A new year brings with it a resurrection into a new life. A promise to do better, be better, want better. The idea of wiping the slate clean and starting again fuels our concrete filled minds as one year ends and another looms on the horizon.
Yet I can’t help but feel that we start most new year’s destined to fail. Setting expectations so high, so unrealistic of ourselves that only months, if not weeks ahead we feel miserable and disappointed.
I abandoned new year resolutions long ago. Initially I let them go simply because I couldn’t hold onto them. A newborn, a toddler, part time jobs and the overwhelming heaviness of life left no room for starting over. I was simply grateful for a good night’s sleep back then.
Now I look at other people setting resolutions, words to live by and wonder does it really make you happy? Does it all really bring about the overhauling change we silently crave when it is the middle of the night and our mind races and our hearts have no rest?
A lightness of being has swept through our home as this new year dawned. I seek no resolution to live by and no words to define me. Yet I embrace the lightness. It is hard to explain as much as it is hard to escape the feeling of change in the air.
Positivity and light. Breath in, breath out. Not my story. Breath in, breath out. I will write. Breath in, breath out.
I have often spoken about the idea that we are in charge of writing our own story. Pages that turn with each day, a play script that dances through our life. The acts and scenes we control with our own words, our own actions, the relationships we share with others.
Yet on the wings of this new year has come a truth, a key that has unlocked something in me. The narrative that is not my story is more important than the narrative of what is my story combined.
Of course it is, you may say. Isn’t it blindingly obvious? Well this is the part I think many of us fall down in. I know I certainly do and perhaps even the part that took over my life in years past. Sometimes we become so good, so skilled at what is not our story – we no longer can tell between the lines.
Jane bought a new dress for her cousin’s wedding, I can’t believe she spent that much money. Not my story.
Alice is looking after her grandkids again, its the fourth week in a row. Not my story.
John is quitting his job without a new job lined up. Not my story.
Kate posts on her Instagram five times a day, what is she trying to prove to herself. Not my story.
Let all of these things go. They have no place. Except in someone else’s story. I catch myself remembering, reminding myself sometimes quite often in a day: this is not my story.
The conversations flow, the ideas tumble on themselves and while I listen I also ask myself, is this part of my story or am I merely looking in from the outside? Reading the pages of someone else’s story? Should I even have a speaking part?
The lightness that comes when you do not take on the energy, the burden of someone else’s life, especially when you have no right, no place to take it on – is liberating. More so than any resolution I have ever set.
I embrace a new year with a change of heart. A subconscious yearning to seek more than I know I am capable of. This is not my story. And the words will flow.
When was the last time you stopped and thought, this is not my story?
Can you even tell the difference?