have instantly allowed me to learn or to think differently about something. Growth. I set out to achieve a plastic free birthday party for Jasmine and I did it, learning so much along the way and continuing to nurture this new-found passion. Growth. I’ve swapped some of my everyday products for plastic free, zero waste versions and realised how great it feels to make these sustainable swaps. Growth. I’ve experienced firsts with both my girls, new situations that I haven’t encountered before and therefore simply by being a Mum, there has been growth.
We are constantly in a state of change, never the same person we were yesterday because another day lived is another day experienced, new lessons under our belt and new knowledge in our minds. Just as I look at my two girls and wonder how they can seem so different day-to-day or week to week, never the same and constantly learning, so are we too, as adults.
So even when I don’t feel like I’m keeping up with my New Years goals, even when I feel frustrated at myself for not doing better or doing enough and even when I wish I had more time to just finish that blimmin’ book, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because progress is there in all sorts of scenarios, whether I’m looking for it or not and that is a pretty great epiphany for me to have had.