What Are You Taking Control Of In 2018?

What Are You Taking Control Of In 2018?

Happy New Year friends!! How was everyone’s Christmas break?? Does it all feel a million years ago like it does for me?? I took a little more time away from this space than I expected to over the festive period but honestly, it felt like my brain ceased to function once I left my office. I completely clocked off mentally which is exactly what I needed to do although not what I intended for the blog BUT do you know what?? I’ve more energy for writing now that I have had for months. All I want to do now is write and keep writing and I’m hoping that’ll encourage you guys to keep reading too. Turns out my wee brain needed a rest while my jaw went to work on all things food!

My Mum, sister and I rented a house up on the Donegal coast over the Christmas break which was unexpectedly one of the best holidays I’ve had in a long time. We had the most spectacular view over a wee bay that changed with every hour as all kinds of weather battered us from the Atlantic. We had rain lashing against the sky light of the bedrooms; we had crazy winds practically shaking the house; we even had hail for feck sake which we watched from the living room, making sure to stay warm by the log burner of course. When the sun did decide to shine for a millisecond we would throw the coats and boots on us and run down the lane to an empty beach with our collars pulled up around our ruddy faces and hands jammed in to our pockets. We would return home, wild and weather-beaten, with a hot mug of tea to bring our fingers back to life.

The thing that struck me the most during our week in Donegal (aside from the winter winds) was how in control I felt of my own time. Moments melted in to one another without a single thought towards the next one. We didn’t need to plan ahead or stress about cramming in activities. We slept for as long as we wanted, had meals at screwed up times, took a spontaneous drive if we felt like it. For a person whose life is so wrapped up in plans it was the most liberating feeling to be totally living in the moment.

Now that I’m home in Belfast again I wanted to hang on to that liberation a little longer and drag in to to 2018 with me. I want to take control of how present I am in the here and now. My brain is so full of what lies ahead that I’m never fully engaged with what I’m doing at that moment in time. Books are scanned too quickly instead of absorbing each word that moves me. Music isn’t really listened to in the car because I’m too busy thinking about the destination. Cooking is rushed so I can sit down and eat rather than enjoying preparing the food that will nourish me. All these small moments make up the life I’m living and it has dawned on me that if I’m not truly present in those small moments then I’m not truly living either.

I suppose not having control is something I have been aware of for so long that it’s perhaps warped my own ability to live presently. Being born with CF has taught me that no matter how much I plan, my health can turn in the opposite direction so I try to pack in as many experiences as I can to make sure I’m living as full a life as possible. It’s been my way of taking control and yet in a way it’s prevented me from really experiencing the here and now. Being able to just sit and be mindful of what’s directly in front of me, who I am with, that is surely having a full life.

So that’s what I’m taking control of this year: my present, my here, my now. Old habits die hard so I’m not expecting this new mind-set to come easily but I want to at least try. Instead of always chasing the next experience I want to live as if I have already arrived at the destination. I’ve a wee feeling this will make me a lot happier!

I’d love to know if you’ve decided to take control of something in your life this year so please share! Will you be taking more control of your actions? Your treatment of others? Your choices? Your time? 

Will you be saying no more? Yes more? 

I want to know!

And a little thank you to all who took the time to read this wee blog last year. Every comment, every like or message that you send means the whole world to me and reminds me that I’m not just sending words in to an empty space, that there are wonderful people listening. Thank you so much and I so look forward to sharing more yarns in 2018!  



20 thoughts on “What Are You Taking Control Of In 2018?

  1. I love this Alex. I need to do exactly this! I’m also hoping to learn to say no and to put myself and my family first. I’ve been suffering with pnd and need to be more mindful of my mental and physical health this year! X

  2. Loving this alex! I’ve also experienced exactly what you’re talking about! I’m such a planner and never appear to be living in the moment. I’ve decided also to try more of this living in the now stuff this year too -great read! Loved the descriptions around your visit to the beach 🙂 xoxo

  3. Great post Alex. I have decided to take control of who I let into my life and my health. 2017 was a year which taught me a lot about who I can truly call a friend. I also struggled a lot with my mental health, so I’ve decided to focus more on creating a healthy environment for myself. x

    1. This is such a wonderful sentiment to take in to 2018. I definitely think the older we get it’s more about quality of relationships than quantity. I hope your year is going well so far xx

  4. What a gorgeous post and I’m now filled with so many ideas of getting away to the beach for a few nights, no matter what the weather. Being spontaneous is the best feeling ever. Like you, I love these moments and the free feeling it leaves you with. We don’t do this enough and this has been a fab reminder about going for it. x

    1. I hope you get away for a wee beach escape Annette! Some salty air and a strong sea breeze is the perfect tonic even when it’s freezing cold and you can’t feel your face! X

  5. I love this post. This year I want to take control of saying ‘no’. I’m a busy mum of 4, and every minute of my day is spent parenting, homesteading and trying to find time to write. I keep saying ‘yes’ when friends ask to babysit, or run errands. This year I want to do what I want to do, not what others want me to do. 5 days in and I’ve already agreed to babysit some ones kids next week. I MUST TRY HARDER!

    1. Haha Hazel, you sound like a kind soul so saying ‘no’ wouldn’t come too easy to you. I hope you have better luck this week because you deserve to be good to yourself and a little down time would do you the world of good. Good luck with trying a wee bit harder!

  6. Love this! Christmas was so stressful for me, having to sort everything & everyone out. Dragging the kids round to so many different houses to see people. One year I’d just love to just hire a cabin somewhere and just spend time with my boys not having to worry about everyone else x

    1. Oh my goodness I hear you Toni, I felt like a backpacker for about a fortnight going from house to house! A cabin would be wonderful with the boys, you should be spontaneous and just go for it one year, the visiting can wait until the New Year! x

    1. Absolutely you need to get rid of the toxic people, it’s not always easy but it will leave you feeling so much lighter! Happy 2018 Melanie! x

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