One Door Closes

Scan 24So it’s the end of my first full year of posting a doodle a day and as the door to 2017 closes, the window on the next year opens.  This time of year people experience all kinds of emotions on mass.  Relief, sadness, loneliness, excitement and joy all tend to buzz along underneath a kind of generic optimism which invades our collective senses and draws us toward making promises.

To ourselves and each other we pledge that this is the year we will finally gain control over all our flaws.  I will give up alcohol.  I will go to the Gym at least 3 (2, 1, 0) times a week.  I will finally volunteer with that charity who do good works.  This is the time of the year when we focus in on our flaws and promise to do better.  I must start ‘x, I must stop ‘y’.

Scan 25And as the door creaks closed on 2018, I have found myself falling into this very familiar pattern.  I woke up this morning and immediately my thoughts turned to what do I hate about myself that I can resolve to fix come midnight tonight.  However after a cup of tea, my resolve shifted into a more peaceful and open space.  Perhaps it is the snow that fell a few days ago while I was staying with my family in the midlands.  Or the power cut that followed.  Perhaps it was the long train journey with no iPod or entertainment I took yesterday to get home.  It could have even been the short hop across London where my bag was squeaking (don’t ask) and my shoulders were hunched over in the tube in order to crush myself onto the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus.

Scan 22Either way I wasn’t sure what to set as my New Year’s resolution this year.  I started off thinking it could be to not point out all my flaws within myself, and notice when that sharpened sense of judgement spills unfairly over into others.  Through doing a doodle a day over the last year, I have learned that accepting mistakes and working with them makes me much happier then feeding any sense of shame.  It might sound cheesy but I want to greet this year with a fortified sense of forgiveness.  But that didn’t feel quite right.

After some reflection and searching, I could feel myself getting frustrated.  There were so many things wrong with me, where could I possible start?  Why is committing to something so difficult?  I wasn’t kind enough, I wasn’t in control enough,  I’m not good looking, why oh why can’t I find peace!?  Then it dawned on me.  I give up.  Flaws I see you and I accept you.  New Year resolved in a boiled egg epiphany over breakfast.  No stop, no start, just me doing a doodle once a day, every day and accepting everything else that comes and goes with that.

So Happy New Year to you all.  What ever you resolve to do this year, I wish you all the best in your endeavours, and I will see you on the other side of the mid night chime with a fun game to start you all on the right track

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35 thoughts on “One Door Closes

  1. leanne says:

    Hear hear. Sound advice! I feel similar. Adding to what we have feels better than trying to subtract. Happy new year, and happy doodling 🙂 I am envious of the snow! I live further north. Continual rain 😂☂️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mcaimbeul says:

    Okay Phoebe here goes…Stop all negative introspection, you’re a brilliant artist and writer with a sweet personality and are an attractive cute lady as well. You also happen to be a very successful blogger, achieving in one year what many (such as myself) haven’t achieved in 9 years which even tho that could piss others like me off my wife won’t permit me to say anything but, “Oh look at PMu’s new post, isn’t it wonderful” :-)). I hope you’re getting the humor here, we both think you’re great and I’m not looking for any real blogging sucess.) But bear in mind that I’m 68 and have never had 2000 people follow me anywhere and only know of two people who like me, Lori and the dog. I hope this brings a smile, blessings in the new year. Mike and Lori.

    Liked by 2 people

    • PMu says:

      This definitely bought a smile to my face and a big warm fuzzy feeling. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this. Ironically this post has lead me to letting go of some of the introspection, and this comment has given me the last kick up the bum I needed, thank you 🙂
      I hope you both (and the dog) are having a wonderful New Year and congrats on the significant milestone of 9 years x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1bag1life says:

    As a late comer, it’s not an easy task doodling on a regular basis and I enjoy seeing yours and now a new subby. Yes we all go through same thing in New Year but this resolution is that I’m never making a resolution again rather try and make small change throughout the year. Keep on doodlin’ and HNY2018

    Liked by 2 people

  4. MtnWoman Silver says:

    Hi PMU, Your post reminds me that I also am too introspective. Over the years, I have learned to get so busy and focused on some action (painting, gardening, quilting, writing, etc.), I get my mind off myself. Staying in the moment, focusing on each step, I make my way into 2018 after a long year of brooding over relationships, where I am and where I’m going in my art life, and being anxious over the federal political situation. Already, my mood is lifting and I am looking forward with hope. Thank you for this insightful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sjvernon says:

    You are certainly more ambitious over the last year than I have been. Not that I’ve been doing “nothing” but I backed away from trying to keep up my daily cartooning for the most part. I hope to get back to some of that in 2018, though I have not yet.

    Definitely keep your head up and doing whatever your mind thinks up for you… I’m glad to have discovered you during this past Inktober!

    Liked by 1 person

    • PMu says:

      Thank for your lovely comment and for sharing your experience. To be honest I don’t think the frequency is the cruicible part, it’s jut picking a timescale that’s right for you and then stick to it, at first I found that really hard. Now I just never throw anything away in case I have a day I’m not well or too tired I can go back to an old sketch and finish it off rather then start from scratch

      Liked by 2 people

      • sjvernon says:

        Yeah, in my comic strip world’s, the only one who was setting a deadline was me… and I kept not wanting to hit those deadlines, and had a little burnout… I should have been easier on myself to not create that problem, as the people who were reading them didn’t “demand” I do them every day 🙂

        I do scribble notes and doodles on all manner of scratch paper… making lists of random ideas or documenting strange dreams… just in case one day I find a home for one of the random ideas. That is very good practice you are doing. I learned long ago that sometimes a good idea doesn’t have an immediate home, then later you wish you could remember that thing you forgot… so jotting everything down is great!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. My Small Surrenders says:

    I can tell that your mindfulness practice is growing and getting stronger, whether it’s because of your daily doodles I don’t know, but it was a pleasure reading this post. It’s always good to see others growing in self-awareness and learning to love themselves. I believe that’s a big part of what we need for the world to become a better place because when we love ourselves it’s so much easier to love others.

    I know that may be a larger leap than where you see yourself, but that’s what I got from reading this post. Belated Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

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