Many New Year blogs begin with a set of resolutions. I avoid this because I never make resolutions. I have learned to make promises to myself to do some nice things throughout the year. (No, not the L’Oreal ‘because you are worth it’ nonsense). I refuse to dress up a promise into a resolution because once it is called a resolution it loses all attractiveness. It goes from being a Chocolate Kimberley biscuit into a Hobnob. Not really a biscuit anymore but a health treat / threat. It just does not work for me and demotivates rather than drives passion and ambition.
Over Christmas, I promised myself to relax, read more, knit, watch more telly and eat the majority contents of a Selection Box (except anything with orange or mint flavour). I can safely say I achieved all of this without any resolution. It was a promise to myself which I kept. In doing so I discovered Drama channel where Poirot is no longer dead and New Tricks has the original line up. Now unopened Box Sets are available late at night on TV without having to change the DVD Scart lead. Just brilliant. Last night the villain in New Tricks quoted Maslow’s hierarchy. Now you’re talking!
My promise for 2014 is to see my friends as often as I can, do 15minutes Pilates four times a week, only speak at the conferences I want to speak at, travel to places I choose and to do my annual clothes shop using a Personal Shopper at the House of Fraser. I should manage most of that. No doubt work will get in the way. I will find myself getting trains at ungodly hours and I will end up at conferences which leave me in paroxysm of fury but I promise to limit them.
However, there are some things I want to understand better so I can promise myself to take some action. Watching TV at weird times means you see more adverts. I cannot believe that we allow so many ads for gambling and payday loans. The worst aspect is the tiny print warning you to be gamble aware or reminding you that the interest rates start at 2000%. Tucked in between these ads are the villa holiday commercials where the perfect family arrives overseas to enjoy perfect family time. Of course the perfect mother is all L’Oreal ready and takes her airbrushed body off to the health and beauty spa to improve her Barbie shape. The cynicism really took the edge off my Crunchie.
Walking around a much quieter and calmer London, the sheer level of litter and food waste has disturbed me even more than usual. I remember doing a project with the children of Lisson Green nursery. We gave them a camera and they walked around their neighbourhood identifying what made them “unhappy”. They put litter very high on their list. Well I think we will redo this experiment in 2014 . Has no one in politics learned anything from the New York experiment under Mayor Giuliani and the negative impact on people’s psyche of environmental mess and disorder? So not only must we live within architectural disharmony and ugliness we have to watch it be compounded by litter and waste.
So just like a good Girl Guide (and I was one years ago) I have made my promises for 2014. I just hope that too many dramas, crisis and life’s little dropped stitches won’t get in the way.
Happy New Year! May 2014 be the year you make promises that you can keep.