What Are You Choosing?

As we collectively closed the door on 2020, a month ago now, I told myself that I needed 2021 to be different.

Tired of feeling like a madly ricocheting pinball constantly being batted about, I set some intentions for what I wanted this year to look like. There was a new schedule sketched out with bold, colourful, highlighted boxes. The goal? To seize control and really focus. Ha ha! Thank you to the first 31 days of this year for being my teacher.

We’re living in a time that is so greatly disrupted—in so many different ways—that I don’t think there is any schedule or to-do list that will actually help. What we used to be able to accomplish and achieve just isn’t possible or realistic right now. That’s my realization anyway (after a major inner critic attack). And it’s led me to an important truth.

While I can’t know the next time I will be able to visit my family or friends who live far away; and while I don’t get to decide when my partner goes back to her office, or when our kids no longer have to wear masks all day at school, there is still one thing I have absolute sway over.

How I talk to myself and how kind or unkind I am choosing to be in each moment.

I can make a choice to add to the noise of the already cacophonous world by only focusing on accomplishments and achievements right now and seeing myself as a failure if my schedule goes off the rails. Or, I can choose to be compassionate and remind myself that we are living through a very unique moment in our history, one that is challenging and requires strength and courage. And gentleness.

Our minds are the small rooms that we live in every day. We get to decide what kind of wallpaper we look at and what’s on the sound system.

What are you choosing?

Why not take a moment for yourself right now, pull out a piece of paper and a pen, and write about that small room of your mind. What does it look like in there?

Are you adding to your already pandemic-weary state by also being mean and critical? Are you beating yourself up about not getting enough done? Not being a good enough person/partner/parent/friend/ etc?

Or are you gifting yourself friendliness and compassion and kindness?

Every day, we get to choose again. Welcome to February and a whole new start.