What is it with the turn of the year, that flicking over of a page in the calendar, that makes us want to change?
We make "New Year's Resolutions," as if somehow this one day, more than any other day, will signify a new direction in our lives.
So, what will it be? The favourite "Lose weight and get fit," "Learn to Meditate/Play the Piano/take evening classes in conversational Chinese Mandarin;" or how about "This is the year I will get my CV in order and find a new job?"
One thing many of these resolutions have in common is that they are not kept.
If that sounds negative, let's just think about it for a moment.
Our whole system dislikes change. That's because it knows the status quo has kept us safe up until now. Any change is scary; any change might not be safe.
That clutter in the loft? It's a minor irritation; we'd like to get rid of it. But is it dangerous? Not as dangerous as getting rid of something and finding, six months along, that we really needed what we've irrevocably thrown away. Eating the way we've been doing for years is comfortable (did I hear comfort eating?) and changing that might make us hungry; we might starve! Learning a new skill takes us out of the house on Thursday nights – and everyone knows that dragons prowl the neighbourhood on Thursday nights!
Yet change can and does happen. It just doesn't necessarily happen on the first day of a new year.
The biggest change in 2019 occurred for me on 17th April. I attended a business network meeting where the guest speaker was a nutritionist. This passionate woman, vibrancy emanating from every pore and radiating passion, strode up and down the room. "Hands up, all of you who feel constantly tired?" she demanded. "Constantly tired and constantly hungry?"
My hand went up. Three times in the past month I had been nodding off at the wheel, too exhausted to drive, yet driving because I had to. It had become a joke among my friends, "Oh, it's been two hours since food; we'd better feed Mary!"
In the next twenty minutes this woman turned everything I thought I knew about diet on its head. I went away and did more research, but the moment of change had come at 1.30pm that day. That was the moment I changed my diet and ditched the grains and sugar forever. Eight months on, a stone lighter, with no food cravings and much more energy, I will never go back to bread, pasta, rice or sugar. I love what I eat, and I love the way it makes me feel. This was a change for good in every way.
Change does not come about because of a "I really should" or "I know I ought." Change can only come about in a moment of inspiration.
Inspiration cannot be limited to a certain date; nor can it be manufactured; it just is.
I wish you at least one moment of inspiration in 2020, and a lasting change for the better.
Happy New Year!
A Moodscope member.