Every year I do a family calendar. This consists of me trawling through a years worth of photos and choosing one of each member of the family for each of the 12 months of the year, even the dog. So, out of 2000+ photos I will choose 84, 7 for each corresponding month of the year. I have done this for the past 4 years and always love to see each of the calendars as I pull them out of the Christmas box. I keep them as they are tiny snapshots of our lives together. Long gone for me are the days of printing a roll of film and then sticking my favourites into an album. Now all the digital images just sit in my Lightroom gathering cyber-dust.
So, here I am again, at the end of 2014 and putting together the calendar for 2015. The first challenge is always to get photos of each of the older girls for each month. Each year this gets harder and harder as they spend less and less time as part of the day-to-day family unit and begin to branch out on their own. They are not interested in family walks on the forest, at work for that trip to the beach or this year, living away from home.
One of the things that has struck me this year is how happy we all look; not because we are not happy, but because sometimes, the day to day living can itself be challenging and this, I feel can cloud the happiness and love that makes our family. I'm also a little surprised at how much we do each month, or at least how much we do that I have taken the camera along for.
The final thing that shocks me is how little has changed. This too can be seen in the pictures. I am still the same size I have been for the past 4 years, despite my constant attempts to diet. Actually, it's just this one thing that makes me painfully aware of actually, how little things have changed despite our talk or desire for them too. Yes, the kids ares growing and changing but I, we, are still the same, or hope and dreams continue to bubble along with the bad habits and behaviours that keep us from achieving them. Perhaps our bad habits and behaviours remain ridgid and inflexible whilst our hopes and dreams begin to waver and shrink.
Here we could argue the need to change, the importance of change, necessity or desire to change; argue for the balance that has to be maintained because of having small kids, even argue about everything being just the way it needs to be at this time. But for me, it is significant. For me, I see all the changes that have needed to be made over the past however many years. For me, the lack of change I see is the pain of always struggling for things to be different and them not being so, of saying the same thing over and over again, across a lifetime.
Albert Einstein said 'insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results'. That's what I see when I look at this calendar. Insanity and the pain of realising I actually thought it would be different.
So, what to do? Change only happens once we have made a decision to change. Unfortunately we are so pre-programmed to follow our Script and do what we've always done that it takes a bit more than simply making the decision. We then have to change our thought processes and behaviours. However this can be tricker than it sounds as being comfortable with what we know and love (even if it is detrimental to us) is what we like to do. Engaging with a good counsellor or therapist can help you see your blindspots and also help you understand why you do those things you do.
So, with the new year fast upon us, I ask, what will you decide to do differently in 2015 and how will you do it, so that next year, when you reflect, you can see the changes you wanted to see?