Last Thursday I wrote abut my long~term ambivalence towards the forthcoming holiday season, mentioning that I’m taking part in Cathy Brown Sykora’s Rock The Holidays – Challenge Yourself! in an attempt to ward off my habitual winter melancholia.
As part of the challenge, I have to set out personal goals under four different headings. Actually, I prefer to think of them as ‘intentions’, because ‘goal’ isn’t a concept that floats my boat these days. (Too redolent of my ‘proper job’ ~ which I dumped eight years ago ~ where goals and targets and ‘blue~sky~thinking’ were all the rage… yet nothing changed!)
But the wording isn’t important ~ I’ve finally got round to defining them, whatever the hell they are! Here goes, then:
I will consciously move towards making home~cooked meals from scratch more often, using organic Isle of Wight produce, whenever practical.
I will plan suppers, rather than raiding the fridge indiscriminately, as soon as I return from work.
I will limit treats ~ including chocolate! ~ to weekends. (Am I absolutely sure I wanna include this one??? LOL!)
I work as a cleaner, so I already exercise for 17.5 hours each week. I will keep this up (no choice, since I trashed my ‘real’ career ~ see paragraph 2, above.) But this year I will do so cheerfully. Even if there’s a howling gale, with pouring rain and the temperature is sub~zero when I leave my cosy home at 3pm, I will not moan.
I will exercise my mind by setting aside time to read and study subjects that interest me.
I will meditate (or do my best to) every day.
When faced with difficulties we are often advised to ‘count our blessings’ and I know from past experience that this does help to keep worries and problems in proportion ~ even if carried out somewhat grudgingly! But I’m not just going to think about how fortunate I really am.
I have already picked out a special book, in which I will note down three general ‘gratitudes’ every day.
I will also write three specific things about my lovely husband, who provides support, encouragement and unconditional love, whatever crazy scheme I sign up for. Bless him!
I will give at least one thing, without cost, each day. This could be time, attention, a kind word or simply a smile to a stranger.
I will pass anything I no longer use to someone who would be happy to accept it, or I’ll donate it to a charity.
I will be truly grateful for all the ‘gifts’ that come my way ~ not just presents (although I treasure those.) But also free downloads, vouchers, special offers, friendship, supportive comments or simply a smile from a stranger!
That’s it, then ~ whew! This has been harder and taken much longer than I thought it would. I’m really grateful that I’ve finally set down my ‘wills’ ~ although, a week and a half into the challenge I’m already practicing most of the things on my list.
And I tell you what, it’s beginning to work.
Yesterday a shopkeeper told me that she was busy ordering stock for Christmas, adding that she loves this time of year.
And, without thinking, I replied, ‘I used to hate it but….’
Past tense! 🙂