The new year rushed in through the front door, chasing the old one out of the back. Fireworks lit up the skies. My phone was busy delivering new year wishes from family and friends, and people I scarcely know.

I slipped into bed not long after, and woke up feeling refreshed and raring to go. I grabbed pen and paper and starting writing down my new year resolutions – things I wanted to do, things I thought I ought to do, things that I had resolved to do last year but never got round to. (If I think about it, losing weight has been a resolution every new year for as long as I can remember.)

Then I made a cup of tea and sat down with the last tin of festive biscuits close at  hand.

The resolutions that had seemed so imperative just a short while ago now looked like an incredibly long list of things for me to do. It was going to keep me busy for quite a while. I read through the list again, and something jumped out at me. This was a list of tasks to be completed. There was very little about me.

You know, the self-care type of activity. After all, things get done much better if I am feeling good about me. I am the essential item for all of these resolutions, the key ingredient, yet I had left this out.

So I scrapped that long and challenging list. Instead I wrote a list of what I could do to make me feel better, more inspired, more valued.

My single resolution  to look after me has a very different feel. I will take the time to look after my skin, using those creams and oils I have been so thoughtfully gifted. The coconut oil will moisturise my dry skin – why on earth do I keep ignoring the scaly patches when I could do something about them? The lavender oil will soothe me before sleep. The biodegradable facemask leaves my face feeling lovely.  The warm heady scent of my new perfume makes me breathe deeply to enjoy the aroma.

The eye drops my optician recommends will only work if I put them in several times each day as he advised. The cardiologist wants me to self-manage my medication, checking my heart rate daily to decide if I need to take a tablet or not. This I will remember to do. I will record in my diary the date my next prescription meds are due so there is no fear of finding an empty box on the shelf.

I will take time to sit with my feet up each day. I will make time to enjoy the small stuff. I will make time for my pagan beliefs. Yesterday I attended a dark moon ritual via Zoom. Thank you Zanna for the invite.

If I treat my own self-care as important, if I give me permission to spend time on me, then I am sure everything else will fall into place. I may well achieve some of those things on that initial long list, and I accept that some I will not.

Resolutions are not a stick to beat yourself with – they should be an incentive for an achievable target. And looking after me seems an acceptable one.

Wishing you a great new calendar year.

Portland Jones – Disabilities Liaison for Pagan Federation Midlands