Welcome to 2020 spoonies! I don’t know how you spent New Years Eve but I’m almost certain it was better than mine. When midnight struck I was home alone, in bed, watching Gossip Girl on Netflix. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want to be out painting the town red as they say. I just would have preferred to actually be Happy for the New Year. My spirit was restless rolling into 2020. Not really sure why.
A lot of people love the new year. There is a myth that however you bring in the new year is how your year will be. I hope that’s not the case because my 2020 would be pretty bleak. It’s shaping up to be an un-happy new year.
The Allure of a New Year
Some think of the new year as a clean slate, the opportunity to start fresh and new, a marker for achievement or whatever. They’ve set their resolutions and they plan on killing it this year. Others simply love the chance to get dolled up and do it big: galas, ballrooms, epic parties. And there’s also the tradition of watching the ball drop in Times Square (either on TV or in person).
Then you have the rest of us. Those who really aren’t into the new year. There are the folks who treat it like a regular degular day. Go to bed at the normal time and then wake up and continue with life as normal. But I like to believe there’s a group of people like me who were anxious about the new year. It’s more of a reminder of time passing me by and a mockery of all the things I had hoped to accomplish this past year but didn’t. With all of that circling in my head, is it any wonder that I had an un-happy new year? Y’all know my personality type does not like loose ends or falling short of my goals.
New Year New Meh
For the past decade, or as long as I’ve been paying attention anyway, people have been saying New Year, New Me. It’s like a mantra. As if suddenly when the clock strikes 12, you’re just automatically a different person. Only in fairytales my dears. I have accepted the truth. There is no magic reset button. Midnight came (just as it did the year before) and I’m still me; still a spoonie trying figure it out. Everything is the same- same old meh.
In the past, I’ve fallen prey to this mythical reset. For the past four new years, I have set resolutions. I made goals that I expected to crush. The year I was diagnosed I was the most optimistic and my goals reflected that of a person who believe the sky is the limit. Each year after diagnosis, I still have an air of naïveté when it came to setting goals and my limitations with respect to how my chronic illness would impact them.
Needless to say, what I thought was adequate modification of a goal (taking into account my chronic illness) never seemed to be enough Every year I was forced to scale back. It dimmed my light. Anyone who knows me, know I’m not a dimer. Im a freaking light switch. Either on or off. So I’ve accepted the fact that nothing has really changed with the turn of new month, a new year, a new decade. The only difference would be my mindset.
Plan for 2020
All over social media, people have gravitated to the easy catch phrase of 2020 vision. Unique and clever right? Anywho, some have visions of this perfect year and all the things they plant accomplish. Part of me wants to fall into the trap and setting goals and intentions again. There’s nothing I would enjoy more than crushing some goals and telling MG to kiss my butt. But I’m a little discouraged because I looked back at last years list from Jan 2019 and there’s still so much I didn’t accomplish. Pissed me off. I’m disappointed in myself.
So now that I’ve accepted the fact that chronic illness is the biggest player hater ever, what am I going to do? Give up and admit defeat? Hell no. Like I’ve been saying for a while, mindset is everything. How am I going to cope with these realities? Am I going to be reactive or proactive? At the end of the day, I decided that I am going to still do intentions and goals for 2020. Most of them will be repeats from last year. It’s still my goal. However I need to wrap my mind around the concepts of flexibility, progress and purpose. Not just end goal in sight. Whether I like it or not, my chronic illness is a major stakeholder in my life. It has a say just not the final say.
What about you?
How do you balance your desire to shoot for the moon while respecting the boundaries of your chronic illness life? I never want to be the person who gives up on themself. At the same time, I’m tired of being disappointed in myself for not meeting my standards. It’s just so complicated and tricky. It was an un-happy new year but I’m determined to have a year of happiness.
Side Note: I know you are probably surprised at the tone I’m taking but today in this moment as I am writing this post, this is how I feel: UN-happy. As I am healing, I realized that it’s important to ot only acknowledge how I feel but also allow those feelings to be, to express them (but NOT stew in them). I’m sure I’ll have a more optimistic outlook on 2020 in a few days. That’s my hope anyway.