Thoughts on Another New Year

It's that time of year again where time and space go all wobbly. Christmas has been and gone, but there's still a sort of festive haze hanging over everything, there may or may not still be presents strewn around that are yet to find homes, it's deemed perfectly ok to eat dessert-foods for breakfast, nobody really knows what day it is and you turn up at the supermarket for an emergency purchase and then remember it's a bank holiday and they closed three hours ago!

I really like these few days. A chance to have some space to relax and muse over the events of the past year, and ponder the coming one. We usually like to take down the decorations soon after boxing day, give the house a bit of a clean and prepare to start a fresh new year without any Christmas paraphernalia hanging around.

D is back at work already, so I'm spending the day time part of this New Years Eve alone (we'll be going to his parents house later on this evening) but I'm quite looking forward to it. I'm currently wearing a face mask and eating porridge (as one does) but I'm planning to head into the city, treat myself to some new stationary (because I didn't get quite enough new notebooks for Christmas) get my nails done, and make myself a plan for 2016.

I don't really do resolutions as such, there's never really been anything huge that I want to give up or change. I've already made a start on a list of things I want to do or achieve before I'm 30, so I'll carry on working through those (and will probably share a few as a go too) but I do want to share something I've been doing for the last few years, but which feels really poignant this year.

I've followed Susannah Conway's creativity and mindfulness blog for a long while now, and each year I look forward to her 'Unravelling the Year Ahead' workbook. This workbook (which you can download for free here) prompts you to think about the year that has gone, what you have learned from it, the gifts it has given you and the things that have changed in the last 365 days. Then it goes on to help you look to the coming year, to set out your intentions, hopes, dreams and plans.

One of my favourite parts of the workbook is choosing a word for the year (Susannah also runs a five day 'course' via email if you need extra prompting to figure out what your word might be) This is a word that acts as a mantra, guide, or reminder for the year - a word that you can refer yourself back to during the year to remind yourself of where you're headed. As Susannah says, you can't break a word, so this is a way of setting out your intentions without the pressure of a resolution.

The word I chose last year was 'clarity', the year before that it was 'brave'. This years word came to me really easily, and it already feels like one that I will hold onto more tightly than previous years. I briefly toyed with the word 'tend', and even more briefly with the word 'whole', but settled on 'become'.

There are lots of things I want to become this year, so in simple terms it's a selfish word, about giving myself the space and the energy to become those things, those versions of myself. D has chosen a word too, I won't share it here, but it is rather pleasingly the perfect partner to mine, very different but very complimentary.

So today I'm planning to fill out the rest of the work book, and make a bit of a plan. 2016 is the first whole year we will have been at a stage in our lives that doesn't have a label or a clear end goal, we're no longer students, first time buyers, or wedding planners. Although we're in the middle of the house selling/buying process, it doesn't feel as monumental as the first time, just the next logical step. It's exciting to be heading into a new year with a little bit of uncertainty as to what happens next, but also with the prospect of feeling really settled for the first time ever and having the space in our heads to figure out what our married life holds!

I hope everyone has a wonderful evening celebrating the passing of 2015, and I'll see you in the New Year!

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