Happy New Year.
Over the holidays I like to think about the year ahead and try and find a word to sum up my dreams, my goals, my aspirations and all the big and small things I wish to accomplish. My words have included those like, “saying no”, “saying yes”, “taking time” and “contentment”; this year my word is “moderation”.
Do you think that sounds dull and un-inspired? I did um and argh over “moderation” but quickly came to the conclusion that it is a very, very good word.
I can be a little extreme in many ways; not in sports for that would do me a whole load of good.
By extreme I mean to push too hard and too far. I mean that all too frequently I neglect what would be a more moderate approach because I have a crush or obsession that is taking over my concentration. In this case I think of moderation as a set of brakes, a slowing down and a pause, certainly not anything remotely derogatory.
Moderate should not be confused with mediocre.
We never want mediocre, that’s a bad “M” word. Moderate is the way I want to see behaviour; I have come to understand that life does not have to be all or nothing and sometimes there is a middle road. Grey can be friendly and helpful even; all black or all white can be too restricting. Being moderate can mean greater flexibility in all areas of life.
Moderation will mean more time to soak in the beauty of our world, to nourish friendships and to enjoy thinking time. A one-speed throttle does tend to deter moments of reflection and quiet time. I am confident that a move towards moderation will foster contemplation and balance.
“Balance” would be an alternative word for moderation. I feel we all seek balance in our lives more and more and the more we seek the harder it is to find. Balance was once a natural state, the way in which most of us lived, today I fear we have lost sight of the benefits or perhaps we don’t even register the loss.
Oftentimes we start the year with unrealistic expectations and challenges that can only see us fail. Hopefully taking a more moderate approach will mean that our victories are more attainable and therefore that much sweeter.
We would all like to be fitter, leaner, smarter and wiser and any one or more of those emotive words that spin the New Year’s rah-rah. What I am trying to do this year is find an approach that will endure, not only throughout January. Yes I will watch my diet and I will exercise more and work hard to do my very best but in a moderate way. I want to forge patterns of behaviour that will stand me in good stead permanently.
2016, my year of moderation is a tall order. Moderation is not my middle name and quite out of character. Think of all those expressions, “run full speed ahead”, “burn the candle at both ends” and “never stop till you drop”. That sounds like me. It will be a tough one, but I am going to try.
To be continued… xv
images Claude Monet