On Boxing Day, I finally, for the first time ever, watched “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
Oh my Bowie.
I loved it. I related to it. I guess you could say I responded to it in exactly the same way in which I was supposed to.
The idea of feeling like a failure, like you’ve never managed to leave the place you were planted, never been able to achieve whatever it was in life you thought you could have…only to realise that all of the beautiful parts of your life were right in front of you all along. It’s so cheesy I almost want to gag as I write this, except deny it as I might, I utterly love cheese. In all its forms.
This past eighteen months has been so transformative, the key revelation to me being that even the grandest of career dreams actually don’t matter. It’s the people you love, giving yourself to something more than your own ambitions, the friendships, the community, the relationships…those are what make a beautiful life. I’m not sure of much in this life, but I am completely convinced of that.
The other huge learning of this year was the importance of self-care. Again, so freaking obvious I want to slap myself in the face with a salmon, but there you have it. It was during my first ever National Clown Doctor Conference that it hit me, when we did a nearly full-day session JUST ON SELF-CARE. That’s how important it really is. You have to be taking care of yourself if you’re going to be sustainably useful to anybody else.
My natural tendency come this revelation combined with the imminent new year is to go “I’m going to eat clean every day! Go to the gym every day! Blah blah blah EVERY GODDAMN DAY!”
But I’m resisting; I want to try something new instead.
So…starting tomorrow, January 1st, I will be launching a year-long blogging series here: The 5-Minute Self-Care Experiment.
Here are some lovely musings on this elsewhere that I’ve been digesting:
– Rebecca Sparrow’s New Years’ post;
– Anne Lamott’s post on the temptation to make those “I must lose weight!” resolutions;
“The self respect and serenity you long for is not out there. It’s within. I hate that. I resent that more than I can say. But it’s true.”
– David Brooks on “The Small Happy Life”;
Kim Spencer writes, “I used to be one of the solid ones — one of the people whose purpose was clearly defined and understood. My purpose was seeing patients and ‘saving lives.’ I have melted into the in-between spaces, though. Now my purpose is simply to be the person … who can pick up the phone and give you 30 minutes in your time of crisis. I can give it to you today and again in a few days. … I can edit your letter. … I can listen to you complain about your co-worker. … I can look you in the eye and give you a few dollars in the parking lot. I am not upset if you cry. I am no longer drowning, so I can help keep you afloat with a little boost. Not all of the time, but every once in a while, until you find other people to help or a different way to swim. It is no skin off my back; it is easy for me.”
In the meantime, have a beautiful New Year’s Celebration, whatever that entails for you. Thank you for stopping by to read my sporadic and highly unpredictably scheduled blather on here. As you can no doubt see I’m still getting my life back on track after some major jolts, but I am getting there. I hope you are too!