Very occasionally it takes until deep into February to be able to put words to the page and write about what it is my yearly theme is going to encompass. I definitely don’t plan it this way but that’s kind of the thing… and it’s something that I’m noticing and reflecting on in particular at the moment. When I made my own spin on this resolutions/goals/yearly focus technique (it’s definitely not mine or unique to me), I wanted it to work on my subconscious. I’m an overthinker, I’m anxious – I wanted to try and have a system that wouldn’t encourage that in an unhealthy way. I wanted it to be working whether I was actively doing things or thinking about it or not.
So what the means is, you can’t have it both ways, either you set it up to run through intuition and subconscious feeling and go with that, or you block it out, schedule it and adhere to it (or pick a new system). So, sometimes despite the fact it makes me antsy, it takes until deep into February to be able to really express my thoughts about the year ahead, my theme and the year’s enquiry. I could change this and make it more structured, but especially with where I am in my life right now, I value things that strengthen my subconscious and put things outside of the realm of my conscious control and overthinking tendencies.
So here we are, deep in to February 2020 and I let got of ‘Plateau’ quite a while ago, I felt the transition into my new enquiry – well before I had a chance to think about it much or consider what I might hope for out of this enquiry. My 2020 theme is Emerge. So last year, with Plateau what I wanted was to move forward, but not push myself outside my comfort zone and try and prioritise self-care, and rebuilding resilience and continuing to recover from burnout. And now in 2020, I want to take that progress and continue. But I want to push a bit further, I want to edge outside my comfort zone, tackle some inner baggage and try and appreciate where I am now and what I want in the future.
That’s actually a critical point that I only realised this past week. The future. I’ve been so in the depths of survival, of getting by, making it through, and even acute recovery that I hadn’t thought about ‘the future’. Critically, that’s what Emerge enables me to do, which is so exciting it’s almost frightening! It has been *so long* since I could contemplate a future, that I felt I had control over and the ability to guide, or fantasise or be ambitious about.
I will also say though, that the ‘future’ is such a weird concept right now as we’re deep in the depths in Australia of political corruption and disfunction, and hopeful optimism doesn’t really make that much sense right now. Stress and anxiety I’m experiencing, like many others around me seems to be pretty rational given the context of the world and the context of our lives and society around us. Even when we speak up, it’s shouted down, we’re ignored and we’re exhausted enough that we just keep on going. Like others I will keep working to change things and I sincerely and genuinely hope for better, but it bears acknowledgement amidst any shiny discussion of the future and possible things. (We’re at a point where even ordinary ambition is tempered by the political climate and the challenges therein, how does this even make sense – it DOESN’T).
So what does Emerge mean to me right now? This is the beginning, although I’ve been reflecting for a couple of weeks already. I came across this beautiful piano sequence as I hunted for inspiration to help my words. I’ve kept playing it over and over this week while I’ve gathered my intention to properly write. I think there’s a lot in the sequence that speaks to me right now, I hope you enjoy it too.
Again, I’m not going to set specific goals, but there are some areas that I’ve noticed are important to me, and so those are the things I’ll mention right now. I think more than many themes, I need to not put boundaries around this theme and instead, let it happen and let myself stretch as I’m able to and as opportunity allows.
I want to continue to be the best midwife I can be. My focus here remains on being kind, being the best colleague I can be, giving the best care I can, trying to improve things overall. That hasn’t shifted, and I think I could probably own this as a lifetime goal. I want to continue to broaden my clinical experience, return to practising in birthing suite among other things. I want to pitch to the National Conference, something reflective about practising currently, maybe with a midwife friend. I will also continue to study my Master’s degree, because that will fuel all of this. And fuel my self-care that sits between doing the best I can for an individual family, and wanting to improve the system overall. I will persist.
I continue to work on my health, pain management. This year it looks a little like tackling a long-standing phobia of exercise. I’m working with a really loving and kind personal trainer who is lovely. My goal is simply to ‘not hate it’ so that I can start to unravel the trauma history and gain the benefits of exercise that include not only improvements around my hypermobility and health, but also those elusive endorphins I know are in the offering – I just can’t reach them right now because of trauma. I’ll get there. So far so good, this is already in progress and I’m hopefull. Here’s to fitness professionals who really listen and engage and don’t pretend or make things up or otherwise, but instead take someone at their word and make them feel safe and supported.
I plan to continue as I did last year, my Goodreads goal is 75 books but I’m not-so-secretly hoping to make 100. I will also re-sign up to the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge (this here will in fact be my pledge post). I pledge at the ‘Franklin’ level to read at least 10 books and hopefully review 6 of them (likely this will be through Goodreads). Mostly I plan to let this be an area of leisure and enjoyment rather than work. That said, continuing to look for new authors and stories from diverse backgrounds remains one of my aims.
Reading leads on to self-care. This is such a constant thought for me, it’s never far from my overthinking brain and so I’m trying to acknowledge that I already do so much, consistently for self-care – the boring not indulgent type of things like sleep hygiene, stress management, health things, as well as leisure time and down time. It’s still a work in progress, I suspect it always will be, but I will continue to focus on making time for myself and putting msyelf first in my own life. I am hoping to be better with social contact and spending time with friends and even meeting new people this year. I’m still skin-hungry and lonely in some ways, but all things in time, but I’m keeping that in mind as well. But not rushing. Mostly I want to spend meaningful time with my loves connecting with them and appreciating my connections and relationships. Anything else is a bonus.
In summary… Emerge is, gently edging out of my comfort zone, starting to push forward, starting to excercise my ambition. It’s about letting myself *feel* ambitious. It’s about cultivating my confidence and sense of power, as well as continue to centre those in my care as a midwife in how I practice – but making sure I continue to be the best advocate I can for them. I’m not in such an acute recovery state anymore – healing is still ongoing, but I’m finding equilibrium again. I can move forward. 2020 is about progress, after everything I’ve been through, it’s the year I Emerge. I’m a little frightened, and nervous. But I’m also excited to push myself and see what is possible. I want to try as hard as I can – I don’t want to be the person who holds me back. So here I am trying to prove it. Here goes *everything*.