It’s been a while since I last wrote (work and life have been crazy!), but this doesn’t mean I’ve discontinued my monthly-challenge year plan.
In October, I tried to do Inktober, drawing and/or sketching every day. Though I love drawing occasionally, I was surprised to realise that I don’t like drawing enough to make space for it on a daily basis. Truth be told, I dropped the practice after about 14 days of doing my best to stick with it — which might be a bigger achievement for me than actually completing the challenge. Those of you who know me, know that I simply cannot let go of things once I make up my mind to take them up seriously; which isn’t always a good thing...
Side note: Funnily enough, as a teenager I used to be upset with my parents that they discouraged me from going to an arts school… My Inktober attempt makes me grateful that they turned my attention to other things, that I enjoy doing on a daily basis much more than drawing…!
In November — just like last year (and hopefully every year moving forward)— I embarked on Vegan November; and whilst last year was a real struggle, this year the transition happened seamlessly. Thanks to Oatly Barrista Edition drink I had no anxiety about having to give up on my favourite daily creamy cappuccino, and with many vegan substitutes I discovered last year, I had a wide range of recipes ready to be implemented. I didn’t have to advertise it to the world either, warning my friends not to put cheese or poached eggs in my range of vision. Easy-peasy; it hasn’t even felt like a challenge.
What has been a challenge in November, though, was my ever persisting incapability of letting things go. Things that don’t serve me. Things that make me sadder than they make me happy. Letting go of control, planning, and constantly achieving. Always being in top form, delivering top results. Inability to just be and go with the flow at times when the current is too strong to fight against.
Without sounding too dramatic, for this reason or another, I feel that November has really drained me and made me crave for the Christmas break more than ever before. Approaching the end of the year also made me look back at the last 11 months, estimating the overall cost-benefit ratio; and think ahead into the year to come.
It will be the last year of my twenties, and so I’d like to go through it more mindfully. More like an adult that I technically am; and by ‘adult’ I mean someone who consciously chooses most constructive and nurturing behaviours, people, and situations. Historically I’ve often prioritised and justified others, and followed what I thought was expected of me, whether it was good for me or not. This has often left me tired, frustrated, and — not infrequently — completely broken-hearted (not only by people; situations can break your heart too).
In the New Year, I would love to be more self-protective and self-caring. I’d love to finally become my own best friend; with a view of becoming a better friend, daughter, partner… human, to others.
On that note, massive thanks to all my friends who have been really supportive this month — most of you (you know who you are) I met relatively recently, but you make my life so much better and I am every so grateful, every day, for having you in in it!
Last week or so I listened to Dan Harris interviewing Tim Ferriss on his ‘10% Happier’ podcast, and one of the many wise things he (Tim Ferriss) said especially hit me — ‘You will never be able to truly love another person, if you merely tolerate yourself’.
Thus, together with running a marathon, climbing Kilimanjaro, setting up regular yoga classes or maybe even running my first yoga retreat, and finally starting a business of this sort or another; learning how to love myself better will inevitably have to be placed on top of my list of things to do in 2019. This will include prioritising my health — which I have neglected this passing year — surrounding myself with positive people, letting go of toxicity, and putting myself first, in a respectful and loving way. Listening more to my gut feeling, as she seems to know stuff better than me.
But before I do that, I thought that the last month of 2018 ought to be devoted to one thing I’ve been struggling with for years and one that I’ve done very little to actually improve, despite me claiming otherwise.
In December, I will strive to increase my weekly average amount of sleep of 5 hours 30 minutes (as per my Fitbit stats) to what’s more acceptable from the medical standpoint. I am not yet sure how exactly I will execute this, but I’ve got 3 days now to research some simple, easy-to-implement steps, and I swear to abide by them religiously for 30 days (with a few exceptions for some festive December fun that this month will abound in…).
I often joke that if I managed to get through life, university and professional challenges relatively ok with this little sleep, how well could I do if I was actually well-rested? Well, let’s find out :)!