I love little mantras that I can come back to and chew on periodically. The cliff notes of personal development, if you will. One such note is this:
“What do you need where you are at right now?”
Literally, I need supper to finish cooking, because it smells really good and I can’t wait to dig in. But this goes beyond that. I don’t know about you, but I set some goals for myself for 2020 that all crumbled to bits when it became actually impossible to do most of them. Now, I’m not going to chide myself for how all that turned out, because it’s not like there were any handy dandy “how to navigate a pandemic” books lying around. There was a lot of grieving for what we lost, realizing that “normal” life wasn’t coming back any time soon, and grieving that. Then, and only then, could you start to move forward. Some of us got there a while ago, some of us are only getting there now – and heck, I know there are some people still just clinging to the wild hope that someday their kids will go back to school and have absolutely no time for anything other than survival mode.
While there are some overarching goals I have set for myself this year – the big one being to walk 500 miles (if that didn’t trigger the proclaimers song in your head, I don’t know you), I’m trying to be more flexible about other things.
Much like we change out our wardrobe every season, what we need changes regularly as well. Really thinking about that kind of blew me away. Maybe that’s why goals that I set back in January didn’t necessarily resonate with me by October. What I needed back in January isn’t the same thing I need in October.
I know that in the winter, I need to give myself more grace. I move more slowly, I want to sleep more, I’m more introverted. But come spring, I’m feeling a lot more optimistic. I start to pick up a lot more energy, I find myself more eager to see people and to take on new projects.
But even these are just generalizations. What I need right now in the midst of a pandemic is not the same thing I needed last winter. What I need as someone who is trying to walk 500 miles in a year is not what I need when I’m not trying to walk 500 miles. I need different methods of support – heck, I need to wear different shoes and think about how I hydrate myself differently.
This year, I’ve decided to make a point to sit down at least at the end of every month and re-evaluate my goals and routines, to think about what do I need right now. Not what do I want to need, not what did I plan on needing, but what do I need right now?
May that thought kick off some good work inside your brain at some point too.