So I keep a little Excel sheet of my items that I am getting rid of as part of the new 100 game, and on it I also note down blog ideas for the future. I have a little note on it right now saying “New Year’s Resolutions (12/02) – Link back to blog New Items 37 to 56)”. Now I remember why I wrote that note; 12th Feb is 6 weeks after the New Year, and I was going to update on my progress on my NYE resolutions and talk a bit more about expanding my interests beyond throwing my possessions away… BUT I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT MY SPECIFIC NYE RESOLUTIONS WERE. EPIC FAIL.
But isn’t that just classic NYE-R? 1st of the year, you wake up hungover and vow to have a dry January. In my case you fall off that wagon in dramatic style on 20th January when you have a fully paid for lunch at The Hawksmoor, which is basically the best steak house in London. And you go BIG. The full sha-bang. Starter cocktails, red wine, dessert cocktails, follow up cocktails in Mayfair, you name it, it was drunk.
You also reckon you are going to get fit. And you hit the gym big for two weeks, have a couple of weeks off, hit it again for a few days then bin the whole idea. Healthy eating; see above. Going to be more intellectual and delight in the variety of lectures and events London has to offer? Yeah, that gets expensive and actually those theatres are kind of cold, and damn is it already 9pm and you haven’t even had dinner? Also, isn’t ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ on TV tonight, and you totally love that programme (even if you suspect your own family history would be a bore-fest based primarily around sheep farming in Wiltshire).
So why do we fail at these things? And why do we succeed at others? I think it varies between person, but I think one thing to consider is – do you actually quite like your life? This can be hard – we get so many messages from different places telling us our life is wrong somehow. Not just the obvious marketing messages that you are too fat, too ugly, too dowdy etc. but also that you aren’t good enough. Smoking? May as well be Satan. Don’t spend your evenings reading in a delightfully decorated living room that incorporates the latest Scandinavian trends? Unsophisticated pleb. Prefer a ready meal to a homemade organic dinner? You’re children will be obese and BTW you’re killing the planet.
It is just so tiring. But back to the question – do you like your life? If you do, and you aren’t hurting anyone, maybe don’t change a damn thing. Not at New Years, not during Lent, and certainly not when someone passes judgement on you which to be honest you didn’t bloody ask for. And when I say hurting someone I mean hurting a specific person, not some nebulous ‘well being overweight costs the NHS X amount per year’ type rubbish.
If you don’t like your life, what don’t you like? I hated the fact that my possessions were getting on top of me, and that they symbolised a deeper problem with attachment to things rather than people, which in turn was a symptom of an issue with trust and connection and abandonment, which was making me truly unhappy. So I changed that. The things on this blog show the surface level changes, but the deeper ones have also been dealt with, not completely but enough. I like my life now, but it has taken years and been in places really horrible. I still want to change one area (more on that soon), and again that change comes from a place which did make me very unhappy.
So if you are carrying a bit of extra timber, or like a cheeky beverage and ciggy, or slobbing in front of the TV after a day’s work, but actually when you think about it you’re quite happy and contented, then bollocks to the resolutions. And now I’m off to smash a ready meal and fail once more to go to the gym.