Disclaimer: The following meandering stream of consciousness may or may not resemble a coherent line of thought. It may appear to be the ravings of a slightly unhinged, but well-intentioned woman in her mid 30s, and you would be correct in making that assessment. So if you want to continue, you do so at your own risk. I absolve myself of any responsibility. I you feel dumber for reading this, that is on you my friend.
I know that you have actually been here for 2 weeks now, but given how 2016 went for the World, I am sure you can understand the need for a cautious approach. We could have all charged, headlong into you, covered in glitter, bellowing verses of Auld Lang Syne with all the passion and hope of the Rebel Alliance attacking a Death Star, but given the fact your predecessor took our Princess Leia/ General Organa from us, I think a healthy dose of reservation and restraint is called for right now. I am sure you understand, and your patience is appreciated.
That being said, it wouldn’t hurt to perhaps…. think… about how I would like the year to go… right?
On January 1st 2016, I set about writing a post that reflected on my 2015 and verbalized my goals for the coming year. I feel I successfully achieved my goals to some degree and for that I am a little bit proud of myself. Given how last year played out, I decided to split this exercise in 2 this time. The review of my 2016 was very easy to write. Looking back with 20/20 hindsight and with the aid of some perspective, you can always find the positives in what has been and gone and luckily, the year was actually very kind to me personally. (It truly DICKED the World in general though.) So maybe, I can try to outline a few goals for the next 12 months and hope for similar success?
Let’s start with the usual suspects shall we?
Health! I managed to lose 14lbs over the course of 2016. My weight went up and down more often than a whores knickers, but on balance, there is less of me now than there was then, so that is a win! My asthma is much better and my sinus issues are under control so I aim to continue and improve upon what I have already achieved. One unexpected change to my physical well being last year was the diagnosis of a Gluten Sensitivity. This was (still is) an annoyance to me, as I have, on MANY occasions, been quite outspoken about people claiming to be gluten intolerant with no professional opinion being made, because they saw Phil and Holly discussing it on This Morning and they get a bit of a stomach ache after eating an extra large Domino’s pizza and a chocolate cake, so it has to be a gluten thing right? Celiac disease is horrific for those that suffer with it and to jump on some sort of diet fad bandwagon because it makes you feel like a special snowflake is just pathetic.
Chances are you are just a chunky food snob looking to make life awkward while being the center of attention (and making eating out with you a fucking nightmare)….
Er…. anyway…. I actually sought out the advise of my GP, and the result was a SENSITIVITY to gluten. Meaning I can eat it if I want to… but I will probably regret it (and boy do I regret it….). Now… I have the will power of a lemming and a fondness for donuts, so I have fallen off the wagon many, many times. This. Has. To Stop. It is pure laziness. I know it is. I love food, especially pasta and bread, and I tell myself a little wont hurt and guess what…. It fucking does. So this year I am going to put maximum effort into staying on the GF wagon. I am going to cook more food from scratch and I am going to make my husband eat all the same foods I do, because If I cant eat that cake then he bloody well can’t either!!!!
Moving on…. Culture?
I want to read more. I see books that look interesting, and then they sit there… until they get made into a movie that I say I will watch… and then I don’t. The internet makes so much good writing available to us all in the forms of short stories, articles, essays and blogs (this particular blog not included) but we use it to watch cat videos. It is so wasteful.* I only fear that given the events of 2016, with particular reference to the US Presidential election, the internet will be no place for a person looking to broaden their mind so I guess Waterstones will be getting more of my money this year. And speaking of books into movies…Can you believe I LITERALLY only just watched Blade Runner for the first time this week? Cos everybody I know sure as hell couldn’t!! I love movies. LOVE THEM. But I always end up watching the shiny blockbusters and telling myself that I will get around to that interesting arty one that is getting all the Oscar Buzz this year (P.S Leo finally got his last year… so I guess 2016 wasn’t 100% a dick). I love getting lost in stories and there are some phenomenal ones out there for me to devour if I could just stop watching Deadpool on repeat!
Hobbies! Yes. Hobbies are a good thing, they are good for your mental health and that of your long suffering spouse because you become an annoying little bastard when you are bored! My hobbies are crocheting, photography and procrastinating. The first two I have room in which to grow and learn and explore. Already this year I have learned a new skill with my hook and I have joined an online photography community in which I can learn more about the art of picture taking and get feedback and responses to my work. The third I am already a pro at. I really don’t need to work on that at all. Perhaps even scale back how good I am at it. Yeah. I will get right on that…..
Lastly, and I think this is where I may lose any form of (laughable) structure I may have had up until now, I want to talk about my place in the world. Recent world events have stirred up a melting pot of conflicting ideologies, politics, beliefs and opinions. Brexit in the UK and the election in America saw husbands and wives vote differently, friends no longer speaking, full blown debates in the pubs (which to be honest were more bloody enlightening than the bollocks that came from the actual campaigners) and the fall out from both of these events is inescapable. I voted. I had my opinions and I was passionate about them. I felt pride in being able to use my voice in such a monumental way…. did you notice the past tense?
Now I find myself feeling completely apathetic. I just couldn’t give two shits about any of it. It is all doom and gloom. All negative all the time. “Nothing is worth doing because we are all gonna be fucked by the government anyway so what is the bloody point”… this is all I see and hear from people. None of them are happy with the way things are, and yet none of them are doing anything but moaning about it either? Perhaps it is short sighted of me, but I cant see any of it affecting my life on a day to day basis. Maybe it will**. I don’t know. But for now, I am stepping away from it. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. What I need, is to feel like I am doing something positive with my life. What I want is to feel centered and happy. I don’t think one person has to do something unspeakably awesome to change the world, I just think that person can make small changes to their own world and hope that those positive changes spread out and touch others and perhaps inspire then to make small changes.
With that, I want to put forward my intention for 2017. I want to strive to be more mindful. Mindful of my surroundings and my impact on them, mindful of how I treat people. Mindful of how I treat myself. If I can live my life from a place of kindness, positivity and love, then I will consider it a life well lived. I know that to some people this will sound like the ramblings of some tree-hugging, hairy arm-pitted, vegan, but so what? Hug a tree if it makes you feel good. Hug a rock, if that’s your thing! Shave those pits, leave’em wild, eat a burger, eat a carrot, I don’t care, just do something, anything, that makes you happy and you will be changing your world.
I am not blind to the fact that I am a very lucky woman. I have a loving husband and family.I have a warm home in a beautiful part of the world. I have a few, incredible humans that I can call my friends and I am (for the most part) healthy. I am going to be 36 this year and I already feel like my life is full. I don’t need to jump out of a plane for a rush of adrenaline. I don’t feel a burning desire to travel around South America in Ford Transit or spend a year in a Tibetan monastery “finding myself”. I get to wake up next to the love of my life every day. I go on 4 hour lunch dates with my friend. I have miles of rugged, breathtaking coastline to wander in awe. As long as I never take any of that for granted, and I continue to live my best life, I think 2017 can be a great year***.
*Cat videos are in actual fact, the BEST thing about the internet.
** Turns out Brexit is making Toblerones smaller. This DOES in fact affect my life.
*** Especially if I can learn to not let my cups of tea go cold while writing my bloody blog!