New Year, New me! A tale of gratitude and helping
Updated: Apr 12, 2020
Silence is broken by a series of ‘beeps’. I reluctantly open my eyes. Impersonating an unwilling teenager, I groan amidst the shock and surprise. Then I leap out of bed like an uncoiled spring, as today’s the first day of the year. The past two weeks have been excessive; too much food, too much drink, so much cheer! I remember the night Santa left for his trip. So much laughter and joy in the air. Churches and bars filled with smiles, song and glee. Perfect moments to capture and share.
As I land from leap and my feet touch the floor, I head to the mirror that is next to the door. I stare at my reflection; I study my face, relieved that I’ve got resolutions in place. My cheeks have become puffy and so has my belly. When I walk, I feel like I wobble like jelly. Therefore, I suck-in my stomach and I suck-in my cheeks. What a picture? This will be me in only five weeks.
In six months, I’ll be shredded, with not one ounce of fat. Each day I’ll do yoga, I’ll be as supple as a cat. I’ll stay away from carbs, I won’t eat after six. I’ll eat celery sticks, won’t go near pick and mix. These bingo wings will go. No more shame of the wobble. I’ll have the perfect life of an Instagram model.
These resolutions will be the springboard to my future success. I’ll turn heads with the number of cars I possess. I’ll be a millionaire before 50. I’ll have dates every night. It’ll take less than a second for people to swipe right. I’ll be powerful yet humble with my own TV show. I’ll have a 7 bedroom mansion on millionaire’s row.
I put on my running shoes, then a quick stretch to get limber. The first step is hardest when the goal’s to lose timber. My playlist in place as I bolt out of the house. The transformation will be breath taking; to lion from mouse!
I’m onto the road. 100 yards in I run up to a guy with a bottle of gin. Outside a shop-window, sitting alone on the floor. To get even drunker is his hangover cure. He’s surrounded by blankets and old tatty clothes. There’s a cut above his eye and dried blood around his nose. A cup in his left hand and as he begins to beg, I’m taken aback …….He’s just got one leg!
I judgingly stare but trip and fall on my face, he comes rushing over to help me. I feel such a disgrace. No feeling in my thigh, my hamstring is gone. No chance to stand-up, no way to carry on. Yet as he stands tall above me, he puts out his hand and says ‘come on, get-up, it’s going to be grand. I’m sure it hurts now but you’ll be alright, you should never go out running when your hamstring’s so tight!’
My embarrassment-level skyrockets ever so high. I’ve just been helped up by a homeless guy. As New Year’s goes, it’s a terrible start. But he’s optimistic and compassionate, with a huge caring heart.
I begin to feel egotistical, I begin to feel rude. Beginning to feel ungrateful, that I lack gratitude. I have a flat that has heating, I buy my own food, I have so much security I walk around in the nude.
I’m stunned and ashamed at how selfish I could be, as each of my resolutions is all about me! If I shift my perspective, I’m certain to see, that the world turns for everyone. Not solely for me! It’s clear to see that my resolutions are wrong. I’ve been focussing inwards for far too long.
My new friend has inspired me to get on the right track. ‘Do a good deed for others, it always comes back.’ No more self-centred resolutions. The pendulum has swung. My quest to help others has now begun.
We say our good byes as I hobble back home, I greet strangers with a smile and I feel less alone. I say ‘good morning’ to others and they say it straight back. A positive feeling … who needs a six-pack?
I will do things for others. I’ll start it today! I’ll make a trip to my local Repair Café! I’ll fix things and make things, build communities too. Where I’ll repair the old, no need to buy new. I’ll learn a new skill and then teach my new trick, in a place where gratitude and kindness makes people tick. I’m thankful for this morning, such positivity. This is a New Year and It’s a new ‘helping’ me!