Happy New Year! Can I say “Seasons greetings”? It’s still a season or is it a seasonal phrase used seasonally?
It’s a whole new year… for some. For most? 2022 AD. 2022 years after Jesus was 6. Not sure why we recognise how long it’s been since his 6th year but sure ok. When I was 6 I was coding on my C64. Bet he can’t top that. He probably didn’t have any New Year Resolutions, what with being 6 and all. I used to do the whole resolution thing but after failing year after year I became resolute in abstaining from resolutions. 2+ years clean. Result! Wait, was that a resolution I actually did so I failed? Er…
While I don’t do New Year Resolutions I try and set a yearly theme. Something to tie the year together and that won’t cause me depression if/when I give up on the 6th of January. The aim isn’t to set a goal. “Loose 10kg by April” or “Read 10 books by Christmas”. Those resolutions put pressure on you to perform. For some people that can be good. For me I know my ADHD will cause me to be too distracted over the year and come the end of the year I will feel like I failed. Depression is triggered at the most stressful time of the year. Nope. Not doing it.
Last year the theme I set was “Year of something else.” 2020 was a messy tragedy of a year and not one of those fun ones you write a play about. It was bad. I lost 80% of my income which was 100% based on commissioned photography jobs. 2021 needed to be something different. I set an intention for the year or a yearly theme if you will. “2021. The year of something else.” What that was I couldn’t say. I shouldn’t say because if I didn’t achieve it I failed, and then depression.
What did the “Year of something else” turn out to be? I had a few paid writing jobs. It’s been about 10 years since I was commissioned to write anything. It felt good. There was no “Earn £xxxx from writing by xxxx” ultimatum. All I had to do was something else and I had. Job done. I swam naked in the waters of Wales. That was certainly something else on top of my normal swimming. I read about being non-binary, had my egg crack, and realised I too was non-binary. That was seriously something else. I found new friends via Twitch. I turned my Mac into a PC. I made bread (basic tin loaf nothing fancy). I considered becoming a life model which was a fleeting idea once I learned you had to hold poses for long periods of time. I managed my finances during the worst year ever. Let me tell you, that was something else and a half.
For 2022 I’m going with “The year of courage and connection.” Is that 2 themes? Maybe. It does take courage for me to connect with people whether that is via DM, out in the world, email, phone, etc. My hope for the year is that I can connect with more people, grow things and build on projects. That’s a hope not a promise. If at the end of the year all I’ve achieved is the building of a new Lego set well I still did it. I connected Lego bricks together. Job done.
Last year I decided to reframe the butterfly feeling in my stomach, that oddness you feel when anxious, as the feeling of courage. The feeling that I’m doing something I will look back on and be glad I did. That can be anything from trying new food to cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats. I guess you could say it’s that feeling of trusting your gut. If I’m a little scared I know it is good for me.
Remember. Don’t apply stress. Apply intention. Something to remind you through the year when you need direction.
If you’re going to try this let me know what you’re doing and if it is ok I’ll share some next week with people.
- Cortex Podcast#123: 2022 Yearly Themes
- Cortex Podcast#110: 2021 Yearly Themes
- Cortex Podcast#95: 2020 Yearly Themes
- Cortex Podcast#79: 2019 Yearly Themes - They discuss why it is important to them in this one.
- Lots of theme ideas here - https://www.reddit.com/r/Cortex/
- Haneem Christian celebrates gender abundance through their sensitive photographic portraits
- This Queer Lingerie Photoshoot Proves Sexy Knows No Binary | them.
The next few articles are fascinating. I enjoyed Johann Hari’s book on depression and recommended it to people. Doh. Turns out it’s basically “Arg! Big Pharma bad!” Mixed with actual useful information mental health profressionals have been recommending people for decades. So skip the self help book and go speak with a trained professional. Meds are good if you can find the ones that work for you.
- Behind the scenes of a Guardian writer debunking Johann Hari (next link)
- Is everything Johann Hari knows about depression wrong? | Science
- Antidepressants: Please, PLEASE, do not just abandon your meds! | Depression
- BBC Sounds - 1800 Seconds on Autism - Available Episodes
- WHO/Europe | Life-course approach - Can video games make us healthier?
- Latest coronavirus advice from the National Autistic Society (UK)