The first thing people usually say to me when I see them in January is, of course, 'Happy New Year'. This is swiftly followed by shocked and bewildered comments about how swiftly the year ended and how January has snuck up upon us like a ninja in an invisible cloak.
I have to say I often feel the same. I don't know why but the more time I spend on this Earth, the faster time seems to pass. This leaves me feeling scared and mortified when July comes around: "6 months into the year ALREADY??!! Where did all the time go? I need to get my life together!"
And there it is; the FEAR. That creeping feeling that there's so much to do, to complete, to achieve and not, nearly, enough time to do it in.
I had that weigh, dearly, upon me in 2015 to the point where I just felt this impending doom if I didn't fulfil upon the objectives I'd set for myself. It wasn't a nice feeling to be immersed in yet I was prepared to endure it as it motivated me to succeed. And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about: SUCCESS.
So this is the section where I tell you about the epiphany that I had where I realised that success isn't everything and as long as you're loved and have health then you're rich beyond means... aaah, not quite.
Having your health and a stable, loving collection of people around is very important and I realise more and more how imperative those two aspects are to my world. Yet I'm not the type of person to be content living in this world without creating some significant 'successes' and achievements in my life. I'm very driven and, for better or worse, this means that striving for the top and excelling is a must. This also means that everything sub par and below standard is a FAILURE.
One of the things that I am working at improving is 'acknowledging'. If I have set out upon a task and completed it, I take time to appreciate that moment and make a conscious note to myself that I've done well. This is quite alien to me- I'm used to completing a task and moving on to the next; only willing to congratulate myself if I have achieved something really significant. The issue is that when something 'significant' does occur, I fail to fully appreciate and acknowledge myself for that achievement too. It's all wrapped up in my driven nature to succeed, succeed, succeed and if I'm not careful, wonderful experiences that have been created due to my actions, will slip away into the ephemeral fabric of time, without me reveling in it like I should.
Ok...I did, sort of, have an epiphany last year... I was watching an interview with a public figure and they stated that we tend to judge people on what they do rather than who they are. They then asked one of the interviewers, "Who was Michael Jackson", to which the interviewer answered: "The greatest pop artist of all time."
"That's what he did, not who he was." was the insightful response.
They went on to speak about the importance of building your character and stability within yourself because chasing accolades and status will be an empty reward if you do not like or even know who you are and what makes you; You.
A chord struck with me on that point. Indeed; who am I? Not what have I achieved to measure who I am, but who am I in relation to the way I treat myself, treat others, my daily thoughts, beliefs, behaviour. If I am to judge myself at all; let it be on that first and foremost before anything else. Don't get me wrong; actions do tell you A LOT about a person and therefore it's valid to base your opinions from them, but I was substituting my who I am with my goals, telling myself: 'Once I hit that target then I've done something of real worth...' I was missing the point.
And with that mini epiphany the weight and, very unpleasant, pressure that I had lumbered upon myself self- disappeared-? Nah! But it lessened. It lessened a great deal.
January last year I made a commitment to myself to make New Years Revolutions and Evolution's and in December, of that same year, I analysed which goals I had and hadn't achieved. It was a time to re-asses and re-calibrate and rather than feeling immense disappointment at my failures to achieve, I took my failures, appreciated them and promised to used them in order to 'do better'.
January 2016! I'm still in shock, I can't lie (I mean it just happens so quickly!!) and the fear of time slipping away through my finger tips with nothing to show for it still haunts me somewhat. Yet whereas, previously, I was driven by a do or die mentally because my achievements equaled my sense of worth, now I understand that my achievements are a physical manifestation of who I am. I am grateful for and embrace who I am. I respect, love and am constantly learning who I am. Therefore the work I produce, the magic that I create will be as a result of Who I Am. And it will be amazing. Whoop Whoop!
Here's to another year, enjoy it, appreciate it and make it better than the last! HUZZAH!