We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.
It’s nearing the end of second week of the new year, so I do realise that I may slightly late to the party in terms of putting what my thoughts about what I hope 2016 will bring… But better late than never, right? I’m choosing not to call this a resolution, but rather my theme for the year. The word resolution, in my mind, is set up for failure and conjures up images of breaking diets and giving up on the gym in February. This year, I’m looking to get strong. Not just physically but mentally as well.
I’ve started this year hungry. Hungry for change but hungry to learn and to begin to chart out my hopes and dreams. I’m restless with ideas and a vision for where I want to be. But part of that hunger is also about recognising the steps that I need to take to get there and the areas that need to be strengthened.
I touched on the physical limitations that I’ve allowed myself to believe over the years, and how in 2015 I broke some serious physical and mental barriers in this blog post. In 2016, I’m pushing myself to go harder and to get stronger. For me, it’s not about losing weight but about embracing and respecting the power of my body, and enjoying life in it. I love the high of getting through my second set of burpees, sweat dripping and the beats of Eye of the Tiger pushing me on. It’s taken me a long time to realise that I am at my best when I work out – not just physically but mentally as well. I’m slowly training myself to pick up my trainers, and not the glass of wine or bar of chocolate, when I feel down. Somehow, the world looks better when I’m physically spent, hair a mess and muscles trembling. In that moment, I feel like a champ.
I miss being a student. I don’t think I ever fully appreciated the privilege of being a first-year university student with an array of opportunities to learn across a wide variety of disciplines. It’s only now when I realise how fast the world is changing, and how much I need to know and understand to forge my career path. That window of being a sponge with the chance to soak up knowledge is something I would love to do over. That being said, I’ve committed to learning in 2016. Thanks to some fantastic courses on Udemy and their resolution promo code, I’m working my way through a content marketing course and I’m excited for the opportunities that it will bring. Here’s hoping!
As a South African living abroad, I’m beginning to feel further and further removed from the issues of South Africa as I am no longer as close to the pulse of what’s happening in my homeland. As I scan Facebook and Twitter, things back home feel volatile and I’m incensed at the rampant racism that still exists and made headlines only a few weeks ago. Whereas previously, I’ve felt like I had a handle on the injustices on the past or understood South Africa’s history, I’m now realising just how far my white privilege has removed me from these issues, and how much I can’t ever fully understand. But I do want know more and to connect. And so I’m working my way through a long list of South African books that tackle so many of the historical issues which are still at play today. First on my list is County of My Skull, by Antjie Krog, which focuses on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission findings. Three chapters in and I’m amazed at how some of Krog’s observations still ring true – 18 years since the book was published.
That’s it. It may seem small but to me these are big things that I’m making a priority this year and that I hope will help to change how I perceive both myself and the world.
Do you have a theme for 2016? Or any book recommendations?