New year, but new you?

Ah, January 1st, 2018. We’ve been hearing it everywhere for the last few days. It’s a Monday, the first day to the new year. The perfect day to start again.

But to start what, exactly?

I work in the fitness culture, so I’ve been around it all weekend. Weight loss goals! Time to stop eating! Last supper meals! The clients say it to me, how they come to spin in order to burn off all the food they’ve been eating. I smile politely, but my insides are raging. If you listen to the instructors, they are not shaming anyone, they just want you to show up. All it takes sometimes is showing up.

Why are we always trying to be smaller? To be less? Why don’t we exercise because it feels good to move our bodies, because our bodies were made for moving? Why can’t we just eat. Just, eat. Not talk about eating or regret eating or feel shame and guilt and agonize over eating. Eat the food. Move the body.

It is good to care for ourselves. It is essential, obviously. We are created good and worthy and with so much dignity. How do we honor that? How do we dive into that? Self care looks different on everyone. We cannot put into a box all the ways we need to love ourselves better.

But what is really getting to me this new year is the emphasis on change. On being better. On doing more. Like we were all supposed to wake up this morning and have our lives together. Doesn’t that take, I don’t know, a lifetime?

These last few months for me have been challenging. It’s been a quieter moment in my life. I started a new job which I love, but requires that I work two other side hustles in order to not be drowning financially. I’m tired. Like, really tired. Like go to bed at 8pm, tired. I haven’t spent a lot of time in my communities. I work, I care for Levi. Those are my priorities right now. Basic human functioning, I think you call it. Stay alive. There are other stresses in my life that can emotionally assault me if I’m not paying attention, which I haven’t been. The rapid and horrifying decline of my father’s brain. My sickness rearing its ugly head and attacking my own body. My son, crying out for his father in such agony that it rattles me. So, sometimes it’s easier to just, survive.

We are made to feel guilty for not having it all together. But I refuse. I’ve needed these past few, cold months to hibernate. To rest, sleep, be completely unproductive. I needed to disconnect and just, be. I’ve slacked. I’ve failed. I’ve let people down. It’s ok. It’s totally ok.

So no, in this new year, I’m not going to have a new year’s resolution and try to change all these things about my life. I’m going to continue setting goals and hopefully be chipping away at them. I’m going to come out of my funk eventually because that’s what happens, we overcome it. We’re resilient, we just forget sometimes. I’m going to let unfold what needs to unfold.

Sometimes we want God to just do the work for us. I find myself pointing my finger at Him sometimes, like come on, throw me a bone here. And He’s like come on, get up. So I’ll shake off my dusty self and snap out of it. And I’ll look back at these past fews months and be thankful for them. Now, onto the hustle.

What are we working towards, anyway? What is it all about? What are our jobs, our hobbies, our interests? These goals that we set, what’s the purpose? Jesus is constantly giving us a new beginning. He IS the new beginning. What can I do to serve Him better this year? How can I move away from my own goals, and into His will? Because then, and only then, will the real peace come.

So eat the food. Move the body. Change because we are called to keep going. And laugh. Never forget to laugh.

The girl with a rash on her face,
Johnna

 

Written by SHiFT Blogger Johnna Sullivan