One of the New Year’s Resolutions I make every year is to buy fewer clothes. I’m an emotional op shopper you see. Feel sad, bad, mad… I buy thrifted clothes. The colours and fabrics help. The kind woman at the shop on the corner who asks how I am with a smile in her voice also helps. As does the idea about how the me who wears these clothes will be different to who I am today. She will be a woman of tomorrow.
I’ve tried to justify the op shop habit to myself. Its recycling. Its supporting charity. It’s cheap – you won’t blow your budget. These things are all true but it’s actually about a weakness in intentionality. And that is something I beat myself up about. Over and over and over again.
2019 was a year where on the surface I did Great. Work was good. I shifted to a different team and that turned out to be a very positive change. I acquired an extra part time role in community work that I love. I also started a small freelance writing and editing portfolio side hustle. I considered post graduate study in another city on another island and after travelling there in The Winter I set that future aside (at least for now.)
I had a poetry review published by the New Zealand Poetry Society and have another one due for publication in in the Autumn. I even had my first piece of paid writing accepted for publication. An essay about parenting (or not) in my case when you live with a disability. This was a huge Thing for me as I had put my heart and soul into that piece. That was also why it feels so hard. It’s making me super vulnerable to the world. But I think the benefits outweigh The Fears for I hope it will make readers re-assess some common assumptions and maybe feel (and think about) ability and disability things in a different way.
This essay, titled ‘Good Enough’ was in essence about some of the less good things of my 2019. Well, its themes were longer reaching back in time, but last year I found myself re-visiting the motherhood question in relation to my chronic health issues, my chronic singledom and a re-assessment of my wants and desires. All these things coloured by the approaching big 30… And none of these particularly easy things to think about anyway.
So, while on the surface 2019 was a Good Year. Digging a little deeper, I realised I’d actually been feeling less-than-good rather more than I’d been feeling ok. As I often say to a friend – I was somewhere on the ‘ok-ish’ scale. I could function as a semi-competent adult. I could go to work. Cook dinner. Clean my flat. Watch disaster dramas on TV (I’m a big 911 fan!) and keep most coffee dates with girlfriends penned into my diary.
But the ‘ish’ part meant I went on few romantic dates because of anxiety. It meant I had several weeks of time totalled across the year couched with pain from my Fibromyalgia. It meant sometimes crying in public toilets because getting home again felt so hard. It meant I snapped at friends because of my pain when they were just trying to help. Or sometimes I’d forget to take my morning meds and the world would be slapped grey and everything would feel Bad.
I loved where I lived. But still thought about moving away often. I knew that doing yoga on a daily basis helped. But I didn’t always do it. I held off on taking pain killers to test my Strength of Will. This just resulted in lost sleep and grumpy moods.
So yeah on the surface it was a Great Year, going a bit deeper, Not So Much.However, I had the best New Year’s I’ve probably ever had. I invited two new friends over to my hilltop house and we communed with the Kaka (New Zealand native parrots), ate healthy nibbles (toasted nuts, veggie sticks, rice crackers) and ordered pizza from a place called Hells. Like me, they are minimal drinkers. We laughed a lot. We had deep and meaningful conversations. We watched silly You-Tube videos. We planned to write affirmations and paint the pages with flowers and stars.
This NY was a stark contrast to some in the past where I’d been left feeling deeply lonely. I might have been with other people but felt set apart because of Health Things and having to leave early. I’d spent the last two New Year’s immersed in books. I read historical fantasy novels where lonely woman were seers and soothsayers. They could see different futures even if they didn’t know which of these would come true. I remember I’d liked the poetry of this.
This 2019/2020 New Year’s I was anything but lonely. For even after my friends had left and I was sitting out with a solar lantern on my deck in the summer dark handwriting in my journal I felt such a wonderful sense of abundance and positive energy flow through me. I felt like the next year, fuck, the next decade, was going to be different. I won’t say The Best (I’m no Soothsayer) but I would work hard to make it Better.
As a Woman of Tomorrow, I wrote that I would be more social and instigate more events.
As a Woman of Tomorrow, I wrote that I would better connect with my artistic self and get back into painting and sewing. I’d try to actually make a few completed works from the many visual diaries I’ve filled over the years. Draw every day. Maybe try and sell a few pieces too…
As a Woman of Tomorrow, I wrote that I would finish my debut novel and submit it to a traditional publisher for consideration.
As a Woman of Tomorrow, I wrote that I would live better in the Today that was Yesterday’s Tomorrow.