Happy New Year!
Time for the annual reminder that New Year’s Resolutions are a sham. Lose weight. Go to the gym. Reinvent yourself. Change your life. The new year is like a brand new notebook, crisp and inviting, begging you to mark it with black ink and perfect handwriting. But the moment you make a smudge, it’s blemished. You can turn the page, but you know it’s there. It’s ruined. Give up.
In lieu of Resolutions, therefore, I’m setting myself Challenges. Any progress towards them is movement in the right direction, and it appeals to my grindy stubborn nature.
Learn to cook
Maybe “learn” isn’t the right word. I have no doubt that I can cook. I just hate it. I hate the mess, the cleaning up. I hate the feeling of my hands being sticky and dirty. I hate the time it takes to do the actual food preparation. Me vs. my lack of patience.
My mum used to put the radio on while she was baking, and I’m considering following her lead. I’ve had a few podcast recommendations, which would take me over the “cooking is boring” hurdle.
Now if I could find one that would stop my hands from getting grotty…
I’m notoriously feart when it comes to leaving my comfort zone. It’s an anxiety thing. Years ago when I was in CBT therapy one of the techniques was to set yourself tiny challenges that scared you and overcome them. I’m going to start doing this again.
First up: I’m planning a trip to my sister’s house near London, which involves me flying on my own for the first time ever. Gins away!
Drive on the motorway
Sure, I’ve passed my driving test. That doesn’t mean I feel like I can drive. I just project the illusion, as long as I don’t have to park or go anywhere I’ve never been.
One of my biggest stresses is driving on the motorway. In theory it’s just going at 70mph on a straight road and keeping an eye on the car in front of you. That part I can do. Overtaking? Nervy, but I can do that too. Merging from a slip road onto the motorway? Panic attacks for 1 mile.
See previous “doing things that frighten you”. If you see someone screaming in a Honda Civic, it’s probably me.
I’m constantly stuck in the awkward place of loving everything to run in military organisation and having a brain that haemorrhages information rapidly. Such is the conflict in my life.
When my sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said a diary, so I could at least make sure I knew where I was meant to be and when. She delivered. Look how cool this is.
Coming up also: a great big house reorganisation, deleting all my junk emails, sorting all my writing into folders, organising this blog. And while we’re on the topic…
Organise (most of) my wedding
I can officially say I’m getting married next year. That’s TERRIFYING. We’ve booked the ceremony and reception venues, been to a wedding fair, and not done much else. I have no idea what planning a wedding involves or how to go about it. I predict several phonecalls to my mum over the coming months.
I’ve been in a monster reading slump for years. I blame two English degrees. Reading and analysing books that you don’t enjoy in minute detail will do that to you.
This year I’ve rediscovered reading for fun, and it’s a trend that I’m hoping to continue. My Kindle Paperwhite that my parents got me for Christmas (thanks parents) means that I can take advantage of some of the free-to-read classics, as well as downloading books to my heart’s content without having to worry about where to store them in the house. My goal of having my own physical library continues to elude me.
Have something published
This is the one goal that stands a chance of tripping me up, as I know how brutally difficult it is to do. Nevertheless, it’s been a goal for years, and I’m stubborn. I really haven’t got the faintest idea of where to look, and my low self-confidence will no doubt appear, like a loud and obnoxious Buckfast drinker at a house party, but let’s go for it.
I hope 2018 is exactly the year you want it to be. May your books never be disappointing, your video game loot drops be bountiful, and your hair do exactly what you want it to.