I am a dreamer of dreams. I gleefully cartwheel through possibilities. I plan in webs, allowing spaces for the what-ifs and maybe-we-cans and don’t-you-want-to’s. A new journal, a lottery ticket, the gleaming aisles of Micheal’s – they are my sun and I am their planet, orbiting, pulled by the allure of new, change, fresh, possibility, dreams woven and come true.
This time of year brings out these tendencies on a grandiose scale. I’m not talking about balls of yarn that could be anything and isn’t it exciting? I’m talking about life. MY life and everything I’ve yet to learn or do. Everything I want to be and could be. Quick, get me a piece of paper and pen, I need to start writing my ideas down before I forget anything.
I want to read more. I should eat healthier. This baby weight ought to be gone by now. I should probably do something about that. Yes, crocheting a granny square a day is an awesome idea (better write that one down)! I know, I’ll train for a half marathon. I’ll cook every recipe in the cookbook I got for Christmas. I’m going to learn guitar AND start playing the piano again. Scribble, scribble, scribble.
And then I sit back and squint at my list. It’s familiar. I made the same list last year. Ten years ago too if I’m being honest. A page jam-packed with what-ifs and maybe-we-cans and don’t-you-want-to’s.
With inspiration comes hope and a soaring heart and bubbles in my belly. But then those bubbles pop. Pop. Pop. And my heart drops. Plop. And hope flips upside down and I’m suddenly feeling deflated. I can’t do all this, I think in despair. Oh January 1st, you are a sly paramour.
I was standing in the shower, enjoying a few moments of being totally alone. (Motherhood has given me an entirely new appreciation of the shower). Then I remembered. I haven’t made lists every year. Three years ago I choose happiness. And it worked! 2014 was a great year. I got married, was running regularly, went to France and Italy, my business was chugging along splendidly. I hopped out of the shower and went to find Dave.
I know what I’m going to do for my New Year resolution! I proudly held out my idea as though I was the first person to discover chocolate. Isn’t it the perfect resolution solution? I beamed. Dave was nonplussed. Like you did a few years ago? he asked. Needless to say he is my grounder, my return path and direct point of physical connection with the Earth.
Thus began my search for the perfect mantra or word for 2017. I needed something that would buoy my good intentions and by it’s very nature point me in the direction of the person I am always striving to be.
I tried a few on for size.
Authenticity? Are you being inauthentic? Dave asked. Good point. I think I’m usually quite true to who I am.
Efficiency? No, I think that’s a bit too cold.
Make Better Choices? Are you making bad choices? Well, in the grand scheme of things perhaps not.
Mindfulness? A-ha. There it is. It fit. Like a pair of new jeans that instantly become your favourite. Mindfulness. I rolled the word around in my mouth. Mindfulness. Yes, that’s it. But not mindfulness in a sitting cross-legged, chanting om sort of way. I simply want to be more aware and mindful of the decisions I’m making and how I spend my time.
It’s nap time. Will I mindlessly scroll and scroll and scroll through instagram? No, I will mindfully make the decision to read the book on my bedside table because I know that in the long run, it will make me happier and bring more peace.
Mindfulness is the umbrella under which authenticity, efficiency, better choices, inspiration and peace are sheltered. I know that if I steer my ship by the guiding star of mindfulness, I will naturally navigate the world in a more positive and meaningful way.
I will still be a dreamer of dreams. I will still gleefully cartwheel through possibilities. But tucked in my pocket will be the idea of mindfulness, reminding me to appreciate the here and now and make positive decisions in the moment. Surely there will be days I slip back into old habits but I’m looking forward to 2017 being the year that I plant the seeds for cultivating a life of mindfulness.