My New Years resolution for 2020 was to improve myself. I wanted to get fitter. I wanted to practice mindfulness more and I wanted to take care of myself more. I wanted to find healthy outlets for my frustrations. I wanted to start showing up for myself and become the best version of me that I can. At the start of the year I only stated this aloud to myself because there’s always that niggling doubt that I won’t achieve what I set out to do. Which is scary. I also knew this wouldn’t be a quick fix and it would take some effort, pushing myself to do small things until they become habit and I wasn’t sure whether other people would give me the patience I needed, but it is nearly Christmas and as such nearly 2021 so now seemed as good a time as any to reflect.
I started working on my body as this was the easiest place to start. I wasn’t particularly pleased with the way I looked, a little too podgy in places, but instead of focusing on that, I wanted to celebrate what it could do. It keeps me moving. I have all working parts. I’m eternally grateful for the health of my body. I wanted to reward my body for all the hard work it does for me. I also wanted to focus on the amazing parts of me, my lovely thick long red hair and my big green eyes. My long legs. My athletic body shape. So what if I’m a bit podgy in places, that podge makes for a soft pillow when I’m cuddling my son, which he tells me often. And so slowly over the course of a few months, my mindset switched from fault finding to ‘you are fab’ I started rewarding my body with massages to straighten it out and dedicated a ‘me’ day where my body didn’t have to work so hard…sofa/duvet day with films/documentaries/tv shows/music/reading. On these same days I’d eat whatever took my fancy, whatever my body craves on that day and I’d end it with a hot bubble bath with candles for a job well done all week.
Then lock down hit. And the massages had to stop. I was still working hard as a key worker & felt a lot of pressure and stress, but I didn’t stop the Body process. I continued with the sofa days and the bubble baths and the binge TV, music, guilt free eating.
I found the beginning of lockdown fairly easy, but as the weeks turned into months I felt myself spiralling. And that’s when I realised I needed to do something about the mind. And so I started blogging again. This space has given me the opportunity to write down my own thoughts and feelings and just general get my crazy musings down so they don’t stick in my head. Admittedly it came from my dating life and it has continued along that theme because that is where I really needed the help. I imagine I’d get a lot of weird looks if I voiced out loud some of the things I write on here. I started to learn gratitude. Being thankful for the things in your life is a really great way to switch the negative thinking into positive thinking. I also started learning again. I’m not studying, but just taking some time each week to learn a little bit more about something I’m interested in. I also started creating again, drawing, podcasting and creating wooden signs.
Soul was the final chapter. I’m still finding it hard to articulate what this means to me, which tells me I’m still working on it. But at the height of summer I was able to get back to some of my hobbies – football and hiking, two things that bring me pure joy. And they do help fill my soul, I’ve also lost 1 stone since which is wonderful for my body and exercise is medicine for the mind. But I still feel there is something missing, I can’t quite fill up the tank because I can’t connect with my friends and I haven’t been able to travel much.
But, what has become blindingly obvious is that at no point has my Mind, Body, Soul goals and achievements rested or even touched on my desire to not be single. Which is rather remarkable given the amount of dating I have done this year (ironically, more so than any other year). But it has helped tremendously in an unintended way; whilst I still hold out hope that the chalk to my cheese is out there, I have found a peace in myself. I trust myself to find the right man when I am good and ready and to pick a better than I have previously because I am better than I have previously been. And whether it is the first man I meet and feel a connection with or the hundredth, if things don’t really go to plan, I will trust it is because something better is coming along behind. This mindset has been quite the epiphany, super enlightening, empowering even and when I couple that with my own sense of self-worth, which is that I can bring so much more to the table than just being a mother and having a job and well, that feels rather marvellous!