As the hours passed on New Year’s Eve, I contemplated what I should post here for the first words of 2020. Resolutions haven’t really been my cup-of-tea. If you want to do something, then do it, don’t wait on an arbitrary date to begin anew, or stop altogether, just do what you want to do (or not do). I considered a wrap up of the past decade, a lot has happened, but that didn’t seem right. I decided that I wanted to focus more on something that I often hear in yoga class, a simple grouping of words: “what serves you.”
Offered as both a statement and a question in class, the sentence fragment holds a multitude of meanings. Do what serves you. What serves you? What no longer serves you?
I’ve always been introspective, and deep-thinking appeals to me on many levels. Lost in thought is more like being wrapped in a big, fluffy blanket than it is being lost in desolation with no map in hand. Comfort, to me, is connecting dots and data points, extrapolating conclusions based on theories, and getting to the bottom of things that interest me.
I like knowing what makes me tick. Perhaps this is spurred by having a heart condition. I have paid close attention to the workings of my body, so why not my mind, too? I’ve labeled habits rooted in the past as “quirky,” which were the result of words and actions of others who hadn’t dealt with their own “quirks.”
This last decade has been filled with wide-and-ranging events and footnotes. And, without airing dirty laundry, for there will be none of that here, I think it’s safe to say that the most notable event was the death of my sister. I learned that I had more food sensitivities and allergies than I had previously thought. I started this blog. I had multiple heart procedures, including having a pacemaker implanted. I renewed my love of reading (“brain fog”, a side effect of Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, is a legitimate thing) and writing. I decided to go back to school for a degree in something that, while I’m not passionate* about it, I find interesting.
I also learned a great deal about myself over these last ten years, including some ways I needed improve. Most notably: boundaries. Many of the boundaries I set for myself were ignored and disrespected by so many people I thought were friends over the years, that I learned to ignore them myself. I realized that I was taught I didn’t have the ability, or right, to refuse words or actions of others when I was mistreated. Because I am female. Or because I was little. Or because children shouldn’t argue with adults. So I learned that it was easier to just do what others wanted rather than ruffle feathers.
And so, on New Year’s Eve, I thought back to being on the mat and hearing those words: what serves you.
What serves you?
What serves… Me?
I thought about what serves me, the actions I have taken that bring myself happiness and contentment, the steps I feel I should take as they are in my best interest, and embody the “Me” that I know I am.
This year, like every year, is a “transition year”. I believe that we are always transitioning from one point in time to another in the future. Time is not stagnant, though it sometimes feels like it. I will celebrate my 21st year of marriage to a man who continues to make me laugh and who listens to my abstract ideas as I talk with my hands, painting my thoughts in the air. I will turn 44 years old. I will complete two more semesters of school. I will read, and listen to, more books.
Looking ahead to the decade before me, I will be working on my inner and outer strength. I will be standing up for myself and not backing down because I was taught to be polite and not ruffle feathers. I’ll be working on my mindfulness and considering all I have learned through it so far. I will be focusing more on those things that serve me and doing more of them while also eliminating those things that do not.
Other bloggers and writers I’ve followed over the years have made, and written about, some huge revelations they’ve discovered about themselves. I applaud them and the sharing of their stories, from coming out as gender-queer to relaying their diagnoses of depression. I hope their revelations serve them.
I don’t have anything ground-breaking to share along those lines. Perhaps because one of the few boundaries I have set, and protect fiercely, is one of privacy. I realize that in today’s tell-all society holding back is an anomaly, and yet, here we are.
You will all just have to deal with it. It serves me.
Do you have beliefs, habits, or thought-patterns that no longer serve you?
*Telling young folks to “follow their passion” is all well and good, however, unless it’s paying the bills, that passion likely takes a backseat to years of hard work doing things we are all far less passionate about. Sorry, Kids, Reality can be a real bitch.