Happy New Notebook - Manchester Mind Matters

I’ll let you into a secret.  I’m really not a fan of New Year’s Eve.  Having been brought up living in a pub it’s always felt false and over the top.  So last night it didn’t matter to me that I was staying in on New Year’s Eve.  It’s what I do most New Year’s to be honest.  In many ways it was even better because I didn’t even have FOMO (fear of missing out to the uninitiated!!).  Because I knew that pretty much the whole country would be in their pj’s watching Jools Holland….. or maybe that was just me!  Anyway, the pressure was off, no-one was out at a glamorous party or having an eight course tasting menu.  It was OK to be staying in, in fact it was expected that we did!  Phew what a relief!

Now New Year’s Day is a whole other ball game!  I LOVE New Year!  With all its shiny newness.  Brimming with hope and infinite possibilities!  It’s like opening a brand new note book.  Oh the smell of the paper, the gleam of a fresh page just begging you to write on it!  It’s exciting for me to think about what might be different this year, what interesting things might happen, how I could live my life differently so that I live my best life.  And yes, I do sit with a notebook (albeit not a new one – although I have many!!) and ponder what I’d like to do this year.  I also consider the old year, it’s experiences and lessons bound in a battered, well-worn, dog-eared old (metaphorical) notebook.  I look through the well-thumbed pages in my mind to remember those precious moments which brought joy and bask in the glow of them.  I look at the darker pages with their scribbled, hard to read scrawl denoting those days of sadness, fear or anger.  All life is here for that’s what life is.  A series of paragraphs, pages and chapters in our lives.  There will be drama which we feel we will never manage and mundanity which seems to never end. But it does because all things pass in life.  Our stories evolve and change and these “dramatic” chapters help us build resilience to weather future problems.  The joy we experience bolsters us, the light balancing shade, the gentleness softening the chaos.

So I sit here with my new shiny page, wondering what to write on it.  There’s an automatic impulse to write “New Year’s Resolutions” but I know if I do that, it will end in the same story which to be fair has become a bit boring.  It will say the usual stuff like “get fit” or “lose weight”.  But I know if I put them as resolutions my story will be like last year’s and the year before’s and in Chapter 2 it will involve feelings of failure and annoyance as I realise that my resolutions lasted a week and a half.  So I am going to write differently in both my real and metaphorical notebook.  I want to think more creatively about how I want this year to be.  Bring more colour and vibrancy to my story.  Do things differently.  I’m going with the headers “hopes and dreams” this year and for me I’m seeing this more as a feeling I want to have rather than achievements.  There’s nothing wrong with achievements – I’m a big fan but I like the idea of having a more felt-sense of what I want from this year.  For me it’s to feel contented, happy with what I have and who I am rather than wishing I or my life was different.  And at the end of the day, if I don’t enjoy my felt sense of life, if I don’t feel contented or happy with who I am, then as the author of my own story, I have the power to write a new chapter, change the story and add colour to the characters within!  Wow a new page, for a new year!  What are you going to write on yours?

Now where’s my pen!

Happy New Notebook!