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  • Writer's pictureSue Bulmer

Bucking the Trend: Embracing Personal Rhythms in the New Year Journey

The 31st December saw me enjoying a relaxing day at home after ten days of switching off away on holiday and spending time with family. I was sat on my sofa feeling like I ‘should’ be doing something for my creative business but fully aware of the fact I was still actually on holiday. (When the ‘should’ word crops up, alarm bells always alert me to the fact and I just begin to notice what’s going on in my head).

I spent some time casually scrolling Instagram, noticing the growing feeling of restlessness as I saw everyone’s ‘Top Nines’, the plethora of 2023 retrospectives and highlights as well as the 2024 setting of goals, making of plans and intentions for 2024. And I could feel myself itching to join in, that once-familiar feeling of FOMO creeping in, the curiosity about what my top nine would be as well as the highlights I would share as I looked back on 2023. Should I be joining in? Or should I take a moment and listen to what’s really going on, asking myself what I really need today?

But when it came down to it, I really couldn’t be bothered. I didn’t have the energy or the inclination.  It didn’t feel right. I decided to follow my heart and I bucked the trend. I said no. If I was going to do anything today it would be gentle and quiet and it wouldn’t be prompted by following the crowd and doing what everyone else was doing. Instead of rushing to my lap-top to write a new blog post about my Word of the Year, I decided on some gentle introspection. I leafed through my 2023 diary and thought about what the year had brought me. I made some notes about the best bits, big achievements, things I feel proud of and my biggest, brightest, happiest memories. I also noted the ideas I’d had which didn’t come to fruition. It was an introspective and thoughtful hour. I took my 2024 diary, adding the key moon dates and pagan festivals, equinoxes and solstices. I planned in my newsletters and made some notes about key themes for each month.

Then I picked up a new Christmas book and began to read about getting lost. I took a breath, thinking and feeling about what feels right for me to do today. And that was doing my own thing. Sometimes we need to follow our own path, even when it seems the rest of the world is hurtling ahead into a new year full of intentions and plans. Seasonally speaking, it’s all arbitrary anyway. January 1st , whilst marking the beginning of a new calendar year, for me feels like just another Winter day. The light is returning but I still feel like I’m in hibernation. It’s too soon to be waking up from the winter slumber, I still need some quiet time to get my thoughts into order and envisage what I would like 2024 to be. At the moment my plans feel like jigsaw pieces scattered across a floor, maybe even one or two hiding under the sofa. I will be spending January slowly piecing it together. It feels nice to be back, but it's essential to ensure it's on my terms—gradual, deliberate, and in harmony with the rhythm of the unfolding year.

What are you finding is helping you to stay aligned to what's important this New Year? Are you rushing ahead with new plans and intentions or are you taking your time and enjoying the quietude of contemplation? Or looking for lost jigsaw pieces under the sofa?

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