On the 1st of January, I send a message to some of my girlfriends welcoming them to ‘Year of the (Wedding / Baby / New House etc) as I am genuinely so excited for the year ahead of them. This New Year’s Day was no different, if you will, let me share with you an interaction with one particular girlfriend that really got me thinking:
Me – Welcome to “Year of the Wedding”!!
Friend – Thanks, next New Year’s I will be a wife!!
Me – Holy Moly, you will be a wife!
Me – Gosh, when you say it like that, I have no idea who I will be
The act of sending a simple response to my friend got me thinking, Holy Moly, who the heck am I going to be? I don’t have any plans to become a wife, a mother or a member of a girl band. Even though I spend New Year’s Eve realising I had an unbelievable talent to kick butt on Sing Star – thank you champagne. However, despite not having these plans in place, I am not sure who I will be and for the first time in a really long time I am actually 100% ok with this.
You see, for a lot of my life I have been a goal setter, someone that has to be constantly achieving something (even if it’s the next level on Sing Star), or working towards ticking an item off a list. Whilst at times this has been amazing and very positive it has also had negative effects and played havoc on my mental health.
In the past, it has sent my anxiety into overdrive as I didn’t think I was working hard enough at ticking things off my list. My depression crept back in because I felt like others were doing things around me and I wasn’t achieving anything. My overall happiness was impacted because I was too focused on the negative rather than sitting back and enjoying the things I was achieving in my life.
This New Year’s Day I spent the day filling my soul with things that make me feel good. I read a great book, drank lots of iced tea, I had a nap, walked my adorable dog, ate 1000 icy poles as it’s a billion degrees in Brisbane and wrote a few lists but my lists change this time. Instead of writing goals, I wanted to achieve or items I wanted to be able to tick off, I wrote a list of experiences I wanted to have and feelings I wanted to encounter.
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t change years of habit just because I nailed ‘Shake it Off’ in our Sing Star competition, but I have definitely made a conscious choice to not focus so much on the list and enjoy a lot more of the little stuff that makes up life and who I am going to be.
I have no idea how The Tea Whisperer, will grow and develop by the end of 2018, I do know for sure we will still be encouraging everyone to share a cup of tea with someone else and check in on each other’s mental health.
I have no idea if I will be a singer in a girl band, but I do know I will be the girl who will laugh at her own jokes. I will take a zillion photos when I am with my friends and I will be the girl whose body is probably made up of 75% tea and 25% pink glitter.
So this year, rather than letting New Year’s goals, resolutions, aspirations or what the heck you want to call them impact you mental health, I ask you to be gentle with yourself. Be kind to what you say to yourself when it’s just you talking to you, because at the end of 2018 you will be amazing because you are you not because of any list.