As New Year’s resolution end up being anything but new and are rarely kept, I thought I would end up making mine before 2011, in fact before Christmas altogether. The reason, a particularly Zen-like morning in Ferihegy International Airport as unseasonal snowfall has grounded flights between Budapest and Paris. Having accepted that worrying would not get me home sooner, I saw the time as an opportunity for some head space. Once I had allowed my mind to wander, the ideas began to flow, including this year’s take on resolutions. The product a list of ten “I shalls” rather than “I shall nots”. I am also working on the principle of rolling out objectives systematically rather than overloading myself with a list of obligations.
I shall finish the content of my fridge before restocking. This is a good one to start with as I have three more days in Paris before heading back to London for the Christmas break. Finishing the food in the fridge will mean eating at home which will be better for my health, waistline and pocket as well as my mood as I am at my happiest when cooking. Once back in London I shall be able to continue this principle, finishing up the Christmas and Boxing Day fair before restocking mid-next week.
I shall send handwritten Christmas cards. Due to the busyness of the last two years my attempts to keep in touch with friends has failed miserably. Communications have been limited to snatched text messages and quick emails. Although my wishes will arrive around Twelfth Night, I want my friends to know that I am actually thinking of them and that I can be bothered to write a personalised message rather than a generic epistle, or worse still an e-card.
I shall finish two books for every one I buy. For years I have been addicted to books, buying more than I ever have time to read. In recent months I have been reminded how much I enjoy revisiting the classics. Therefore I shall work on the 2:1 ratio when buying new books. It is a good time to start this principle as Mr M swore me off buying books in the run up to Christmas so as not to duplicate any of his present. As I know Santa will bring at least one book, I shall refrain from buying any more until I have rattled through that surprise and at least one other.
As a sequel to resolution three, I shall also make a point of trying at least one new recipe a week. My week at home will give me the perfect excuse: good produce, my supply of cookery books and the company of my husband. Greater interest and variety in my diet will also allow me to coax my body into a new routine and break the bland culinary routine it has got used to during a year in Paris.
I shall complete month December of my garden calendar. This involves sewing seeds on the window sill and stocking up on pots and potting compost, all of which can be completed without exposure to too much cold weather. It will also mean the promise of sweet pea and broad beans come spring and lay the ground work for the coming year’s vegetable garden so will ultimately be in my own interest.
As we welcome in 2011 I resolve to drink good quality wine only. Cutting out wine altogether would be a pipe dream so I shall ration myself to a glass of quality wine or none at all. Combined with a number of other resolutions, I am anticipating that the number of units consumed will plummet in any event.
I shall start “Unravelling”. I am not sure what to expect from this e-course but anything that allows me to channel time, head space and a little bit of self-appreciation to myself must be a good thing. The fact that I shall be writing, taking pictures and getting to grips with modern media in the process is a bonus.
I shall build yoga into my daily routine. If it can start with 10-15 minutes a day and the promise of greater grounding and a glow, I must be able to incorporate it into my morning. My neck, back and shoulders are all screaming for more flexibility and with my sleep patterns all over the shop, I need to make 2011 the year I take care of the only body I have.
I shall be more confident about telling people about my blogs. If writing gives me as much joy as it does, why am I reluctant to share the product with my friends and loved ones?
And finally, to finish off… I shall allow myself one “I shall not”. I shall not worry about updating my CV. My CV will take care of itself. Instead, I shall channel that time and energy into fun things. One tap class a week is not going to cause my deals to collapse. Similarly, will the clients care if I steal myself away for a 30-minute saxophone class? And taking 25 minutes a day to walk home instead of the 15 to get the metro…