Read, Flower, Plant, Nature, Leaf, Book, Writing
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This time of year is always a moment to pause for reflection before the hectic pace again resumes. I entered the 2021 Christmas period with a sense of exhaustion in every sense, not because the year had been especially intense for me, it had not. I know people for whom the year, actually the last two years, has been life-changing. Employment and housing insecurity has become a new reality for people who have never before had to face such insecurity. I am fortunate, I have employment, a home and supportive relationships, not everyone is so lucky. To be honest I don’t really need much to feel content and I have all that I need.

I worry about family for lots of different reasons at the moment but covid is a big one, with vulnerable family members, that is the one spectre that really haunts. The truth is, that if someone is vulnerable to the infection, then through no fault of their own the disease can kill, even if they are double vaccinated and they contract only a mild case. I sometimes think some people have forgotten the vulnerable in our community. I sometimes think we have forgotten community.

B nearly lost it with a customer at work, just before Christmas, when she asked her to wear her mask and they refused with the statement “well if you are vaccinated it shouldn’t matter if you catch it”, her response was “no it probably won’t matter to me, but I could still spread it to my grandfather in hospital and it would be a death sentence for him”, fortunately, another member of staff pulled her away before she could say more. Public health measures are not about curtailing your freedom, they are about protecting the vulnerable. I am always impressed with the team B works with, they have each others back and they support each other. The stories I have heard about working in retail this year have been horrifying. Next time you are buying groceries chat with the checkout staff about what it has been like for them.

Reflecting on the end of 2021, I have learnt how important it is for me to maintain my survival strategies. I need boundaries to protect myself from the Strum and Drang of life, I need routine and I need a degree of solitude. So I guess I am using this period to reflect on what I need, to be the best I can be, in this environment. In 2021 I let my personal discipline erode somewhat. My days seemed to stagger between work and home, I stopped escaping to the bush as often as I needed. Instead of reading, I would often indulge in mindless doom scrolling or scrolling through social media, mindless engagement not mindful. The end result was that sense of exhaustion that permeated my very core. I want to ensure that does not happen in 2022.

In 2022 I will get back on that disciplined track I need to be able to fully functional. I will take the breaks I need when I need them, I will go bush regularly. I will make sure I stick to my morning routine of reading and journal for an hour, no scrolling in that time at all, or work!!! I am re-establishing my swimming routine, a minimum of three days a week but aiming for 5. I know that diet can adversely affect my mood so I am ensuring I always take healthy snacks, to avoid giving in to stress snacking on junk food. I have already started to put boundaries around toxic situations, life is too short for that crap. I am using this week to re-establish those good habits and enter the new year with a positive outlook and a clear strategy going forward. These are not resolutions as such, but a reflection on what I know I need to do and a statement of intent.

The one thing I do resolve to do is to stay engaged with the blog and with reading. Do you have new year’s resolutions? Or do you prefer to just quietly reflect on the changing of the year?

Let’s make 2022 a great year. A year of kindness and care. A year for the natural world that needs us to speak up for it. A year to find and share wonder and joy wherever and whenever we can.

8 thoughts on “New year reflection

  1. There’s no way to “Like” this post enough! To recognize both your need for solitude, and the need also for community is great. To disconnect from scrolling for periods of time is easy for me – I don’t have high speed internet at home, or unlimited phone data or minutes, so I’m not tempted – and I’d rather be knitting or reading, anyway, so I’m not sucked in. The blogs I follow and e-mail are the limit of my social media; I boycott Facebook and its ilk. One thing about putting this publicly on your blog – you’ll have a community to remind you of your intent should you seem to be drifting too far!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you and happy new year! Yes, I think making the public statement is about making sure I am accountable. I have to agree about Facebook. It is a funny thing that librarians are expected to stay up to date on social media trends and how to use them effectively, which is I think how I have fallen down that rabbit hole. While I can see merits in the effective use of Twitter it is also a platform that can distort information or just be a plain time waster.
      One of the best things about going bush for the weekend is that I don’t have access to the internet, sometimes not even phone coverage and I love it.
      May 2022 bring you lots of kayaking adventures and great knitting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Best wishes for you to enjoy a better year and congratulations on taking a stand, I can’t agree more, I’m doing what I can for me, my family, the selfless health professionals and the world! Our responsibility is to help the greater good of the vulnerable and not to selfishly put out own indulgences first. 👏 I feel so annoyed with those who only consider their ‘rights’ with no thought for the bigger picture.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Sharon, great post, as always. I really feel for B – the thoughtlessness and selfishness of some people just makes me cranky too. Just as well I don’t work in retail – I wouldn’t have the patience for people like that. Totally agree with Glenys’ comment above – it’s about the bigger picture, caring for each other and putting the lives of the vulnerable before our own rights and privileges. Wishing you all the best for the New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

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