Friday, 9 January 2015


So I said I'd have a look back at last year's resolutions. Here goes:

1). Read some books. Well, yes, I read 'some' books, so I suppose I could tick this one off. I haven't updated my 'Books I've Read' page, at the time of writing, and it says the last book I finished was Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, on the 10th March. Apparently, on the 11th March, I started reading (again) Songs Of The Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult, her first novel, but I abandoned it (again) on the 9th September. As much as I love Jodi's books, I just can't get into that one. However, on the 9th September I started another JP book, and I think I read a couple more towards the back end of the year. So I did read a few books, but not as many as I would've liked. I was supposed to be taking part in the Empty Shelf Challenge, but clearly that didn't happen either, and I've rearranged my bookshelves so many times since, I don't even know which books I started with.

2). More crochet, and maybe some sewing. I don't think I did too bad on the crochet front, it was kind of slow and steady. I'm terrible at remembering to photograph items though, so there probably wasn't much to show on this blog. Highlights were definitely my Wicked Scarf and Junior's Cardigan. I also briefly thought about making crocheted items to sell, so quite a bit of time was spent on making a few sample items, but that idea went out of the window fairly quickly - partly due to the arrival of Junior, and partly because I'm just not cut out to run my own 'business'. 2014 also wasn't the year that I bought a sewing machine, so there was no sewing to speak of.

3). Watch less tv, spend less time on the internet. Obviously I could say I'd done brilliantly at this and you'd have no way of knowing whether that was the case. Truthfully, I probably stuck to it for the first half of the year, and less so towards the end. I didn't turn the tv on as often, and I think I did try to stay off my laptop and read or crochet more instead. At some point though, I think the tv and internet started to creep back into my life. I still wouldn't say I'm an addict, but the tv is definitely there as 'background noise' a lot of the time. Having Junior around means that I can't really go on my laptop during the day, but once he's gone to bed I find that I lose a lot of precious 'me-time' in the evening to scanning Facebook or scrolling zombie-like through my Twitter feed, and before I know it it's time for bed.

4). Give up the news. Ah, now this one I consider a resounding success! I definitely managed to avoid watching, listening to or reading the majority of news items, for the whole year. Chris still sometimes watches it, so I haven't avoided it completely, and I didn't think there was any harm in keeping up to date, but only to the bare minimum. I was particularly proud of the fact that I went completely cold turkey on the Daily Mail website, which had previously been something of an obsession. I hadn't looked at it once, all year, and then just a week or two before Christmas someone on Facebook posted a link to a yarn-related story. Before I had time to realise my mistake, I'd clicked the link, and was mortified to discover it had led to a DM article! But apart from that one blip, I'd avoided that site for a whole year, which I think is amazing!
As I explained last year, the reason for this resolution was because I felt that I absorbed too much negativity from the news, and it was generally just making me feel a bit down all the time. Since 'giving it up' I do think my mood improved, especially right at the start. I'm not happy-go-lucky all the time, things still upset me and I still have off days, but it's not so much because of what's happening around the world now. Like I said, maybe I'm in denial, maybe it's not very socially or morally acceptable for me to want to ignore all the bad things that are happening, but that's how I've decided to deal with it.

5). Lose weight. Yeah, right. I don't even weigh myself these days. My clothes don't feel any looser, so I'm assuming this one hasn't happened.

6) Already did that.

7). Organise photos. No, this hasn't happened, and the situation is getting worse. I desperately need to do something about this, before something terrible happens and I lose them all forever.

So that was last year - what about 2015? This is what I've come up with so far, in no particular order:

1). Read more! Oh look, there it is again! Chris bought me a Kindle Fire HD as a joint birthday and Christmas present, so I want to download some books onto it and start reading again. I'm also thinking of registering with Audible so that I can listen to some audiobooks, and then I might finally have a solution to my wish that I could crochet and read at the same time!

2) Get rid of some books. Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron after number one, doesn't it? I have six shelves of books, and on most of them the books are in double rows, one in front of the other. That's a lot of books. As much as I want to read them, I just don't seem to have time, and the thought of trying to plough my way through all of these books completely overwhelms me. So I've decided to have a cull. There are quite a lot that I'm not too bothered about reading - from paperbacks I picked up in charity shops that sounded interesting at the time, to Booker Prize winners that were part of a box set and which are probably a bit too 'intellectual' for me - so I'm just going to get rid of them. There are some books I still might buy in paperback, from favourite authors, but otherwise I'll probably try and download everything else onto my kindle. I'm looking forwards to my bookshelves being a lot less cluttered, and being able to read the books that I'm genuinely interested in, once I can find them again.

3) More crochet. That's it, really, I just want to continue with my crochet, but maybe try and be a bit more productive. I think I'd like to make an item of clothing for myself, or get around to using some of the gorgeous yarn that I bought at Yarndale and the Armley Mills Wool Festival.

4). Deal with things more promptly. I have an awful habit of 'putting things off'. Like opening mail, reading it, putting it back in the envelope and then putting it on a pile to deal with later. And then about three weeks later, the big pile of stuff I haven't dealt with gets swept into a carrier bag and taken upstairs into the spare bedroom, to be dealt with later, when I can have a proper 'sort-out' of all my 'paperwork'. This is a bad habit I need to change.

5). Be happy/get more sleep. Bit of a strange one maybe, but it's something I've been thinking about lately. I find sometimes I can get quite annoyed about things, like maybe something Chris has or hasn't done, and I can be quite moody and irritable. It can be hard to see past it at times, but I've managed to realise that the only person who can make me feel better, is me. I know that I need to change my perspective on certain things, and instead of instantly feeling annoyed, I need to have a kind of mental shrug of the shoulders and think, "oh well, nevermind". The other day I googled 'how to be happy' and I read about 6 different articles, and the one piece of advice that they all had in common was to get enough sleep. I certainly haven't been doing this - I get up early every morning, but go to bed late in order to have some 'me-time' on an evening. I've now accepted that I need to be in bed, asleep, by 9pm every night, or as often as I can, so I'm trying to get to bed earlier now, although I'm not beating myself up over it if I don't.

6) Continue to avoid the news.

7) Organise photos - as mentioned above, this needs urgent attention!

8) Continue to use my Filofax(es). My Malden came into it's own last year after Junior arrived, keeping up with appointments and his social calendar! I want to continue to use and improve it so that it works best for my needs, but as I received a zipped personal Holborn for Christmas from my mum, I also need to think about how I'm going to use that. At the moment it's storing last years pages in it, but it's too nice to be just an archive, so I need to work out something better for it.

I think that's all for now. The wind is absolutely howling outside - I think we're experiencing 50-60mph gales, but I know other parts of the country, especially Scotland, are suffering much worse, so my thoughts are with everyone up there.

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