In 2016, I’m looking forward to…

Resolve to change NOW!

I have never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, and as far as I remember have never kept a single one. While stuck in bed being poorly, I tried to think of an alternative but got a bit stuck until I saw a Facebook post from my friend Bex saying she didn’t see the point in New Year’s Resolutions, because change could be made now, rather than waiting for a specific date. I quite agree, I thought. Just at that same moment, I remembered the film, “The Bucket List” where two men who meet in hospital by chance decide to list all the things they’ve never  done and would like to do before they ‘kick the bucket’and began compiling one of my own.

Teenage Crushes Revisited

I also told sidekicks and friends about it in the hope this would encourage me to stick to it. This had been one of the tips given for sticking to goal setting targets… that announcing intentions means other people can encourage you to stick to whatever you’re aiming for. I started to think, what did I used to love which I no longer do? Almost immediately, memories of my now long forgotten boyband obsession crashed into my head, of my first ever concert gig in a small, sadly now demolished theatre in Aberdeen when I was 12. With my Mum, in the second row, me caterwauling along, or screaming, by turns! The same theatre with my best friend a couple of years after that to see 911. AECC with the bestie to see Boyzone or Westlife, on several occasions. Edinburgh playhouse with a church friend to see Gary Barlow, from Take That. Oh yes, I went to see one or two other artists, Katie Melua was definitely one of them. It was one of her first tours I think, if not the first, at the Clyde Auditorium (aka the ‘armadillo’ ) in Glasgow.

After at least a ten minute reminisce I began searching for upcoming local gigs. Being more restricted than I used to be I decided I definitely needed something which was in the same city as I now live, with space for my wheelchair, and a carer beside me. I admit to squealing when I realised one of my current favourite acco8ustic/acapella groups was touring in the first part of the year, and even better, it was a local event, with wheelchair spaces still available. Those tickets reserved, I began searching my brain for something I’ve always wanted to do. It didn’t take long for an answer to jump into my brain. Food Festivals! Never been to one, and also never properly tried ‘street food; which I really liked the sound of whenever it’s been featured on food programmes. Quite a lot as it happens. Within a few minutes, I’d sorted out passports to an indie food fest. Quite an accomplishment to figure out all this and book it all, within an hour or so, given that I often forget what day it is, or fail to stay awake even sat up in my wheelchair!

Keeping the ‘announcement’ tip in mind, I excitedly told my therapist about my list, delighted to have something very positive to say, and things to look forward to, not to mention having come up with part of the solution to some of my struggles. Being chronically ill and severely disabled is very isolating much of the time, not to mention lonely (though I have fabulous friends and family) and it can be impossible some days to find anything good to focus on, and the days often stretch out in front of me. This is when more difficult thoughts arise, for example “will I still be in this same place feeling like this in (X) number of years’ time? I think of all the ways I am now restricted, and my world contracts much more even that the four walls it often is. This is especially true in times when I don’t have the usual barrage of appointments or sometimes endless admin tasks.

I finally thought of an appropriate title.

“In 2016 I’m looking forward to….

  1. Becoming an Auntie for the first time
  2. A close relative’s big birthday
  3. Going to see Boyce Avenue
  4. Going to indie food fest
  5. Going to a theatre show (yet to decide on what, where and when)
  6. Going to the seaside I miss the sea
  7. Visiting Susan with Debs and a sidekick
  8. Listening to Daily Audio Bible Every Day
  9. Keeping a gratitude journal (find a regular time to do this every day. Maybe 6pm?)
  10. Keeping up with Pain Management Programme activities:
  • Review goals on a bi-weekly basis
  • Every Thursday at 11.30am read through PMP course material
  • Practice mindfulness at these times minimum
  • Review Activity Level – is it at as steady a level as possible day by day?
  1. Reading a book a month on a completely new topic I know nothing about.
  2. Going to a different church from mine every 6 months
  3. Streamlining my spending (not sure yet what this looks like
  4. Sending a small but appropriate gift and/or card to a friend going through a hard time, Aim to do this a few times this year

I am sure there are other things, but I am chuffed with what I have decided on so far, alongside the events which are already happening next year. I’m still pretending 2016 is more than just a few days away!

Over to you….

How do you welcome in a new year?

Do you make New Year Resolutions?

What are you looking forward to in the coming year?

I’d love to hear your plans and share ideas!