HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It’s been so hectic, I haven’t had time to write a blog post for weeks. Pre Christmas we had a wonderful two day wedding for close friends and my son’s birthday, which then rolled alcoholically into Christmas Eve at the pub with friends and Christmas Day at home with family….Twixmas was also weirdly busy with family and friends and rugby games and people staying. I loved every minute of it all, but it was also mixed with a tinge of sadness for an unwell friend and for the world at large.
SO, as a result of feeling a little bit exhausted and panicky about all the things I’m meant to be doing this year and how it’s all going to unfold, I’ve decided not to commit to any New Year Resolutions – I never manage to keep them anyway, so why pile on the pressure of guilt when it’s not needed?
I’ve been thinking a lot about life recently and what “contentment” and “happiness” looks like and I’ve reached the conclusion that I’ve almost never been happier in my own skin and in my life. It’s taken almost six decades to get to a place where I can reasonably accept that all those “bad” things that happened to me along the way were there for a reason. I’ve realised that nobody is perfect and life is messy. Family is messy. The world is messy. Nothing is permanent and we’re all going to die, so we might as well get on with loving life whilst we still can. None of us know what’s around the corner, so why bother to look for perfection? Why not accept that “shit happens” as my father used to say and work around it. In my case, Plan B’s have almost always been infinitely better than Plan A’s. Contingency plans are essential, so that when you’ve had time to dust yourself off, you are ready to look forward with joy. As long as you continue to have purpose, satisfaction, acceptance and (most importantly) humour in the face of adversity you can be strong (and happy) – even when nothing goes the way you wanted it to go. So it’s time to accept reality, put on your resilience cloak and get out and about, looking onwards and upwards. I always used to talk about lowering one’s expectations so that you wouldn’t therefore be disappointed, but it’s not that – it’s about believing that after every disaster or setback, something better is waiting for you if you can just be open to it.
In the meantime remember to “slow down and smell the roses/coffee” – in other words, don’t allow yourself to miss the day to day gorgeousness that is actually happening in your life.
As it happens my Buddhist Offering book says this of today – the 9th January:-
Nothing is permanent:
The sun and the moon rise and then set,
The bright, clear day is followed by the deep, dark night.
From hour to hour, everything changes.
That’s all I have to say for now. Back soon with a BIG update on my mother’s Xmas tablecloth!! Bet you can’t wait!