February is normally the month when New Years Resolutions fade into a distant well-meaning memory, however, I am happy to say that as this month draws to a close I am still plodding on with my Depth Year. For hose who’ve not come across the term before, a Depth Year is a year where you focus more on digging deeper with the projects, relationships and possessions you already have rather than trying to start new initiatives.
Here is where you can find my other Depth Year Diary entries: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Here is a little recap in how I have got on in February with my four big Depth Year goals:
Develop my Writing Skills
This month I have actually found and signed up to a course that I will tell you more about in a future post. The course doesn’t start until later in the year but I am really excited about it. I have also finished reading the Creative Writing Coursebook, which is a book I bought years ago but never got past the first couple of chapters. To be honest, the book was intimidating, this is writing at a level I haven’t attempted before. I am a little bit paralyzed by feeling like an impostor or fearing that I might be coming across as pretentious to even attempt to write. But I have always loved stories and writing, and I think now is the time to shake off the fear of what people might think and just do what I love. In March, I am going to have a proper go at writing some short stories and start putting this new knowledge in to practice.
Deepening my Relationships
My two goals for this area are to have more quality time with Rob and Orla and to meet up more often with our wider network of friends. I still need to do a lot of work to up the quality of the time I spend with my family. I hate to admit it but I know I am on my phone too much, and that can be a big detractor from engaging fully with them. In March, I need to be more disciplined at putting my phone on charge in another room. However, I have been working on doing more of a variety of activities with Orla. She starts school in September so we have been working together on getting her school ready. This week’s big achievement has been learning how to fasten her coat all by herself!
I have made more progress in seeing my wider network of friends which I am really happy about. Part of this is due to us temporarily living at my parents’ house whilst ours is being rewired. Built in babysitters has helped us to meet up with someone every week for the last two months. Even last night, I had a brilliant catch up with a friend and it really lifted my spirits after a hard couple of days. It does me such good to meet up with people but it is a thing I regularly neglect, so I hope I keep up with this momentum of at least one meet up a week that is outside of work/church.
Be grateful for what I have
Some people combine a Depth year with No Spend Year where they try to whittle down expenditure to the minimum. I’m not quite doing that, mainly because I am not ready yet to give up on trips to cafes and coffee shops (my major spending weakness!). For now, I am refraining from buying things and possessions. This last month I have bought a couple of items of clothes for Orla as she has had a grown out of a lot of her things, and I have bought myself a £2 headband and some socks to replace a bunch that had worn through. I think those are all fairly justified purchases so I feel like I have done pretty well this month. It helps, that we have nowhere toput new purchases anyway at the moment as we aren’t living at home. The rewire has several advantages!
Once we get back in to the house after the re-wire is done we are going to do a big top-to-toe sort our of our stuff. It’s a chance to de-clutter and make sure that we are only holding on to the things that we are going to make use and appreciate.
Go back to basics with my faith
In February, I have been more consistent with reading the Bible and with praying for other people. Our church has done this thing for the last two months where we pick a name out of a basket and commit to praying for that person every day for a month. I have really benefited from taking part in this, it’s helped me to connect more to the person I am praying for and I hope it has also made me a bit more compassionate in general. The message I keep returning to is that it’s more about ‘being’ than ‘doing’. I want to be of good character, and I want to be part of a loving community, so I am trying to focus on the little things I can do each day to be kind and helpful rather than trying to pull of great plans and projects.
Reviewing February in this post has made me realize that I have made more progress than I thought I had. At times this month, it has felt like my Depth Year plans had faded in to the background. I feel a little bit displaced whilst the renovation is going on, and not living at home as means that some of my other projects are back on the shelf for now. But that is OK, I have still been able to dig deeper in other ways, and there is still ten months of 2020 left to go.
Next month, will bring a new stage in as we move back home and start the next phase of renovation, and I will be finding out more about the course that I have signed up to. I’m looking forward to lies ahead!