January is a month of conflicts. On the one hand I have the start of a new year, resolutions I’m determined to beat for once, and that sense of “firsts” and how I should make them count. On the other hand it’s still the middle of grey winter, and I just completed a round of Holiday Festivities that, while enjoyable, required a ridiculous level of emotional and physical strength.
To put it simply, this January I woke up from a tinsel and gingerbread induced high and desperately wanted some time to rest. Some down time. A few moments—or days—to honor the biological tradition of hibernation. Christmas is exhausting. Why must New Years be a springboard?
Must it? Really?
Do you struggle with giving yourself permission? I’m not talking about permission to do those little “bad habit moments” that you can laugh off—like having a second piece of chocolate, reading a popcorn novel, or sleeping in an extra hour or two. I’m talking about permission to do reasonable things that other people might not understand. Might not be able to engage with. Things that might make other people think you’re just not toeing the mark, or you’re lazy, or you’re just not good enough.
For me, that means giving myself permission to not know what my writing goals will be for the year. To acknowledge that my extroverted self needs a little downtime, as awkward as that is, and that I can create that time and space without fear of going out my mind with boredom or making friends feel left out. It means taking this blog post that was supposed to be vision casting and instead making it vulnerable and thoughtful. It means being willing to ease back into the year instead of rushing headlong like I’d hoped.
It’s funny how, even as I type that, I feel a ridiculous inner rush of excuses. Excuses that must be offered to ensure that you, my friends, fully understand that I have a legitimate reason to not be cranking out 2k words everyday and have a fully developed business plan ready by now. (For the record, those were actual goals I wanted to achieve this January.) And I’m going to swallow those excuses. Excuse me while I choke for a few minutes.
I have hopes and dreams for this year, of course. I’d love to write three novels, learn contact juggling, try aerial silks, and visit friends in Colorado. But I haven’t anything definite to share. And there’s a peace in that. A quiet moment in the chaos when my soul has a chance to say, “Okay, Lord. You’ve got this.” I am fully prepared to enjoy this year, and if I practice engaging with the struggle of life this January, I might just have a good habit to carry with me the rest of the my life.