I don’t do New Year resolutions because they are usually make-believe aspirations to be someone other than myself, especially when it comes to ‘be healthier’. Stepping into the new year doesn’t magically grant new fully formed habits, or I should be the fittest woman in the whole of England! Ah well. At least, that’s how it is for me.
So this is less a list of New Year resolutions and more a contemplation of the things I hope to achieve this year but can’t quite bind or guilt myself into doing at all cost as they will be subject to last-minute changes should Real Life events demand it – namely because my priority right now is to find a new job, restart my business studies, continue to research setting up my own business and all the other life things I do (did I tell you I directed a choir over Christmas? It was a hit, so I might be doing more of the same in 2016). Yeah, all these things. I know many people who are seemingly able to juggle a million things and still maintain their stability of mind; I’m not one of them. Yet, one has to make plans, and here’s my attempt:
Actually plan my blog posts and improve the regularity of my posting schedule: Posting schedule, ha! In four years of blogging, I am still an impulsive writer who, like yesterday when I was penning this, just wakes up and decides to write something off the cuff without any prior planning. It’s awful. It’s not sustainable and is a rookie mistake, nay, a blogging crime I need to remedy as soon as possible. This is especially true in light of the success I had in October when I joined the Write 31 Days challenge and planned and delivered 31 consecutive posts. It brought my entire life to a stand-still and I am definitely not planning to do it again in 2016 but it was a good exercise. With life as it is currently, I have no hope of posting anything unless I sit down and plan ahead. So there, this year I want to plan ahead at least a little.
Move the blog from wordpress.com to a self-hosted platform: I am determined to do it this year. I have done my research and I feel I have a decent idea of what’s involved. I’ve already decided on my hosting provider and I just need to press the ‘buy’ button. It’s not expensive and I have enough technical know-how to do it myself; in fact, it is something I need and want to do to consolidate my CV. Website support and social media are two areas that I really want to grow in for my long-term plans of becoming a virtual assistant, and this blogging malarkey, whilst very much a hobby, is also a great way to test things out without the risk of messing about someone else’s work. I don’t know when it will be ready to launch but surely some time this year.
Branding: moving to self-hosted blogging, I will have more flexibility with regards to the look of the blog. But I’m stuck, and I need to spend some time thinking about what I want, especially the logo and colour scheme. I know that the navy blue/white/red combo makes sense in light of the French theme of the blog, but it’s so boring! Seriously, I want some teal and aqua and purple and silver and raspberry red, but that makes no sense whatsoever so yeah, I need help. And a logo that doesn’t look like it’s been drawn by a 3-year-old, maybe with a frog in it. I don’t know! I usually can tell what works and what doesn’t when I see other people’s websites but I have no such objective distance with my own and I am not an ‘ideas’ person. I may need some help…
And that’s it! I’m really motivated about learning more about the technical aspects of blogging, and once I’ve actually planned something, maybe the quality of what you read will be less ‘I put this together last night after 2 glasses of wine’ and more ‘depth! Fascination! Shock and awe!’. Or not.
Our Christmas and New Year celebrations have been and gone, relaxed and low-key just as I like it. I hate feeling stressed on Christmas Day and took measures to ensure I was not rushed off my feet and was able to enjoy the day. And so I did. At one point, Badgerman took the girls to church and I found myself sitting down in between cooking jobs with a cup of tea and a Ferrero Rocher, with my folks on Skype in the background and singing away to Mariah Carey’s I don’t want a lot for Christmas’. For a short while, I was filled with wonder at how calm the morning was. It’s a rare treat these days. And while the holiday didn’t remain ‘calm’ it was enjoyable for the most part, even though I did miss the New Year fireworks because Luciole woke up for a feed 5 minutes before midnight. Timing child, timing.
Then we picked up some cardboard boxes (all hail freecycle) to start packing up the house, and this is what the dining room and office look like right now:
I am slowly willing myself to packing away two boxes a day. I started in the living room and as Badgerman was whimpering about the mess and how bare the walls were without all our stuff on the shelves, I came to the realisation that this room at least already no longer feels like home. Our living space is not a place of rest but a waiting room for our stuff, and it gives a very odd feeling of displacement. And yet our mortgage application is still outstanding, so you know, let’s not get ahead of ourselves or anything. It’s hard to try and contain your anticipation when nothing is set in stone, yet you do have to move forward, right? We need to prepare the kids somehow, so Little Girl knows we are moving to a new house and is excitedly ‘helping’ to pack up. Even Luciole has joined in, throwing DVDs into boxes with gay abandon and what appears to my horrified eyes to be the strength of a bear.
And so onwards we go, looking ahead to an eventful (and expensive) year. Happy New Year everyone.
I will not be making any resolutions this year. In truth, it has been a long time since I last made any. There is one simple reason for this: I am incapable of keeping them and will therefore save myself the guilt trip by avoiding them altogether. I also feel that somehow making resolutions goes against my cynical and realist outlook to life.
A few years ago, I might have tried to make a list of the few things I would like to change in my life. It has always resulted in a disappointing failure. A regular list-topper was ‘Make better use of my gym membership’. I suspect it is mostly twenty-something people who include this on their list; who else but a young, childless and/or a financially well-off person can actually afford one these days? Unfortunately, I hated every minute I spent at the gym and no amount of ‘it’s good for your health’ argument could motivate me enough to keep going. By mid-March, I would pretty much have given up.
Look at the last two weeks! I wasn’t even able to fulfil my blog-advertised Stollen tasting during the holidays. I have been mentally self-flagellating myself ever since I realised I wouldn’t have time to do it. It will happen since there is a LOT of Stollen in the house, we just haven’t been anywhere near it yet. There’s been too much other food to eat, very yummy and filling things; we’ve been out and away a lot more than I expected and I haven’t been anywhere near the blog even to wish a Merry Christmas to my few faithful followers (thanks for still being here by the way, I can only imagine what a thankless experience it is for you all). What a failure!
Ultimately I fear it is lack of discipline that stops me from pursuing my resolutions to a successful outcome. So I don’t make them anymore. Instead, I shall have a wish list. If I tick anything off, I will be delighted. If I don’t, ah well it was only wishful thinking after all.
So here it is, my (very short) 2012 Wish List
1. Write one blog post entry a week
2. Lose my post pregnancy belly
3. Eat all the Stollen and write about it.
And on this note, I wish you all a very happy New Year 2012; may you all be blessed with good health and exciting new adventures. And if you are able to keep your New Year resolutions, more power to you.