Friday, January 01, 2010
As last night’s light dusting of snow prepares to melt on the first day of 2010, it is time for me to blog my resolutions for the year ahead in what has become a tradition over the past few years.
As part of the tradition, let’s first look at last year’s resolutions and see if I had any success. In 2008, I resolved to …
- Lose weight
- Stop the grow/trim/shave cycle with my beard
- Finish my novel
- Spend less
2009 was pretty much more of the same. Did I succeed this time?
- Weight loss. Yes and no. I have rejoined the gym and I did lose a bit of weight. I have probably regained the weight in this Christmas week alone. My blood pressure scare in 2009 has made me more determined, however, to press on with this and I aim to eat more sensibly.
- Beard. Well, no. I’m still growing and trimming and shaving my beard like there’s no tomorrow. I think I just have to conclude that I am indecisive. I will have a longer beard in the winter (as I have now). I will trim it occasionally when I get annoyed with a bit that is patchy or grey. I will cut it down to a goatee when I think faffing around with the trimmers is too much bother. I will accidentally trim too much and end up shaving the thing off. And then, when I get cheesed off with shaving I will grow it back again. Such is life.
- Novel. I was going to resolve this year to give myself one more chance to write the novel and to give up with it and never write again if I fall by he wayside but I can’t do that. However much or little I write or however successful I am or am not at it, I have to face up to the fact that I am a writer. It forms my way of looking at the world. I can’t watch a TV show or read a book without unconsciously breaking down the plot and extrapolating where it is going. I just need to apply that skill to my own novel. I have been working at the novel in 2009, trying to reshape that elusive chapter one into a form that grabs the reader by the collar and drags them into the world that I have created. I’m nearly there, I think.
- Spend less. Aha! I have had a degree of success with this one out of necessity. As well as having a little less money coming in, I have also had the spectre of Graham moving out to cater for. He hasn’t actually moved out yet but I have had to make sure that I can afford to not have his rent money to count on. I have cut down my spending a great deal to the point where I was actually able to save some money last year by more than the amount I get in rent. Part of the success has been in learning to say no both to myself and to people wanting to help me spend money. I have also shuffled things around in my accounts – consolidated loans and moved my mortgage to somewhere cheaper. I intend to keep up with this now that the silly season of Christmas is out of the way.
Additionally, I want to do a few other things …
- Use the internet less. I spend way too much time with my face in my laptop looking at utter rubbish. This needs to stop. Well, it needs to be reduced. There are better things I can be doing with my time – see above under Novel.
- Drink less tea. This is an odd one, I know, but I do drink a lot of tea. OK – it is very weak tea and probably contains less caffeine than a bar of soap but I seem to spend half my time at work either in the kitchen or in the loo and then wonder why I can’t sleep at night.
- Try to get less angry. A lot of things set me off and I need to try to not let them, especially if I can’t do anything about them. If I can change something then I should do that and not get angry about it first. It rarely helps.
- Related to that is to speak when necessary. Often I don’t, preferring to avoid confrontation or not expose myself to ridicule. However, things sometimes need to be said and, if they do, I should say them.
- Clear out the rubbish I have accumulated in my house. There’s tons of shit I don’t need in my house that can either go to the tip or on eBay. I need the space and if there is any money to be had then that’s a bonus.
- Decorate my house. This has to happen after the rubbish clearing and when Graham has moved out. I need space to decorate.
Well, that’s about enough. I could add that I want to invent time travel, fly to the moon and cure all known diseases but there are only 12 months in 2010 and I don’t want to exert myself.