Happy 2019

I’m not that good with New Year. 

When I was a teenager, they were fantastic. I’d go round to my “other family”, and then en masse, we’d walk through the woods to a friends house where there would be a ceilidh, the crazy wonderful kind where you’d start a ‘Strip the Willow’ in the lounge with an honorary sister and end up in an Eightsome Reel in the hall with a total stranger.

Nothing has matched those times. It’s not a competition, but they were evenings (and early hours of the next morning) of such happiness that are indelibly etched into my heart and soul.

Every year, I wonder if we should go and actively Do New Year. Go to the nearest big town or city, join in. But unfamiliar places, crowds and noise are not the friends of a PTSDer, not to mention that I’m terrified of fireworks, which seem to be inevitable now for any celebration. And while others get happier (and possibly more tipsy) I tend to get more withdrawn, more overwhelmed with enforced happy times.

As with most people who live with mental health issues, my thoughts become more focused on what I haven’t achieved in the year that’s ending, rather than what I have. Faulty wiring that causes so much damage. And it’s also why I don’t make resolutions, I don’t need more things to potentially fail 364 days down the line.

But recently I’ve had a bit of a revelation. I’ve been trying a lot of new crafting ideas, from jewellery to cards, to drawing. And I get frustrated when the idea in my head doesn’t work in my hands, and my confidence is so tightly rationed that it doesn’t extend to more than one attempt before I tend to give up. 

After yet another futile attempt, my ever patient partner picked up my discarded attempt. “Why did you use the thin wire?” he asked, turning the failed ring in his fingers.     “Because it’s just a prototype, the thin wire’s cheaper” I said.                                                   “But it needs the thick wire to work, that’s what will make it do what you need it to. Use the thick wire, we’ll buy more if you run out, but use it. Be bold.”

And of course, if a little annoyingly, he was right. The next one worked. Because it wasn’t really about my skill or lack of it, but simply about using the right materials at the right time. As it so often is.

So next year, I’m going to change my materials. I’m going to think less, but move more. That arsey email at work? I’m not going to rant at my Mac and tie myself in knots at the way people speak to me, or their unreasonable requests. I’m going to get up from my desk, walk down two flights of stairs, out the door, round the lake and back up the stairs, and I’m going to empty my mind while I’m doing it. My evening walk up to the village and along the field will be done to exercise my legs, but rest my mind, its only requirement being to see everything around me.

I’m going to be bold, and think bigger. I’m going to pick up that thicker wire first, that nicest stone. I’m going to draw straight onto the good paper, and fill the paper, not hide it in a corner.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll start to fill my paper and not hide in a corner.

Happy 2019 everyone.

(And this is probably the only time I’ll ever cross post to both blogs, but for once, they’re aligned!)

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