It’s the 31st day of January….phew!
I’m sure I’m not the only one who thought this day would never arrive. January seems to be the month that keeps on giving. It takes forever to be done, and it’s inadvertently the ‘hangover’ month. This is simply because it’s predecessor ‘December’ is the ‘party’ month. We indulge in excesses; whether it is with food, or shopping, or drinking. Then we ring in the new year, and ‘wake up’ to reality. Bills have to be paid, resolutions have to be drafted, and we promise ourselves to be better and do better in this new year.
1) Dry January: It’s always a good idea to shock your body into a fresh new start. While many opt for diets whether it is the Daniel diet as a vegan or the paleo-diet as a carnivore, people want to cleanse their bodies of all the toxins that have built up the whole year. My choice was to partake in the ‘Dry January’ challenge. This simply means no alcohol intake for the whole month. It wasn’t so bad, though by the evening of the 30th, I had to have a little glass of wine. The month was a learning period for me. I realised sobriety isn’t hard. Firstly, there are alternative beverages with zero percent alchohol. I also went through two books written from the perspectives of those so addicted to drink that they had to go to rehab, and wean themselves off stiff drinks. You never want to be forced to go to rehab, and go through what these former addicts went through.
2) Don’t look up: There’s this movie starring Leonardo di Caprio that tells us not to look up. Then it tells us to look up. I’m a bit weary of movies coming out then you realize later there was a message in the movie. Like Bird Box coming in late 2019, and everyone was warned ‘not to look’ then boom!…in 2020 there was a global pandemic and instead of the mask being over one’s face it was over one’s nose and mouth. Anyway, the movie’s great but more than a warning over any impending disasters, there is the urge to care for the environment, and improve it’s present state. Let’s start an army of folks that throw trash in the correct place; instead of tossing bottles, glass, paper anywhere. Global warming, climate change = very very real. The disasters that have happened these past few years have seemed almost apocalyptic. The earth is simply giving us signals that it needs to heal, to be taken care of, to be restored.
3) Pandemic fatigue: Everyone is tired, and weary of the pandemic. Everyone wants things to go back to normal. To how things were before Corona existed. Maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We are learning to co-exist with the virus as it tapers off, while creating new variants. The Omicron variant hasn’t caused as much panic or havoc as Corona did in 2020. Some folks are treating it as ‘just a really bad flu’ that one has, gets over and moves on. More to that there is the pill that is proving effective in the treatment of Corona.
4) Working on a manuscript: I have been blogging for a couple of years now. My travel blog slowed down considerably when I lost my mum. I didn’t have the motivation to continue. As well the start of the pandemic in 2020 impacted my travels. I didn’t travel much and was stuck in Belgium. One of my goals for this year is to complete my manuscript and get my book out. This book will simply capture the essence of life as a black African immigrant in Europe. There have been many stories, many experiences that have been shared with me. It’s been fun dredging up memories and wondering which will be jotted down. The difficult thing about it is that I’m trying to fictionalise everything, changing names or blending personalities as I go along, and trying not to lose the message. I would say more, but for now I encourage my followers to give it time.
4) Be better do better: One of my resolutions is to offer people a helping hand, a listening hear, basically lightening the load of people out there. I’ve learnt that there are so many people in need. As much as I can, I try to fill those gaps. I like what Tony Robbins, a motivational guru says, “Whatever your belief, you should live it, and it should lead to growing and giving.” The two ways I’m growing in my faith is to study more, spend time in God’s presence and essentially, give more. Giving doesn’t just have to be financial. So many people may require more of your time and presence this year.
How about you? What are some ways you plan to be intentional this year?