Journal, Words

More and Less

When I started to make this list, the first decision I had to make was right in the first section. I wrote ‘In 2023, I want’ and immediately felt uncomfortable. Saying I want something seems so forward, direct and impolite. I almost changed it to ‘would like’ to make it sound less aggressive but I stopped myself. There is nothing on this list that I should not have in my life and so it is completely reasonable to want these things.

I want a more reflective year with time to think about what is happening in my life for longer than the usual January blogging spurt. I also want to stop wasting hours stuck in a state of paralysis scrolling on Instagram – when I heard the term ‘scrolling paralysis’ I had a serious a-ha moment: that is exactly what it feels like! It feels like I can’t stop like I am stuck and despite knowing I am tired, or too busy for such nonsense, I find myself unable to Put The Phone Down. I have set up my screen time reminders again which has helped but I need to do even better in 2023.

I cannot be alone in experiencing a real lifting of mental load when lockdown had us cancel all our plans and removed the burden of socialising. For a gregarious and extroverted human, I sure do like some quiet alone time and I can find socialising both invigorating and draining at the same time, which makes things very confusing. That period of isolation totally got me out of the habit of making regular plans to meet up with friends and there are some we just haven’t seen nearly enough of in the last two years. Whilst I remain fiercely protective of quiet time for writing and reflecting, I do want to make sure I am seeing those people who have enriched my soul over the years.

The third intention links very much to the first one in that I want to make sure I am not spending unnecessary time in front of a screen. The word ‘unnecessary’ is key here: if I want to write and blog more, I need to spend time in front of my laptop or computer screen. But I do want to avoid unnecessary screen time: spending hours looking for resources to plan a lesson when I can just make something simple; spending hours researching a chair for my office, or for the living room, or the holiday we want to go on; or whatever else I am doing, particularly if these things do not ultimately come to fruition or bring me joy. I just want to be more mindful of time in front of the screen, especially when that screen is my phone.

Finally, I am borrowing this distinction from Kendra Adachi of Lazy Genius fame. If you want to be smarter about how you tackle things in your life, I seriously recommend her podcast and her two books. They have helped me many times. This new year, she challenged the usual wording of resolutions and I felt particularly drawn to the one which suggests you ‘tend’ to yourself rather than trying to ‘fix’ yourself. So much kinder, don’t you think?

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