New year, new starts, we’re all in that frame of mind at the moment aren’t we? Even if everything is hunky dory in our lives we can’t help but be aware of the media onslaught that January heralds. Everywhere you turn there’s someone advocating a new diet, a new method of giving up smoking and different way to change your life. And that’s all well and good if you know what it is that you want to change but what if you want to change everything What if you feel you’ve taken the wrong road and can’t find your way back? Writing books urge us to be specific and I think that instruction can be applied to life as well.
I began my New Year’s rehash of my life last month. I wanted to face 2013 prepared for the changes I wanted to make. In 2012 life was a roller coaster of change, my father passed away, I became a grandmother and somewhere along the way realised that life was galloping along regardless; change came whether I was prepared for it or not. Such is life. It is the same for all of us. But what I wasn’t aware of was the havoc it wreaked on my life in general. I declined invitations to the smallest of events, stopped meeting friends, going to my weekly classes. In short I was hibernating, withdrawing from the familiar. It all seemed a bit too much. Life became dreary and lacklustre.
I was talking to a newly minted friend the other day, discussing my lack of enthusiasm. ‘It’s grief,’ she said simply, and the light shone in my head that had been dimmed for almost 12 months. Of course it was grief, this withdrawal. I had expected grief to be different, to be tearful and solemn, or angry. I was just bored and fed up, disheartened more than anything Neither looking forward nor inward, not really looking anywhere at all if I could help it.
I had lost all enthusiasm. I had barely ventured into the garden, usually my saving grace. Every weed I pulled, every leaf I gathered, every flower I planted gave me hope and energy for newness year on year. I had turned my back on it. At least January hides the neglect. This weekend I plan to get out there and begin to bring it back to life – and hopefully resurrect myself at the same time.
What I also realised after the conversation with my friend was that I had control. I had no enthusiasm because I chose to withdraw, I lost my passion because it didn’t seem relevant in my life anymore. How wrong I was.
You can make yourself enjoy life or you can begrudge each day you’re given. But the power and control is yours entirely, no matter what your situation. A subject covered in depth by Viktor Frankl ‘ Man’s Search for Meaning’.
So I’m putting the effort in this year. I want my life to be filled with good things, good people, good deeds. I just need to be specific as to what those good things will be. Off to make a list.