Plain Speaking, Psychology

Clearing My Spindle, Cleaning My Bowl

Let’s be clear: I could write at length about renovation in one of its generally accepted senses. I could write about the house we’ve been building and renovating for over three decades, and which still has a couple of unpainted surfaces of the original drywall for the interested to view at will (don’t call me, I’ll call you). I could write about my almost-complete set of DeWalt 20v Li-Ion cordless tools. Or about my heavy-duty Bosch hammer drill. My three chain saws. My small cement mixer. And I could wax lyrical about all the uses I’ve put each of them, and their dozens of forbears, to since 1986, and what I plan to do with them this year.

But, right now, I’d rather talk about headspace. Mine. Here goes:

I gave up making New Year’s resolutions years ago. No more “this is the year I finally build that wet room I’ve wanted for decades,” or “I bet that over the course of the next twelve months, if I just set my mind to it, I can transform myself from ‘frumpy old grandma’ into to the mischievous and energetic gamine who still lives inside me somewhere,” or even, “perhaps I can resolve to keep the McDonalds and Starbucks detritus out of the car for the foreseeable future, so that the mice don’t invite themselves in quite so frequently for parties with the leftovers, leaving their own little presents in the cup holders and the glove compartment as they go.”

None of that. Promising, and then acting on, such things is just too much work, and, inevitably, disappointment looms. Because no matter how desperately I want to have hit rock bottom in my life, I never seem to have got there, and there’s always some place lower to sink. So, with apologies to those of you who know me — tired, messy, bewildered, grumpy, overweight, and clumsy Granny is pretty much what it is, for the duration. Get used to it. Deal with it. Love it, or leave it. I’m working on being fine with it, either way.

What I have tried to do for the last several years though, is use the “New Year” as an excuse to review where I am in relation to others in my life; the good things I have done and (shock, horror!) the transgressions I’ve committed. And I try to sort them out, clear them out and zero the balances, so that the new, refreshed, renovated me can go forward in a clean and uncluttered way, without whatever baggage that’s accumulated between me and others over the previous twelve months.

Now, (this will surprise a few of you) I’m not Pollyanna. Sometimes, my idea of ‘clearing the spindle’ (love that metaphor because it works with both my technology career and my crafty instincts) involves telling others to buzz off or get lost. Sometimes, ‘cleaning my bowl’ (h/t The Buddha) fussles a few boogies in its own right. But, really, it’s about moving on, and sometimes that’s what it takes. More often, though, because I’m a pretty friendly and sociable being, it involves acknowledging my many faults, asking for help, forbearance, or forgiveness, and hoping that my friends understand that I’m as imperfect as they are. And then letting the chips fall where they may.

Sometimes I’m lucky, and those chips fall on my side. Sometimes, I’m not, and they don’t. Sometimes, I just don’t know where they fall. I can only do what I can do. It is what it is, and here I still am.

The best I can hope for, is a reasonably fresh start. Not exactly a new me, but the best that my tired, fussled, battered, and befrazzled old self can manage in the circumstances.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Do you have your own special routines for each New Year? Please share.

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