Sunday, January 11, 2015

Welcome Back {And Also When No Means Yes}

Hi There and Happy New Year.

It almost feels tardy saying that.  I really think "Happy New Year" is a phrase best kept for the first two or three days of January, but since I haven't been here since well before Christmas I'll indulge.

I hope you all had beautiful Christmas times with family and friends.  And if Christmas is not for you I hope you were surrounded and supported as you needed to be during a time that is so hard for so many.

I'm a lucky duck.  Christmas for me is easy and fun and truly about hanging out with good people, which is grand.  And in the post Christmas period I feel really relaxed and I'm so enjoying my kids being around and us all being together with very few commitments.

It's SO nice not to have to pack lunches, hustle kidlets and race out the door each morning.  And we are making the most of slow, lazy mornings and lots of extended time in our pyjamas.  So ace.

We've spent a week down the coast soaking up sun, sand and surf.  I reminded myself, as I seem to need to every year, how essential it is for me to swim in the ocean.  It really makes me feel like me again.  It's so good for my soul and something I certainly need to do more often.

I disconnected from phone and internet for about two weeks.  Which was so idyllic that it was actually really hard for me to reconnect.  I put it off for as long as I felt I could and REALLY enjoyed the quiet that space (usually occupied by text messages, email and social media) gave my body and my mind.

I aim to hang on to this feeling of relaxation, this feeling of mental space, this feeling of lowered anxiety and heightened focus.  It's amazing how being disconnected really helped me increase connection.

So it seems that finding a balance between my computer use - including writing and this blog - and real life will continue to be a theme for me for 2015.  And that's okay.

Just like a kid on a balance beam, my arms are outstretched and I teeter, one step forward, a wibble and a wobble, slowly, slowly making forward progress.

I decided against New Years Resolutions.  Do you do them?  I have a few goals in mind for this year, more writing (huzzah!), more movement, more creativity and healthy living, that sort of thing.

But I've decided on no hard and fast rules.  And I've decided not to overload myself with stuff to get done.  Because I want to feel good.  I don't want to feel weighed down by anxiety or feelings of failure over the things that I'm not doing.  Things that I'm telling myself I need to be doing.

At this early stage of the year it's a go with the flow approach.

I think this has come about because towards the end of last year there were some decisions made.  Not easy decisions, quite tricky ones actually.  But now that they are made there is a shift in perspective, a new view, a feeling of groundedness.

I said no to a job and no to moving out of town.

And it's amazing how saying "No" to both of these things actually feels like saying "Yes" to my current life, to my life right now, just as it is.  And how liberating this is.  A feeling of being so happy with how things are at the moment that I don't want to upend them, uproot them, disrupt them.

That's an amazing feeling, and one I needed more than I realised.  I struggled for a lot of 2014 knowing intellectually that my life is great, easy, full of good things and yet still feeling often flat, sometimes overwhelmed, anxious, not happy.  And just not as contented, grounded and grateful as I felt I should be feeling.

But in making these decisions, in weighing the pros and cons, in articulating all the ways life would change if I said yes to these things - that helped me focus on what I love about my life  right now.

What a gift.

And what great timing, to be able to enter into the new year with this new sense of happiness, contentedness and ease with my place in the world, it's wonderful.

I hope this feeling (at once light and grounded) hangs around a while.  I'm gonna do my best to make it welcome and have it stay.

Do you have any resolutions, goals or general vibes for 2015?

Listen to Welcome Back Kotter Theme

Image Licensed Under Creative Commons


  1. It's great to have you back Kate.
    I like how you've framed saying no to those things. Sometimes we get too worried about missing out, and forget that by worrying we are missing out on right now.
    I look forward to more writing

    1. Yes! It was really hard to say no to two potentially really positive things. And for me it is often hard to choose the status quo - like you 'should' say "yes" to things. It was quite a revelation to realise that I actually was saying "yes!" to something, just not the things being offered to me. I'm really looking forward to more writing too! x

  2. Welcome back Kate, I have missed your wise words but am glad to hear that you took a break from this whole internet caper thing. I hope that you keep the desired balancing act that you are after in 2015 x

    1. That is SO lovely of you to say Ing. It really is a constant balancing and readjusting. It was so good to be away. But it's also good getting back. x

  3. (sorry if my comment appears twice - my google account is being "difficult" and I wasn't sure my 1st comment was published). x

    1. I'm a bit bummed that this is the only comment of yours that survived Katie. Always love to know your thoughts on things. x

  4. Oh, I hear you about not having to make lunches!!! I could do a happy dance just over that little holiday bonus in itself!

    I agree with Annette above, I love your perspective on saying no. Those things weren't right for you right now, and that sounds good to me. Welcome back

    1. Thanks Catherine! It was weird you know, it took me a while to stop feeling bad about saying 'no' to these things, both of them had so many positives. And I'm still not entirely sure I've done the right thing on either count. But the freedom it's given me to embrace my right now life is a wonderful benefit in any case.

      Re: the lunches my kids went to playdates yesterday and I found myself at the bench at 8am packing lunch boxes and muttering to myself like a crazy woman. Resentful I tells ya! So not ready to give up the lazy, relaxed mornings. SO glad we've still got a couple more weeks. :)

  5. You sound like you have a terribly healthy perspective. Good work. Your break sounds delightful too :)

    1. Thanks for commenting Nicole. Well, it was a perspective that just sort of found me, so I don't really take any credit for it. Maybe it's just me trying to justify deciding to do two things that a million other people would probably jump at. Hmmm. It really is tricky saying 'no' sometimes, isn't it? x

  6. 'going with the flow' sounds like the best new year's resolution ever!

    1. Yeah! Thanks katepickle! It's working for me so far. Still time for a mid-year freak out though. x