It was last year walking home from work one evening when it struck me that I hadn't quite got the balance right. Somehow, somewhere along the way I'd got sucked in and forgotten about me. I was busy, there was lots to do and I was doing much of it, but I felt pulled in so many directions. I'd left work late again to help me get through what needed to be done, but still I knew there would always be more to do.
As my evenings were getting shorter, my list of home- and life-related tasks weren't. No wonder I was tired, and felt like I was hardly achieving anything. In truth, I was achieving lots, but I was also putting pressure on myself to do everything and more, and to do it well.
Like we do.
But how did this become so clear walking home?
Walking to and from work is my space for thinking and pondering, and acts in the same way as many other commutes. But as I walked home a familiar cyclist headed past me, and heading in the wrong direction. I called after him - it was MOH - but intent on the road and pursuing his mile target he didn't hear me, and I thought perhaps I'd been mistaken.
Soon though that familiar cyclist had turned around and was cycling alongside me. It was MOH, and in the dark it'd taken him a little while to realise it was me (we're a right pair aren't we?!) He was full of tales of the extra loop he'd completed on the way home, adding miles to the target he'd set himself many months before, and how now his target for the evening was done he was off to complete his post-work errand to collect the parcels from the local post office, and how he'd see me at home.
And then he was gone again, and I was back to my thoughts, and creating the mental list of the shopping I needed to pick up on the way home, and what needed to be done when I got in. And I marvelled at the inequality of it all, before realising it was in my gift to change.
Arriving home though rather than seeing the lopsided-ness of life, I found myself admiring MOH's determination and realised that I also should set my priorities and be as just as determined with my goals.
I can be a procrastinator, but I'm also a great do-er, I know that.
But I have to let - or make time for - myself to do that, and that's where my word for this year comes in. This year I'm prioritising being kind to myself, so I can be as determined with my goals. Because while I don't feel much like a gander, we all know that saying, don't we?
I'm hoping that this year being kind to myself will show itself in all kinds of ways. Leaving work timely, eating healthily, exercising and sharing more of those evening chores with MOH, he's going to be so pleased when he learns this, are just the start.
I'm planning more crafts, I already have several crochet and scrappy quilts planned and want to start some new ones too. I've an idea that I can make some t-shirt wool from old t-shirts and crochet baskets with that. It sounds easy enough but I'm sure there'll be some lessons along the way.
We were pretty poor at getting away last year and so I'm planning to be more on my game for that, and already I've started research for a trip to the States involving Chicago, Nashville, a train and San Francisco and more, but I just haven't worked out what yet.
We also plan to have some work done on our conservatory and in theory that will end the "first" round of decorating, but we all know that decorating is never truly done and I'm sure there'll be a few more projects along the way. We need to finish adding slate around the circles in our garden and come up with a plan for the area in front of the pizza oven, and of course there's the allotment too.
So while I'm planning to be kind to myself, I'm not expecting to be any less busy, and I'm sure you didn't expect that from me either did you?