Happy New Year! We have all been fortunate to see another year begin. Where I live we have spent the past week enduring temperatures in the -30s (Celsius) with the windchill factor. There were times where it reached -44. This cold weather didn’t slow people down, it was still the Christmas holiday season. I can’t help but think that if people had to go to their regular 9-5 job, many them would have found a reason not to make it into work.
I wish I could say I am excited about the New Year, but honestly, nothing changed for me personally between December 31, 2017 and January 1st, 2018. The start of a new year can lead to people developing grad dreams, unrealistic goals, and the set up for a year of expectations for which we expect other people to fulfill for us. Thankfully new year’s resolutions continue to fall out of fashion. The hectic winter holiday season combined with the mixture of darkness and cold weather doesn’t make for an ideal occasion to develop plans for a more successful life.
This year I continue with choosing one word as my focus for the year. For 2018 I have chosen the word Celebrate.
“a) to do something special or enjoyable for an important event, occasion, holiday, etc.
(b) to praise (someone or something) :to say that (someone or something) is great or important” Webster’s Dictionary Online
This verb was heavy on my heart over the past few months. My job had left me not wanting to do much once I got home from work each evening, and with each passing weekend I became more hibernated, not having the energy to do much and instead using days off to catch up on much needed sleep.
A change of employment has left me with much more energy and a greater desire to celebrate the good things in life. I work with low-income populations and those who are struggling with issues such as substance abuse and mental health issues. When one is working in an emotionally draining field, having fun and replenishing one’s spirit is an absolute necessity. I decided it was time that I not feel guilty for engaging in activities that I enjoy or celebrating the mundane things in life which bring me joy.
I didn’t want this to be an entirely religious experience or something to turn into a rigid spiritual discipline. I want to develop the ability to celebrate being alive, meeting simple milestones, and being joyful about whatever I choose. I’m not looking to become selfish, I only desire to be able to celebrate the good things that come into my life. Yes, there are suffering people in the world, but I also need to be realistic and accept the fact that it would be a sin not to express thankfulness, joy, and celebration for what I do have in my life.
With severe ADHD it is important to celebrate those small achievements. It is a cause for celebration when you actually look at your day planner seven days in a row. It is a call for celebration when you make it to work on time every week for an entire month.
Having adult ADHD requires being able to celebrate in order to counteract the damage caused by constantly beating one’s self up for all the barriers that come with this disorder. Celebration allows us to feel emotions that don’t involve self-pity, brain fog, forgetfulness, restlessness, and disorganization.
Unless you already have good time management, success with goal achievements, and excellent executive functioning skills; making new year’s resolutions might not be the best thing for you to attempt at this time. That list you make during the first week of January, will likely end up being something you add to your already long list of things you need to be doing, but aren’t.
Having a personal word for the year is great because it isn’t about achieving goals, mastering a to-do list, or reaching a destination. It is about opening yourself to personal growth and intentionally learning new things about you and the world you navigate. You can’t control how this guiding word is going to affect you, you leave yourself open and flexible to whatever and however God chooses to transform you.
I highly recommend checking out some websites and other blogs to learn more about choosing one word for the year. Each person approaches the process differently, but one thing is for sure, everyone is changed by their word throughout the year. Whether you choose to pursue new year’s resolutions or opt for having a guiding word for 2018, I wish you all the best in this year’s journey, and the wonderful blessings offered to us all from our heavenly father!
Happy New Year!