Much of the conversation as we enter into the new year is dominated by our biggest achievements of the previous year. Of course, the biggest achievements – moving house, starting a new career, getting married – are super exciting and memorable, but what about the steps you took to get there?
Big achievements can also seem a daunting subject given that we have been living in a pandemic for too long now and they can seem, well, unachievable. Does that mean we shouldn’t be proud if we have simply managed to get through the last year with our grief?
I prefer to focus on the little achievements, or little joys. Life is built on them.
A few of my little joys this year have been:
- Not needing Google Maps as much to get around. I do get the odd car beeping at me every now and then when I make a last minute turn down a road, but all in all I feel much more at home driving around my city.
- Finding my favourite place for ice cream!
- Learning to cook lots of new things. Most recently, this Christmas I made Dauphinoise for Christmas eve with Salmon, a gluten free nut roast for Christmas day and a no-flour Roulade.
- Falling back in love with ‘going out out’ on a Saturday night (catch me wearing a purple wig on Halloween!)
- I bought some really nice plants
- Going back to the gym, for my mental health rather than my body.
- Going on dates
- Every friend that brings so much light into my life.
- Every time I say yes to me.
- Every time I choose to be kind to myself when a younger version of me wouldn’t have.
- Every single time that I prove my anxiety wrong.
Back in 2015 I bought myself a book where you’d write one line a day for five years. I filled that pocket sized book in every day for 2 and a half years. It was full of small memories from my year in Spain, and time at university. I loved it because it encouraged mindfulness throughout my days to recognise that moment I would later scribble in my book. Eventually, I stopped when my mum got unwell, because I couldn’t find the days’ highlights any longer. Life was dark.
This Christmas, Evee brought me a new one. Despite all of the uncertainty in the world surrounding the pandemic, the government and our future, I am really excited to get started. Despite the fact that I write this isolating in my little room awaiting my PCR result at 01:00 on New Years day, I choose to believe that 2022 is going to be an amazing year. After all, we’ve gotten this far, haven’t we?
I hope you don’t feel pressure or a sense of failure if you haven’t reached any big achievements in 2021. I hope you know that everything you are is more than enough, and you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
I’d love for you to share a few of your little joys that made you smile in 2021. And, I wish you a gentle and kind 2022, full of little joys. Be kind to yourself.