Many a time back in my uni days you’d find me with my uni tribe on a dance floor belting out the lyrics to Destiny’s Child’s hit ‘Independent Women’. We had our own dance moves to it and everything (when I say ‘had’, I’d be lying if I said you wouldn’t still find us a few vinos in, pulling them out the hat, despairing husbands looking on trying to pretend they’re not with us).
It was like the anthem of our time – every time we threw our hands up like the song instructed, we embodied the independent women it detailed. Ahead of us the world of work opened up – we were fired up, ready to go and grab our space, claiming our rightful place as the strong, independent women our parents had raised us to be.
My uni tribe have gone on to achieve great things. Their strength leaves me awestruck. It’s an honour to be included as part of their tribe. Not just as mothers, raising our future, but for the personal challenges they look square in the eye and say “think you’re tough? You haven’t met me yet.”. This was even before the challenges 2020 decided to chuck their way.
And yet my darlings, you can bet like so many others, they’ll be thinking that because it’s January they should make some kind of resolution. To change something about themselves that needs ‘fixing’, just because at some point, it went viral that we should start over or look for change come the first month of the year. I get it, it does seem quite fitting doesn’t it, to start something new at the start of a new year. But it’s not a rule. There’s nothing to say we have to, or indeed, that it’s even a good idea.
Look outside at the moment (even better, go for a walk). It is so still. And so quiet! Even the birdsong sounds a little quieter, like the birds realise it’s a time for peace and are tiptoeing about the place like the parents of a newborn that’s just gone down to sleep. Nature isn’t thinking about new starts. Or ruminating over how well she performed last year and what she should do differently this year. She’s resting. She knows that it’s about to all kick off again soon, and so the best thing she can do is take a chill pill and go easy.
And so call me maverick, but I wonder if setting a goal right now might not be in our best interests. What if we took our lead from nature instead (about the most independent of women, ever), and just allowed ourselves to be as we are? No pushing to ‘the next’. No telling ourselves that we ‘must’ or we ‘should’. No comparing ourselves to anyone else.
What if all we really ‘need’ to do, is the bare minimum? And what if the bare minimum is all we can really spare to give, after what we’ve collectively been, and are going, through?
Ladies, it ain’t easy being independent. And what better to bring that point sharply into focus than ALL THIS. So, instead of giving you tips on setting goals and intentions for the year, I’m encouraging you to do one thing instead.
Prioritise yourself. Do one thing every day that nourishes you. Only you will know what that looks like, and what will fit in your circumstances. But make a conscious choice to prioritise you. It’s not selfish, it’s not a luxury, no one will think worse of you (and if they do it says more about them than it does about you). I’d love to know what you consciously choose for yourself – get in touch with me on here.