16.08.2016 | Gloria Lawson | General
So here we are, right in the middle of the summer holidays! I find this quite surreal, as I cannot believe how quickly this year is charging on? It seems like yesterday I was writing an article on new year, new beginnings; and now, here we are, in the eighth month of the year and literally on the cusp of the ‘Ember months!! Scary!!
Personally, I love the summer time, and not at all for all the obvious reasons, although these do factor in somehow too. I see the summer time as a time of the 4 Rs; reflection, relaxation, rejuvenation, and re-tuning/calibrating! Let me explain what I mean by that, shall I?
Firstly; reflection. As I have previously stated, I have never been one to hold much stall to making unachievable New Year’s resolutions, as I find these counterproductive and if anything, something that serves to reinforce just how weak we as human beings are at keeping to self-imposed promises and restrictions. You know exactly what I mean; join a gym, lose 20 stones, give up alcohol, give up meat, give up sugar, cooked food, additives, chocolate, hell life really!! How sustainable is that? In my experience, setting yourself such unrealistic goals and targets is tantamount to setting yourself up for failure. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with taking stock of our lives and trying to do better, live cleaner, be more environmentally and socially aware. What I have a problem with is the cyclical nature of year on year, people setting themselves unrealistic goals and targets and, within the first 5-6 weeks into the year, feeling like they have failed because, quite frankly, at the most dark, dank and miserable months of the year, you would need to be Jesus Christ himself to have the will power to keep to the ridiculously restricting regimes we set ourselves.
So for me, reflection, during the summer months really means, looking back on the previous 6-7 months of the year and celebrating all my successes, however small they may appear. This is my time of, not wanting to sound all tree-hugging, non-deodorant wearing hippie type, celebrating all the positives that have happened for me and most importantly, my family, both individually and collectively, and metaphorically patting us all on the back for having made it through half a year without major incident.
Secondly and thirdly are rejuvenation and relaxation; clumped together because I believe they go hand in hand together. By this I mean taking time out, however long our schedules allow, to spend quality time together, as a family, away from our daily routines. This is the most valuable time of the year as it is the one time that, at least as applies to my family, when we are able to kick back and relax in each others company, with none of the daily pressures of life. For the last two years, my family have been privileged to be able to spend two glorious weeks in Barbados! For the first time in a long time we happened upon a holiday style that suited all our individual and collective needs, adding in the bonus of being there for two years running during their annual carnival; crop over, celebrations.
We were able to all relax, talk amongst ourselves, chill out, play games, engage in water sports, boat trips, and most importantly, stop, and appreciate each other for what we all bring to the smorgasbord that is our family life. Trust me when I say we have a rich and colourful tapestry of life, which makes up our family. We would never change being able to do this and much as my husband and I are mentally preparing ourselves for when the heirs to our thrones no longer wish to engage in this holiday time with us their parents, we are relishing this time for what it is. I personally would not trade this for anything!
Finally, I firmly believe that we all in our family really use this time of rejuvenation and relaxation to talk amongst each other, in a chilled surrounding, without any cares or worries about repercussions, about what our next steps, plans for the rest of the year are, or at least, what our aspirations/hopes are.
So, when I say re-tuning/re-caliberating, I essentially mean, taking stock of where we have got to so far, and re-thinking our strategies for achieving whatever goals or targets we may have set out to achieve for ourselves. By saying this, I am in no way contradicting myself, in that I am not saying this means we make ‘resolutions’ in their true sense. There is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve certain goals or targets during the year. These are not restrictive as I find resolutions, which, I find, failure to achieve makes one beat ones’ self up accompanied by a huge sense of failure and disappointment in oneself!
Personally, this is my time to pause, take stock, review and re-strategize! So I am hoping that a lot of you share my thought process and quite unique approach to how I live my life and set myself goals and targets. I remember as a child, feeling quite irritated at being asked, incessantly, after Christmas, what my new years’ resolution would be. Dare to be different! Set yourselves realistic goals, and don’t be restricted by what you believe are people’s views of what your ‘resolutions’ should be.
All that being said, I am pumped and fully recharged to grab the rest of this year by the horns, realise my personal dreams and aspirations for myself, and the same applies to the rest of my family. My personal mantra has no space for negativity! So here it is:
“She believed it, so she did!”