The new year is the time to reflect and make new resolutions. I don’t really buy into this idea. I believe we should have resolutions throughout the year encouraging us to adopt better habits and make ourselves better people. Having not had the best festive period, (alone and ill), I began the new year feeling rather sorry for myself – this may be an understatement. I have, however, realised that I am doing better than I thought. I have spent the past few days believing I was heading into a dark or at least darker period. I felt that life had become an insurmountable task. I was fed up of being strong and responsible. I didn’t want to be an adult. I wanted someone to wave their magic wand, make it all okay and look after me.
I decided that life had become too hard. I prepared myself to struggle over the upcoming period and to give myself a bit of TLC. I told myself that it was going to be hard and I needed to put myself first. I needed to do what was right for me until my ‘not so great’ period was over. I think I may have over-thought and planned a bit too prematurely.
Returning to work today after the winter break I realised that I was meant to be going out and leading a session today. This is what I do. I lead sessions and teach others how to better look after themselves. You would think with this as my job remit that I would be better equipped to look after myself! Back to the matter at hand. Over the festive period I had forgot about this session. I was due to spend the afternoon facilitating a session on Stress Management by myself. Not only had I forgotten about this booking but I also was not prepared. I had not looked over my notes, I hadn’t written the case study and the handouts were still a distant thought. For many this would spin them into a spiral of panic. This is what I would expect of the anxious person I was sure I was on the verge of becoming. The person I was preparing myself to be. The person who wasn’t very good at coping with life for the time being.
I surprised myself by being ready for the session in less than hour. A few hours later on the preparation was done and I led a meeting preparing others about the session content. By the end of the day I had led the session, enjoyed it and not panicked once. It occurred to me on my way home that I’m doing a lot better than I thought. I may have braced for panic mode for the foreseeable future but I hadn’t taken stock of reality. It is both simultaneously liberating, wonderful and a revelation that I am doing better than I thought. I am not the girl I thought I was about to be. I underestimated myself and my capabilities.
I think as people we are guilty of doing this more often than we realise. As humans we have a huge amount of potential and many of us are extremely capable. We continually underestimate what we achieve on a daily basis. On the flip side we also need to cut ourselves some slack. Most of us will never be able to tick off a whole to-do list in one day. That is supremely normal. If you can in fact do everything you plan to in one day, quite frankly, you scare me. You seem to have subhuman capabilities that defy the norms.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and realise I am doing better than I thought. This may in fact be my new mantra. This may be a different way of thinking, but I believe it is a better one. In my yoga class this week we did a leg stretch. As we stretched our leg muscles the teacher reminded us that our legs deserved it. They carry us around all day. This is not news to any of us but at the end of a long day my legs deserve a rest. So does the rest of me. No matter how much I get done on a daily basis my body has supported me throughout, my brain has been continually working, processing and understanding, our emotions have been in play. We do a lot everyday without even realising it and I hope you will. Until that time I will be here to remind you that you are doing better than you thought, so am I and so is everyone else and that deserves recognition.