I love making New Years Resolutions. Like everyone’s, they don’t always last that long, especially those born out from seasonal self-disgust – like giving up sugar. Or booze. Or shopping.
Obviously, I’m doing all of those things, while I recover from my New Year hangover, but here are the resolutions that I really should do, which could make a real difference to my life. And who knows, to other people’s.
When the Robot Revolution comes, I’m a gonner. I’ll be up against the wall, because, I’m sorry to admit, I am rude to my Siri.
Whether I’m talking to Ringo parking, those awful Select an Option Using Your Keypad automated answering services or my nameless Google assistant, I always sound sarky/bossy/mardy. Sometimes all at once. In fact I often add a little extra barb at the end, for my own amusement. Poor Siri. She can’t always understand a garbled, slightly Northern accent. I hope somewhere in her workings, there’s an algorithm for passive aggression.
I don’t like myself for scoring points off a piece of software. This kind of Kevin-the-Teenager behaviour puts me firmly in a Venn diagram of Petulance with the kind of people (some of them leaders of the free world) that no one wants to be with.
Rudeness in every sphere of life is epidemic these days and with 2019 not looking like it’s going to improve anyone’s mood, let niceness, politeness and general civility rule everywhere. So…sorry Siri, it won’t happen again.
TAKE ON A NEW PHYSICAL CHALLENGE
Whatever it is: rock-climbing, fell racing, tap dancing or just getting in your 10,000 steps every day, as we get older we all need a challenge, especially if we want to be the kind of doughty old dames you see on social media, still dancing on tables in their 90’s.
This is the year, I have decided, that I am going to manage a head stand. Apparently this is a very marvellous thing for the brain, the digestion, the lymphatic system, the skin, all things I’m very much signed up to improving.
But since I’ve been aspiring to stand on my head since I was nine, the odds are not good. Nor are my attempts so far encouraging. North London reverberates with the sound of a 5’7″ Mutton crashing all over the furniture. But with a little practice every day, who knows? This time next year I might be walking into rooms on my hands.
BE A BIT MORE BORED
I am excellent at doing. I can fill my time and my head with endless tasks – stuff to sort out, lists to make, books to read, things to buy, social media to check out. I’m almost allergic to empty space or unscheduled time.
Before I ruined my knees, I used to go running. That was the only time in which I experienced the beauty of non-task related, free range thinking. There is some alchemy conjured by the rhythm of steps, forward momentum, effort and being outdoors. It seems to alter your brainwaves in a subtle way which opens up your mind (once you’ve got beyond the, “Why the hell am I doing this?” loop). You find yourself thinking through problems you’ve been ignoring, getting new ideas, or just finding a sense of perspective. I miss it.
So, I’m going to try and get that positive boredom back into my life, without the running. I’ve signed up to the Headspace app; promised the dog longer walks but maybe something as simple as just stepping away from the phone and the laptop and staring out of the window might do it. We’ll see.
BUY LESS NONSENSE
I have cupboards groaning with lotions, potions, clothes, shoes, sauces, foods, bottles. A cellar filled with cat baskets, old bikes, skis, paint pots. Oh lord. It makes me hyperventilate thinking about all that stuff.
Let’s face it. I am never going to be beating Marie Kondo in a declutter-off. But maybe I could manage to finish one thing off before I buy a newer, newsier, more talked about one (beauty products, I mean you)? Perhaps I could shop my wardrobe more imaginatively? Think about eating up what I have already bought rather than bringing in a new trawl every few days? This heady infatuation with new stuff might be exciting, but is it good for contentment, the planet or our bank balances?
FIND SOMETHING STIMULATING (THAT ISN’T SHOPPING)
Whatever it is, it’s good for the spirit to take up something new, whether it’s an old passion (knitting anyone?) or a new enthusiasm doing something new just for fun is a great way to help you feel challenged, learning, progressing.
As a life long dilettante…er learner, nothing pleases me more than starting something new. I’m currently trying to learn Italian and I’m at that stage when it’s getting difficult enough to mean I am tempted to move onto something else. This is the just the point when I need a boost. Anyone know any good Italian teachers?
STAY IN TOUCH
It’s so easy to be non-stop on social media and yet never spend time really seeing people. I had an almost virtual social life for 8 years, when I had a job involved a lot of travel. I had a big network of people whose photos I ‘liked’. In the last year I have, happily, reconnected with some old friends, and this has brought me a lot of pleasure and broadened my life immeasurably. So making time for friends and family, IRL and actually taking the time to see them, will be a priority for me.