Yes, you read that right. I’m getting a jump on things and letting go of 2017. I’m so tired of feeling behind on everything that I thought I’d just go ahead and cut to the chase. So I’m already letting go of everything that is not going to serve me in 2017. Rather than setting a bunch of goals that cause me stress and make me feel frustrated and inadequate, I’m just surrendering to the reality of my situation as a working mother and wannabe entrepreneur. I’m letting go of the guilt that I haven’t done enough or that I’m somehow just not enough. I’m releasing the new year from the clutches of my grand expectations. Because I’m too busy chasing this baby to be chasing my dreams right now. There was a time when she was my dream, and I might as well just enjoy her.
Instead of doing more, I’m going to do less. Instead of dreaming big, I’m just going to sleep a little more.
Because if 2016 has taught us anything, it is to accept the groundlessness of this life on earth. We don’t get to live forever – especially if we don’t take good care of ourselves. And if this year taught me anything as a mother, it is that little one is not going to slow down for me, and I’ll be honest – I do find myself grieving the rapid loss of her first year. But I’m not going to catch up with her or with myself at the rate I’m going, and I can’t go any faster. I may always be a little too slow for myself and for my big ideas… I will not be able to reach the completion of my never ending to-do list. So, I’m going to drop it – which may turn out to be the best idea that I’ve ever had. At the very least it is good enough.
Please join me in the big release:
Step 1 – Notice the feelings that are coming up as you say good bye to 2016: there may be a combination of feelings from gratitude to frustration, bewilderment, loss and everything in between. This is groundlessness. Just be with it. There is nothing to do about it. Just breathe through it.
Step 2 – Notice the tendency to want to do something – to think ahead to how next year is going to be better. To think that you are going to be better or somehow different. To take all of the disappointment from 2016 and to project it onto 2017 under the guise of new plans, lists and goals. No need. Just sit in that groundlessness of letting go. We don’t really know what is going to happen. So this is it. This is now. This is enough.
Step 3 – Just keep going with the letting go. It is a never ending process, and there is nothing to do about it except to be with it.
And now you have already met all your goals for 2017 and beyond!
You are free to enjoy your new year…
I can’t claim to be any kind of mindfulness guru – far from it actually. But from time to time I take refuge in the teachings of Pema Chodron. Her work has inspired me to write about this process of letting go of my expectations.