I have spent a month indulging: spending, eating, drinking, skipping the gym and saying yes to dessert. I know I can’t be the only one feeling like I need a good detox, right? I have been looking forward to the New Year as a natural transition into better habits; January is the perfect time to set some good boundaries and take some ground in whatever area I feel I am lacking at the moment. The health and wellness industry knows this cycle well, and uses it to their advantage, issuing an abundance of messages to make me feel just a little bit disgusting for my indulgence last year, in order to motivate me to better myself. These images can help me identify those places I am lacking. Thanks, advertisers!
This month, for instance, I will see a multitude of ads recruiting me to join a new gym. I will wade through a barrage of online chatter about “new year, new you” recipes. Banking institutions will offer me budgeting software and debt reduction tools.
January is the month of self-regulation, self-discipline, fasting, and detoxing. So I thought it appropriate to offer up my version of a New Years Detox.
This month, I will exercise my ability to play with my kids on the playground. I am so thankful that my body works like it does! I will engage in their play: I will kick the ball and ride my bike with my eight year old. I will swing on the swings (and get a little queasy) with my six year old, and I will pick up “treasures” on a walk with my four year old. I won’t skip the gym, necessarily. Working out allows me some alone time – for self-care and creating endorphins – and I will be thankful for this gift. But I won’t work out because I hate my post-holiday body and I want a “new me.” This month, I will detox from the negative thoughts/imagery that try to make me believe that I am not loveable as I am.
This month, I will cook with my children, and I will try to enjoy it. I am so thankful they want to be with me! I will simplify my recipes so their “help” doesn’t make me as crazy. I will give them their own cutting boards and those amazing nylon knives they have, and let them chop their hearts out while I prep the salad fixings. I will pour a glass of wine with my husband to share (even when the meal is just leftovers) and just practice thankfulness that the way we get to eat is just so ridiculously rich – literally and figuratively. This month, the only recipe I cling to is: food + family + thankfulness = joy.
This month, I will give more generously. My “new year” January budget won’t prevent me from noticing opportunities to share, and God forbid I hoard another dollar for myself that I could use to bring joy or freedom or dinner to someone else. Instead of clamping down my spending so that we can save, save, save? This month, I will recognize my abundance and say “yes” to every opportunity to give.
This month, I will detox from ungratefulness. Why am I so quick to forget all that I am thankful for? I will remember how blessed I am to live in this country, in this city, in this family, in my home. I will thank God in every moment that I can for the actual reasons I am so thankful this year. Not a rhetorical “count your blessings” sort of activity, but ACTUALLY counting by writing in a brand new notebook my ACTUAL reasons to be thankful. If (when!) anything causes me to believe for one instant that I am not enough, I will reject it. I will say NO to that. No, sir. That is not true. I do not have to look different, or cook different, or spend better to be better in 2017.
So my unconventional “New Years Detox” plan is simply this: This month, I am setting aside ungratefulness.