2019 was tough and glorious. Both not cancelling out the other, both requiring me to grow and develop the muscle and grit necessary for continuing to build a life I never thought I would have, all of it in its devastatingly cruel beauty worth the effort even though it often felt that I would not survive another blow.
Until now I have never seriously considered setting goals or challenges across all areas of my life. I have had an aversion to setting them for a very long time. Sometimes the act of defining a goal seemed to be closing down all other options and I set greater store by recognising opportunities that crossed my path than of hitting a set target. I recognise this now as a fundamental lack of confidence in my ability to deliver on a commitment to myself. I carried a deep sense of being untrustworthy and flakey and it didn’t want to have this proved by repeated failures to hit goals that I had set for myself.
It also seemed impertinent, I know that seems a strange word to choose but my sense of not being worthy led to me feeling grateful for the most basic things. Things that I now recognise as being simply what I am able to expect as part of a well functioning relationship, whether that is romantic, friendly or work related.
So, let’s reiterate, setting goals meant trusting myself to do the work to meet them or being kind to myself if I didn’t achieve them and both things seemed too difficult. Set against a backdrop of my parent’s illness and my dad’s death, nothing really seemed to matter enough to put in the effort. I looked at the 27 years difference in our ages and saw only a long decline through ill health and a hardening of attitudes accompanied by a closing down of any openness to beauty, delight or new opportunities.
I was stuck in a place of surviving and not thriving. I think that this wasn’t an unreasonable place to be but my lack of goals or focus began to impact on me and this was beginning to radiate out to all parts of my life.
In a nutshell 2019 taught me that I need something more, I need to feel that I am doing the things that matter to me, that I am taking seriously any dreams I have and that I am hitching my wagon to the right star.
So I will. I will hitch to that one, the one to the south east of me where I am encouraged to fly and sure of a welcome on my return. I will use my planner to start to note goals and the tasks needed to achieve them. I will be gentle with myself when I don’t achieve them and I will celebrate when I do.
Here’s to 2020!