Happy New Year!
Welcome to 2016!
I know this next year has some amazing things in store for us, and I’m excited to see what they are!
How was your 2015? What events really shaped you?
For me 2015 was an epic year which included 3 months worth of travel, being touched by a wild Gorilla, meeting some humbling people and the birth of my second child.
What are you looking forward to in the next year?
I’m looking forward to reading more books, digging deep with my friends and family, enjoying more creative time and learning to garden.
When it comes to the new year, I imagine most of us, even if we aren’t goal setters, have a vague list of the things we want to achieve, or at least avoid.
A lot of resolutions and intentions are centred around becoming a better version of us. Have you noticed how much they are to do with changing, upgrading, learning, evolving, mastering, remembering, and/or being better?
So how do you hope to grow?
Who do you want to see in the mirror in a year?
One of my goals, and one of the things I explore through these posts, is getting better at relationships.
Better in my relationship with myself, my faith, my partner, my family, my friends, the world and those I interact with.
For me, the new year is also a centering reminder that change is a regular feature of our lives whether we have planned for it or not. Living in this world, change seems about as certain as the earth spinning, although I find it strange how much change still manages to surprise us.
Each day is different, we get older, we learn, our environment alters, people come and go, it’s all around us. In fact it’s hard to think of many things that really stay the same, although many things give us the illusion that they do.
However, I also wonder, especially when we celebrate changes like a new year, why do we get so bothered when things, like people, change?
I’m sure we have all seen friendships break, marriages shatter, business partnerships fail because ‘they’ve changed’.
Why has change become such a bad thing? Do people really regress that much? Is it really bad or just different?
When it comes to the people we know, I’d like to suggest that usually it’s not because that person has gone back a page, it’s actually because now they are a page in front of us.
Perhaps once we were all on the same page and now things are different, the dynamic is different, our friends are saying unexpected things about something we haven’t explored, there’s this ‘awkwidity’ in the air.
Ponder this a moment, what are your thoughts on this?
As much as it’s up to me, I don’t want any of my relationships to crumble because of change. This new year, especially as a lot is new for me right now (house, town, country), I don’t want the change in me and my life to push out existing relationships.
So how do I plan to avoid being left behind in relationships because “they have changed”?
My plan is to be mindful of change, and to change in their direction (not changing in the same way, but each changing, together).
I don’t think we need to find the same enlightenment about things or rearrange our lives to fit something they have recently discovered is the ‘best thing ever’, for this to happen.
I think it is enough to know where they are at and how they got there, and why this is significant for them on their journey of life. Consciously upgrading our knowledge and understanding of each other keeps us on the same page and that’s what I plan to do with those around me.
In some situations, this might involve trying something different like a new food or activity with our loved one, meeting someone new that is special to them, or mastering a new skill that we can use together.
Again, I don’t think understanding, keeping up with, and respecting the change doesn’t mean we have to always do/like/deem important the things that our friends/partners/family/co-workers/pets do.
Staying on the same page with each other’s lives, and acknowledging and respecting what is important to each other is more important than if we all have exactly the same passions and pastimes.
Confused how to start? The best method for me, is asking sincere questions.
‘What do you like about that game?’
‘Can you explain to me how this sport is played?’
‘How did you make that?’
‘What makes that place so great to go back to?’
‘How are you finding life with two kids?’
The more you practice the easier it gets, but, fair warning, you might discover as you learn that something you found really boring at first, is actually kind of interesting, or addictive even.
So in 2016, let’s expect change, let’s embrace change in our lives and others lives for 365 days, not just a few!
Let’s turn the chorus of ‘they’ve changed’ into a triumphant anthem instead of funeral music!
You will be amazed at what you discover!