Well, here we are at the beginning of “another” new year

Abby Crawford

It feels like the last few “starts” all merged into a cloud of COVID and restrictions. It’s difficult to look back with anything other than a deep sigh. But this year feels different – it feels fresher, lighter and full of opportunity.

I’m not really one to set out on NYE with a bunch of resolutions. However, I have to say I do appreciate the line in the sand of new starts. I used to love prepping for the new school year, with a carefully worked out colour scheme to carry from pencil case to exercise book and would walk into the year eagerly with freshly sharpened pencils and neat little bows around pigtails. Of course, as the year progressed, it invariably delightfully fell apart with scrapped knees, lost books and pencils flying out of satchels as we raced each other home on pushbikes.

As a mother, I was delighting in the thought of these preparations and the trip to Officeworks to peruse the aisles, carefully selecting the look to suit each new year. Having a son, well that changed that. He couldn’t have cared less about such ridiculous notions, and if pushed on the subject to just “please help mummy and tell me what contact paper you like” the answer was invariably “BLACK”. So, I focused more on the motivational aspect to start each year. How we would complete homework in time for nightly walks and yoga and get plenty of sleep. Without fail, there were some great starts before we would be overcome by the nightmare of homework and the piling ironing and I’d opt for a wine, post my son’s bedtime (okay, and sometimes before) rather than the yoga after all. Good times.

But this year feels different. There’s a lot that’s changed. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, or maybe it’s just indifference as we learn to live alongside COVID – it’s a relief not to be living by the news updates. And while we are all so excited to get back out and do our thing, I think we’ve also learnt a lot during the pandemic years. We’ve seen how people, and businesses have chosen to respond and many of us have polished our value system and had a taste of how a balanced life actually feels – to actually have time with family albeit in a lockdown, to work from home, to consider our choices, our health, and ultimately our goals. Well, now it’s time to put them into action.

And for me, this is also the first year of me being “me” again, rather than a school mum governed by school terms and timetables. My son starts uni and to be honest it feels like it gives us both the chance to grow up and be who we are meant to be. I am loving embracing this new freedom, it feels like being the first person at the beach in the cool of morning before there are any footprints, taking a deep breath, and knowing you can walk whichever direction you choose with nothing but fresh air and crashing waves. It’s intoxicating.

Never has one of the most cliched New Year posts resonated with me so beautifully as this year. “And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings” – Meister Eckhart.

May this year bring you the new beginnings you desire, and the freedom to choose the path to make you happy and keep you safe. Welcome to 2022, it’s only just begun.

Abby x •

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