It feels rainy and messy. I’ve tried rugging up with positive thinking and, surprise, surprise, it’s still bypassed the scarf of resolution. 3 Jan, my friends, is an unstoppable trickle, running down the back of my neck and giving me spine-chill.
Some people relish the challenge of the new. I admire them…from the sanctuary of my duvet-ed bunker. Hello you weirdos! Jogging past my window wearing your shiny new year clothes and faces. I’d love to be like you, with your optimism and your go-get-em-carpe-diem-dynamism. But alas, I’m a little chicken heart. All that noise and colour is too much for squashy folks like me. I might get hurt. I might try and do something that I really want…but then FAIL. Imagine! Not being The Best. Or Not Good Enough. Far safer to stay in here where it’s warm and cosy and watch other people do their thing instead.
You see, I’ve tried living. Or at least, living like the magazines suggest. New year, new you? Been there: The question is – which one?
I’ve exercised: running in the snow till my toes bled, jumping like a frog in a blender to wii-fit, bending myself into impossible shapes.
I’ve juiced as if my life depended upon it. Taken multivits, ginseng, green algae, goji-shakes.
I’ve shopped for enough clothes and accessories to drown Gok and Trinny and all the rest.
I’ve studied. Gone to uni. Twice.
I’ve volunteered. Worked. Recycled. Given blood. Tried to be ‘good’.
Sorry, but if that’s living, I’m not interested. It looks like tyranny instead.
But what’s the alternative? There was a point in my life where I did all these things at once. This ended so badly that I went to the opposite extreme and stayed in bed for several years. I couldn’t switch my brain and my drives off until I’d ground myself into a total mush of expectation, performance and self-loathing. And then I didn’t want to get back up. Because what was I getting up for? A different sort of treadmill?
As I look down the barrel of 2012, I’m reminded of this. I see two ways to ‘live’: ‘all’ or ‘nothing’. Both fill me with fear. Both seem impossible – and yet, all too easy. Left to my own devices, I’ll choose both. I’ll stay in control and I’ll live in a neat and cosy coffin. But there is a third avenue. It’s spacious and scary and there are other people on it. I don’t know where it ends and I’m only a little part of it, not the whole. But I’m praying I can walk on it, a day at a time. And that this chicken heart can look to the lion.