Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Resolutions

Well these posts are always fun, aren't they?

As usual, I'm in two minds whether to bother making any resolutions, because I rarely ever see them through. On the other hand, where's the harm? If nothing else, I think the new year always makes you take a look at your life, and ask yourself whether you're happy or if there is anything you'd like to change. Ok, maybe you shouldn't have to wait till January 1st to do that, but again, does it really matter when you do it? As long as you do it at some point?

So, I'm only putting this in a kind of list form to make it a bit easier (for me) to read each point, but it's not really an actual, definite list and it's not in any particular order. These are some of the things that I've been thinking about just lately.

1) I need to read some books. I hardly read anything last year, and I've missed it. I have lots and lots of wonderful stories just waiting for me to lose myself in, and I really need to get back to them. So I think I'm going to take part in the Empty Shelf Challenge (#emptyshelf on Twitter) - separate post about that coming soon...

2) One of the reasons I didn't read much is because I was doing quite a bit of crochet, on and off, all year. I definitely don't want that to stop, in fact, I want to do lots more this year, and possibly also somehow incorporate some sewing into that, if/when I get a sewing machine.

3) Another reason why I didn't read much is probably because I've spent too much time on the internet or watching tv. I'm not a telly addict, I'm not obsessed with soaps or programmes like TOWIE and Made In Chelsea. The only reality show I watched last year was Strictly Come Dancing. My bad habit is just putting the tv on for the sake of it, for a bit of background noise or something to watch while I'm eating breakfast or tea. For example, on a weekend, or a weekday when I'm at home (like today), I'll get a bowl of cereal for breakfast and sit on the sofa to eat it. I'll put the tv on and try and find something interesting to watch, but at 8am there isn't much on, so I usually end up watching BBC news. This morning I thought I'd start as I mean to go on, so I didn't put the telly on, and instead I looked out of the window. I saw a skein of geese flying by, high overhead. I wouldn't have seen that if I'd had the tv on. So I'm going to try and stop putting it on just for the sake of it.

As for the internet, it might be a bit harder to give up. As I write this post, I've got Twitter open in one tab, Facebook in another, my email in a third one... But this morning I 'unfollowed' lots of people on Twitter (more on that in a minute) which was very liberating, and I'm just going to have to try to not spend as much time on my computer, or at least spend it more wisely. This also ties in with number one - try and read more book pages, rather than internet pages.

4) Linked to number three, I've decided to try and give up 'the news'. It's so depressing, isn't it, most of the time? Sometimes I don't think I realise just how much of the negativity I absorb from it, and how it probably stays with me, even when I don't think it has. Like I said above, I have this habit of putting BBC news on just for something to watch, but I'm not really interested in it, and it just brings me down. I've also become a bit obsessed with the Daily Mail website. I've never read the actual newspaper, and I don't support it's political stance or any other views (I don't even know what they are). In fact, I don't really like it at all. The only reason I look at the website is because they have loads of news stories from all over the world, serious and lighthearted, and the stories always have lots of photos accompanying them so that you hardly even have to read the article, just look at the pictures and read the captions. I got into the habit of reading it on my lunch break at work, and then I started looking at it at home, and then I downloaded the app for my phone.

The other day I was scrolling down the page, and before it'd really registered with me, I'd read the headline about a dog which braved the cold to lie beside it's friend all night, another dog who had been knocked down and killed by a car. And there was the photo, of the dog curled up next to it's dead companion. Well, I'm sorry, but I just don't need to see stories like that. Utterly heartbreaking. I don't care if I'm in denial about the 'bad things' that happen in the world, I just don't want to read or hear about them. So that's that. I've deleted it from my bookmarks (so at least it's more than just one click away) and I've deleted the app off my phone. When I get back to work, I'm going to delete it from my bookmarks there too. While I was at it, I've also got rid of other news websites that I sometimes looked at, and the Twitter purge this morning was all the local and national news accounts and journalists who I seem to have started following over the years. All gone. Very therapeutic!

In my office at work, there are three of us who all have a radio tuned to Radio 2 all day, so I can't really avoid the hourly news updates (even if I turn mine off, I can still hear theirs). And if Chris puts the news on, I'm not going to ask him to turn it off. But as much as possible I'm going to try to not read, watch or listen to any news, and see how long I can keep it up for.

5) *Whisper it* Lose weight. Yeah, probably not going to happen, but it wouldn't be a list of resolutions without that one, would it? Chris started going to they gym two or three months back, and he's really getting into it, and buying protein supplements and all sorts (nothing dodgy). There is nothing more annoying than the person who is being smug about exercise, when you know deep down that you really need to get off your arse and move more. I'm not going to join the gym though. I might try and do a bit more walking every day.

I think that's it, unless anything else springs to mind. The beauty of 'silent blogging' (private blog, no one is reading it) is that I can come back and edit my posts whenever I want!*

It's a bit weird having New Year's Day off, I keep forgetting that I've got to back to work tomorrow! 

*6) Make gift tags for next year by cutting out appropriate designs from all our Christmas cards - Ha! Done this already - see what I mean? 

7) Thought of another one - I'm going to try and get all my photos into some kind of order, and back them up too. Before we went digital, we always had our photos developed (well, you had to really, didn't you?) but now they just get downloaded onto the computer and you hardly ever see them. I've got too many to have them all printed, but I might pick out the really good ones, and I was thinking about making some of those photo-books. Maybe one for each holiday that we've been on, and maybe one with just photos of the cats... 

Edited to add: These are more like advice than resolutions, but on New Year's Eve, a very drunk Caitlin Moran was busy tweeting her words of wisdom, and Cosmo has gathered them all together here. I think they're brilliant!

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