New Year is approaching.
Classically a time for reflection. For restating ambitions or desires. Creating lists and setting targets.
Between the ages of 16 – 19, a time in my adolescence and early adulthood where I was developing a true sense of self, I would religiously outline my resolutions in a black moleskine pocket book on the 1st day of each year. By and large, these objectives were punishing… stop smoking, start playing football again….
Vices and habits, must be given up freely. Stating the desired lifestyle change and then rigorously counting the day’s without transgression is the quickest way to relapse.
By the same token; action or activity, without focus and true desire never lasts long. Those trainers, unless they are truly loved, are doomed to a lifetime collecting dust in a cupboard or closet.
Around the time I started working, i decided to reframe the way i’d look at new years resolutions – setting what I perhaps pretentiously called ‘cultural’ resolutions….
Read War and Peace (completed successfully, and highly recommended – a brilliantly formed melodrama which, despite it’s size, is remarkably easy to read).
Develop an appreciation for Classical Music (never really cracked this beyond the ones we all know, the ones in the movies)
You get the drift.
So, as we get toward that time again, what exactly am I going to try and achieve next year? Whilst i’m under no illusions that barely anyone reads this blog (in fact, so cruel is the modern world that google analytics informs me this absolutely is the case) -there is something useful in committing these thoughts to the page; creating an artefact that one year hence I can return to, allowing me to judge my progress.
I want to ‘sit’ more – free from the buzz of a phone, or TV, or laptop. I want to sit – and look and think, be bored even – savouring the spaces between the all too oppressive stimulation we endure in our lives.
I want to do. I talk too often of plans, yet not of doing. I want to start the book that I constantly talk of. Put up that shelf. Plant that tree.
I want to stop swearing, it’s only real function is to highlight just how limited my vocabulary is becoming.
So, three things which, on the face of it, are easy enough to achieve. However, humans are nothing if not lethargic and changing behaviour is tough.
Good luck with your resolutions for the new year.