So somehow it's already 12th January, and it feels a little late to be doing a new year post but that's exactly what's happening!
Christmas and New Year have been so busy, flitting back and forward between places and seeing lots of people, then back to work chaos - that I haven't really had time to sit and reflect.
Having seen many posts about resolutions, it feels like people put a lot of pressure on themselves in terms of goals and things they want to achieve in 2014: lose this many pounds of weight, gain this many pounds in the bank, be really good, etc etc.
I'm not really thinking about the new year in that way. I think the whole chronic illness (POTS) thing makes it a little difficult to set these kind of goals, or maybe my perspective has shifted and I just don't want to. Often getting through the day, upright and with a smile on my face is enough of an achievement for me.
However, new year does always give a nice chance to look at life - and things I might like to do differently. So, my main two resolutions are: keep in touch with people more, and have more fun. Simple enough, and they go together quite nicely too.
Where I've been ill these past few years I've often ended up cancelling plans so it puts me off making them - but I really want to have more days out - whether just pub lunches, or on days I'm feeling better to go somewhere unusual. Going to the Reindeer Centre near Ashford was one of my highlights of 2013 for example.
These kind of resolutions feel nicer to make - about having a better time in life, rather than doing better. To make a conscious effort to do these things makes me excited for the year ahead.
I guess on a more specific level, I'd like to read more - going to bed half hour earlier than usual to settle down with a book. I'm quite guilty of being constantly plugged into technology and social media, which really can't do me any good, so this is a nice way to unwind. Plus I just bloody love reading. (Any recommendations, please send my way - ta!)
Of course I also want to see more theatre, and to visit more theatres too. Locally I really want to get to the Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate, and also to explore more of the Fringe theatres in London I haven't been to.
I'm also back to keeping my daily diary, taken from Susan Jeffers' Feel The Fear And Beyond with a line for each area of my life for each day (work, family, creativity, etc) with little achievements, efforts and happy moments, and also a daily gratitude list and chance to write down any risks I took that day.
This is something that I first did in 2011 for a couple of months and it really helped. I think especially when things are tough - it gives you a sense of gratitude, and a reminder of the fullness and variety of life. Plus it's always nice/interesting to look back on - I'd forgotten so much of what I'd written and experienced in the last one.
Lastly three more things that I know I will do this year, and I'm so excited about:
1) Go on holiday! A week in Spain with my best friend. I'm already buzzing about this, and know it'll do us both the world of good.
2) Planning and hosting a fundraising event in Canterbury for STARS - the charity that help people with, and raise awareness of, conditions such as mine (POTS).
3) Learning to drive. I think I'm most excited (and also scared) about this one. After seeing my specialist the other day it seems much more likely I will be able to learn to drive. This would make a huge difference to my life, and it's just a nice feeling knowing my health is at a point where I'd be allowed behind the wheel.
And very lastly...I'd like to spend more time blogging. It's hard working full-time, having very little energy and then finding the time to write and edit but I always feel better for it. It gives me a nice sense of achievement, and I think the more you write - the more you write. If that makes sense! But yes - lots of things planned already, so I just have to keep up the dedication to get them sorted.
So yes, hopefully - whatever happens - this will be a good year. I feel like 2013 was pretty tough and often about powering through. While I achieved a lot, it was always such an uphill struggle - which of course I'm proud of but I'd like this year to be different.
If I stick to my two main resolutions of keeping in touch with people, and having more fun/making more plans, then 2014 should definitely be a better year for it!
Finally, a rather belated happy new year to you! :)