Reflecting on my past has never been my thing. Mostly because I like to forget about it once it's gone. But for the purpose of incorporating a little bit of me to my blog I would like to write something that is more personal and hopefully relatable.
These are probably not going to be motivational posts as they will consist of my real ups and downs. I don't intent my writings to be impressive, I just want my readers to see the true version of who I am, my thinking process and life style. That itself has a tremendous value to me as I get to expose my vulnerability, so it will maybe have a healing effect on me in the future. But I'd also like to hope that my openness and honesty will inspire you, those who read my posts, to reflect on your own lives and maybe receive answers you've been searching for. Answers that will hopefully help you heal and grow as well.
With this being said, let's start with downs
For me January has always been a month of setting goals. Not only it is hard to choose goals from a wide variety, lost in the noise of other people's "to-do lists", but it's also hard to stick to the plan of achieving them. First month is always the hardest, because if I am mindful enough that's when I start to realize that some of my resolutions are probably too hard for me to stick to during the upcoming year. I justify that by saying to myself that it wasn't what I really wanted to even start with, that there are much more important things to work on, etc. This inner dialog happens regularly in my head. And you might recognize some of those voices in your own life as well:
- The goal is too hard to achieve, maybe I should have thought it through a little better before I had set it.
- You are just trying to justify your laziness!
- You can still do it, it's only January.
- Maybe I just don't want it enough.
- I should probably focus on something else.
And this conversaion goes on and on until I say: Stop! We are moving into February, and I am going to work hard on achieving the goals that have been set and will maybe even create new ones. Wow, it's insane to even think about it now!
One of my main goals for 2020 is to be able to do 10 pull-ups by the end of the year. I am far from an athlete, and honestly, the goal sounds unrealistic right now, considering that I am not able to do even one pull-up. But ever since I started to go to the climbing gym last year, my arms have become much stronger, which inspired me to set a higher standard for my physique. I am not necessarily trying to look a certain way, but feeling better and stronger in my body is my ultimate goal. That's how 10 pull-ups were born - from my infinite desire to achieve something that I never thought was possible for me before.
But January wasn't successful in that direction: not only I had to skip the gym multiple times because of moving and different kinds of life-related issues, I happened to slightly injure my arm and ended up "resting" for like 2 weeks in a row. Good start! Not so much. Am I disappointed in myself? I would say so. It is when the voices in my head are becoming much louder and I simply want to give up.
Another major "down" in January was the progress or, better say, lack of progress writing my book of poetry "Breaking free". I used to write poetry when I was a kid, and quite recently I came back to my roots and decided to express myself in a way I thought was the best. I love poetry and enjoy creating rhymes. But I don't like structurizing and making something out of "nothing". The idea of writing a book came to me about 2 years ago, and the reason for it is simple - I want to put my poems in one place and let others read them from one source. All previous year I was working on my poems and this year I promised to myself I would create a book. But like I said when it comes down to imposing a structure upon something so creative and so personal to me, I become demotivated. So no, I haven't moved an inch in that direction either yet. Sign.
There is something complex about the definition of success and failure, and many times even when I don't see any results of my work, I pay attention to other, probably even more important things, such as experience, joy from just doing something, learning new things, etc. But there are times when I see nothing in the dark of my lack of progress, besides failure. I know it sounds sad, but at the same time it's real. How many of us can stay real in today's world? And how many of us can accept their sense of defeat? I think it's important to do from time to time not in order to judge but in order to practice self-forgiveness, patience and acceptance. Because at the end of the day, not what you already did or didn't do really matters, but what you are going to do with that aftermath.
Now, onto ups
In January I managed to finish reading 2 books (as planned), Lost Connections by Johann Hari and The China Study by Colin and Thomas Campbell. I will talk about both of these books in my future posts.
I am not a natural reader, in fact reading doesn't come easy to me, but I really love the feeling that I have when I finish reading a book, that sense of accomplishment, and of course, new knowledge. So being able to finish 2 books in a month definitely made me feel good.
In spite of me not accomplishing my fitness goals in Jenuary, I still managed to step outside my comfort zone and help my partner with moving all our stuff to the new place. It was definitely a challenge, mental and physical. Prior to the move I was actually working hard on my arm strength, that was also required during move and assembling our new furniture. So like I previously mentioned, I slightly injured my arms and wasn't able to exercise for about 2 weeks after. Regardless, I still feel like I accomplished a lot, and I am proud of myself for getting so much done.
Last but not least, we launched our blog Pillows&Trees in the end of January. I'm so incredibly proud of myself and my partner for creating this site for you. I have been wanting to do it for a long time and it still feels a little bit surreal. I know I can be hard on myself at times, but I also know how to take pride and acknowledge what I do aka create on a regular basis. Self-reflection is important but so is self-appreciation.
As you can see there's always something to be disappointed about, and something to take a pride of. There is no day like the other, neither is a month. I am sure February will bring more lessons: good and bad. But regardless I won't stop paying attention. For me life is all about learning. We learn something from "bad" experiences and definitely learn a lot from good ones.
It's important to remember that there is no win without failure, and after long night comes the sun. Life lessons are never easy, but as we navigate through life, they become a little bit more fun to go through.