Portraits by Sian
In the spirit of ‘New Year, new me’ I wanted to open a conversation about coasting. Just a little. Or a lot. Last week when I tried to recount all the good things from 2019, I found myself, well, almost unable to. The truth is, I coasted throughout the year by my standards and… I didn’t feel wholly disappointed.
Since graduating in 2012 and landing my first job the week after my final hand-in, I’ve hit the ground running and barely stopped. It’s funny what graduating into a recession will do to an anxious soul. It was only when I began exploring other avenues as a self-employed business owner that I realised it could be different: it could be whatever you made it. So, I made a conscious decision not to make any hard and fast rules or set goals in 2019 and just ride it out. See where the year took me, instead. And what I learned is that I thrive on balance, on working hard and smart, but also on embracing rest and slowness.
When I say I coasted, what I meant is I did my personal ‘average’. My clients thrived and I worked as hard and smart as I could for them, but I actively sought to take one step back from all other avenues. I’m a classic try-hard, usually, and it felt strange not to push myself constantly, but after a months I found my shoulders dropping a few inches – or perhaps that was the Pilates… – and I felt happier overall. Writing this blog takes up much of my spare time and I haven’t adult-ed without it, so I don’t know the luxury of switching off. Not really. It isn’t a burden to write Daisybutter at all, but I know my normal is very different to that of my friends.
In coasting consciously, I’ve seen the world through my peers’ eyes. What it’s like to pop out for an entire evening and not worry about tomorrow’s tasks. Not spending every waking hour trying to further my business, when it was already doing pretty well anyway. What it’s like not to meticulously plan every hour, every meal, and just live life taking the moments as they come.
Starting New Year with no inhibitions or set plans
Social media – and general society – will have you thinking you need to reinvent yourself every single January and make grand resolutions and goals. It’ll have you thinking about weight loss and shedding Christmas weight, when really you should just do whatever makes you feel good.
In the spirit of The Insecure Girl’s Club, you do you. I personally prefer to take all of January to consider what I might want from the coming months, and put things into practice come Chinese New Year. Time is absolutely a construct and you can choose to start your new mantra come July or even September, like I prefer to. Feel things out, notice how the 1st felt exactly like the 31st did – maybe colder – and see where your days naturally take you. If you like it, fine. If not, note everything down and work out how you can take action.
My New Year plan
I’ve started 2020 treading with caution. I’m still the me from December, shock horror, but with the thought of resetting and simplifying a little. We’re moving house in a few weeks and I’m really excited to help create our home. I’m continuing with my plant-based diet, of course, and I’m most excited for the inevitable Veganuary launches from every restaurant under the sun. (Vegan KFC and vegan Perinaise – hello!) I’m continuing to bullet journal. I’m changing my savings ‘plan’ because I’m not entirely happy with how I did it in 2019.
How do you feel about the January start? Have you ever had a similar feeling of coasting, but actually quite enjoying it?