Yesterday was a day spent with the goodest of good friends, which is exactly what the Christmas period is about really. Apart from eating. And we did plenty of that too, because the goodest of good friends wouldn’t bear that title if they weren’t as keen on poking cake into their faces as me.
It was a long day, with lots of motorway driving, and by the time we got home I was too knackered to blog about it. My mind was still driving for about an hour after my body stopped.
I don’t know if I’m the only one who gets like that? I reckon that’s why travelling can be so exhausting, even though most of the time you’re sitting down, and not really doing anything. Your mind is travelling, but at a slower speed than your body, and it’s running to catch up. And when you do stop you get a thing like jet lag of the mind, and it’s really disconcerting and quite wearying.
Today we are making preparations to go to our first New Year’s Eve party in a decade. That’s Jason and I. The children are going too, and they have never been to a New Year’s Eve party. They are quite excited. We are quite excited.
Despite this unusual and out of character activity, I will not be suddenly embracing all the traditions of the season. It is not the way of my people.
Ever since Boxing Day I have been receiving mails and tweets and the like asking me if I would like to lose weight, or go on a diet, or give up the smoking I do not do etc.
Is the answer to that.
Regular readers will know that I do no do punitive resolutions. I don’t believe in forcing myself into a miserable cycle of activities I really don’t want to do, but feel in some spartan way would be ‘good for me’, and which I torture myself with before inevitably giving up, because they’re hateful and things that are good for me in that way are usually about as much fun as sitting on a spike and eating raw turnips.
My resolutions are generally about trying to do nurturing stuff, and stuff that will add more to my life in some way.
I always resolve to be less mental. It never gets stale.
I think I achieved this last year on the whole. There were a few sticky patches, but mainly things were pretty OK mental health wise. I was particularly pleased with the fact that I didn’t turn into a total basket weaver when Jason went to Germany. Gold star and smiley face.
One positive marker is that when things used to get really bad, my greatest ambition was to run away. I did realise, by the way, that the running away would fix nothing. After all, all the things I was running away from were actually in my own head, and I have to take that with me. I was talking about this stuff with a friend a few weeks ago, and I realised that I did not want to run away once last year. So that’s good.
I always resolve to spend more time with my husband on our own. This one tends to get sidelined rather, and this year was no exception. Although there were a few purple patches, and I shall keep trying this coming year.
I still haven’t read any more Proust. It is debatable whether I will this year too. It’s beginning to feel a bit punitive, and that won’t do.
One of the things I resolved to do last year, which didn’t really feature in my resolutions, but which happened in a kind of evolutionary way, was to say ‘yes’ to things more. Which is how I ended up on the pub quiz team, and learning to knit and crochet, and how to play the chord of C on the ukulele. All in all, saying yes was a pretty positive experience, with a few notable exceptions.
What I have learned, and what I will try to implement in the coming year, is that it is absolutely brilliant to say ‘yes’ to things, except on the few occasions when everything in your body and brain is saying ‘No.’ Those are the times you decline politely. There are a few things, hangovers from 2014, that I will be saying a firm ‘No’ to in 2015.
I’d like 2015 to be the year that I am less mean to myself, and less critical of the things I do. I talk a good line in being capable. I don’t always feel it, and yet, when I think logically about stuff I have done or stuff I do, I am actually alright at many things (with the notable exceptions of; talking the hind leg off a donkey; arithmetic and handling money). So it would be nice if I could be more jolly about my abilities, for myself, not for anyone else’s benefit.
I would also like to care less about what other people think. I have realised this year that I still look to other people for validation of what I do. Not so much who I am, but certainly what I do. This has led to a couple of horrible situations where I have worked very hard at stuff, and done good things, only to totally undermine myself because the person/people I have done things for hasn’t valued them or me.
I have tied myself up in knots about this stuff before being able to get perspective and realising that it wouldn’t matter if I immolated myself on behalf of those people. They just wouldn’t see it/value it/care/like me. That is truly not my problem. I would like to be able to accept that much much earlier, and not put so much store in other people’s judgement. Particularly when I am not actually fond of those people in the first place. I need to believe in that deep, resonating way, that not everyone is going to like/value me, and that’s OK, and I’m absolutely fine regardless, and what I do is absolutely fine too.
I think that last one might take more than a year. But you have to start somewhere.
On a more practical note 2015 might be the year I finally have a crack at making macarons.
I hope it will also be the year I finish knitting my gargantuan blanket. Although I’m not promising anything.