New Year, 2019 – 2020,
That time of year where all over social media all you see is everyone talking about all they’ve achieved, what they’ve done, accomplished and any mistakes they’ve made, but rectified and everything they’re going to do better into the new coming year.
For me personally, I find New Year one of the hardest occasions we as a nation celebrate. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it and I do and can but in my own way, the reality of being a room of people celebrating New Year the traditional way with a big party I find extremely hard and being honest its a different story to what I’m feeling as inside I’m struggling, inside whilst everyone raises their glasses, dances around singing and says cheers to one another and shouts “happy new year..” whilst laughing and joking, inside I silently shed a tear. Whilst the fireworks go off, the lights bounce from window to window and the singers sing the famous words whilst holding hands, inside I’m breaking, whilst everyone runs through their new years resolutions and says goodbye the year before, inside I break a little more whilst trying to hold it all together and act like ‘I’m completely ok..’
But I’m not and this blog is to speak about that and let anyone else know who struggles with this time and New Year that you are not the only one, you are not alone and your feelings are valid.
Regarding all this there’s something interesting that happened at my hospital visit this weekend and I think it’s important to share, it was just to see my OPAT team and nurses who manage my Port a Cath and have managed all my central lines in both the past and present, there’s a wonderful team of the three of them and I’ve known them for over four/five years now so they are like family. But after doing the needle change, which you do weekly, we were chatting/gossping as we usually do, talking about Christmas and what we’d been up to and I then started talking about the upcoming New Year and how difficult I find it, which is when Lucie then stopped me in my tracks and said “no, stop right there, you’re not leaving till you tell me three things you’ve achieved this year!” Hmm.. I paused to think, deep down I know I have achieved lots, I know I have! It’s just my demons, anxitites and negative and comparing thoughts to everyone else and what they’ve achieved compared to me push them away. But Lucie is super determined and stubborn so I knew I needed to answer.
3 things: Ok, I can do this.
1 – I’ve done acting work, both being extras/SA in a big film (and another very popular tv series) coming out Feb/March 2020 as well as being the lead role in a short film (all paid work too!)
2 – I’ve continued to do more talks to children and young people and accomplished my first ever school talk this year (with Toby the Tube Fed Teddy by my side raising awareness too!)
3 – I wheeled the London Catwalk in my bright and colourful bikini, The Real Catwalk 2019, for the second year running and loved every second, and this time with Willow by my side too!
“Oh and you’re STILL ALIVE RUTH! Which is a bloody miracle after everything!”
So after I said my three things I looked at Lucie and you could see us both smiling and without saying a word we both just knew with a look “see Ruth, that’s just three things that came to your head in 2 mins when asked? and beyond that there is so much more too! Not to mention the six months you’ve spent inside here in your room on 17!”
and she’s right, as always.
We then went on to talk about New Years Resolutions and as she started I have to admit I did roll my eyes as if to say “really, you?” and she rolled her eyes back as if to say “yes I know! But wait a moment.. ” Lucie has had a very, very tough personal two and a half years herself and has always been there for me throughout both the good and the bad but I know just how hard these times are for her too so I was intrigued to hear about her take on the New Year resolutions. So, go on I said..
She went on to tell me this time last year she made the resolutions to, one – run more and two – learn how to sow. She accomplished both by trying firstly as just trying to me is enough, it shows you’ve tried and that is the start, anything further is a bonus in my opinion. But she conquered more than just trying as she smashed the running and completed a 5km run (GO Lucie!) The sowing however is slightly slower/harder and is taking a tougher gradient to conquer but she tried, is trying and isn’t giving up completely which is what matters and do you know what both of those things have in common? They are for HER. Not for anyone else, not to impress anyone else, not to make anyone else happy or please anyone else. It is about HER and what will make HER happy, what will fulfil HER and time for HER.
She then kept asking me, what will be yours? I said “hmm, no I don’t like making them.” I then gave in (as I told you Lucie is stubborn and won’t give up!) So I said, “well how about, I’ll aim to do more talks, and I want to do more schools specifically, I would like to write more cards and share more.. “no stop, Lucie says. What about YOU? “What do you mean? This is about me, I’m telling you the New Years..
“No you’re not, says Lucie. You’re telling me things you want to do for others, to please, to help, to raise, spread awareness, love and positivity and that is all fantastic of course but I want you to pick a New Years Resolution that is for YOU and about YOU and YOUR self love and self care. Something, a hobby, a love, something you can do and get lost in, maybe something creative? But not for others specifically, it can obviously be within that but make sure you do it for you first. Does that make sense? – To both me, you and anyone reading this? (I really hope so!)
But to sum it all up, what Lucie was getting at was that I was so focused on others, making sure everyone else would be ok, happy and have all they need that where was I putting myself? Right at the bottom, where as where should I be? I should be nearer the top, as although being selfless is a wonderful trait, it is also one you must be careful with, as the old saying goes but is so very true. “you must love yourself first before letting someone else love you”. Where do you put your self in the pecking order? Do you make time for just YOU and your importance, YOUR self care, YOUR love of yourself. Time just for you to do something you love, not to give to someone else, not to promote or share or do in work or going out, just for you and you only, setting aside time to get lost in something you love. I’ll do a whole other post on self care and self love and tips, ideas and help for that specifically but for now I just want to finish by saying, I hear you, I see you and I notice you if you struggle with all this like I do. But in the time I was with Lucie today she really cheered me up and made me smile, just by listening, talking and hearing me. By not putting pressure on me but at the same time encouraging me to see my strengths and achievements and pushing me to be kinder to myself, but in a gentle way. That is what true friends do, what real people who really care about us do in our lives. They support us through the ups and the downs and keep us moving forward even when we don’t quite know the ending or can see through the dark. I’m rambling on now and I’m not even quite sure if this blog makes perfect sense (I hope it does) but again I’m going to refer back to what wonderful Lucie says and remind myself that I’m doing this for me as I enjoy writing/rambling and to me its therapeutic, I enjoy it and if other people enjoy it too and take the time to read the blog and even better get something from it then that is a wonderful bonus! But first and foremost I do it for me, I’m smiling now, kind of smiling to myself and if I could speak to my inner self, I would say “well done Ruth, well done for putting yourself first for once and all I want you to do, every year, every day, is just be kinder to yourself, and others, New Year or not, we can all do that, always, simple as.
Happy New Year Everyone.
and remember to be kind, always.
“everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about”.