I’ve decided to handle the beginning of this year in a different way than those past. This is largely a result of my father’s death at the end of last year, but this side effect is not necessarily unwelcome. The fact of the matter is that I have slowed WAY down. I am finally heeding the call I’ve been hearing for some time. For the last year when I’ve heard the call to slow down, or when one of my kind coach friends suggests that maybe that’s the song in the distance, I’ve said: “But I’ve already slowed down. How much slower can I get?” I had no idea. I could get a lot slower. And I have.
And so I’m taking my New Year’s self-review and plan at a different pace than I have in years past. In the past that process has usually involved some sort of self-evaluation that revolves around places I’m doing it wrong and then a series of promises of how I’m going to do it right. I usually scurry to sum up those promises on New Year’s Eve so that I have something meaningful to say when my wonderful friends and I have our ritual resolution discussion. Yeah… none of that has happened, and it’s probably just as well because that process did me NO good. The self-abuse followed by a promise to be a good girl just isn’t going to cut it, and honestly it never has.
My grief for my Dad interrupted the old process, and has slowed me down so I can devise a process that actually does work for me. In starting to think about what has and hasn’t worked, I find it difficult to get concrete and tangible. I am having this difficulty a lot lately. BUT in working with my own coach, I was already in the process of “detoxing my closet,” getting rid of things that don’t work for me anymore, don’t make me feel the way I want to feel about myself or don’t represent me the way I want to be represented. I got a huge head start on the closet detox, and it seems that my detox has trickled into other parts of my life. What used to be a self-evaluation process that felt more like “what am I doing wrong” is now a process that focuses more on “what’s not working for me anymore?” There’s no judgment there. It doesn’t honestly matter whether it worked in the past; that’s not the question and honestly that question is a distraction that only leads me in circles.
And so here in the third week of January, I am beginning my New Year’s process by making room. I’m getting rid of physical stuff and questioning the usefulness of old habits. I am shedding that which obviously doesn’t fit anymore. I am making room for peace. I am making room for dreaming and imagining. I am making room for new plans, new thoughts, and new realities. That all sounds really abstract but in truth, it just begins with shedding some of that concrete skin, the stuff that holds you in and keeps you from growing. Making room. When we want to grow, we need space.