I quite like the idea of having a theme, or one word, which sums up my New Year’s resolutions. My word for 2016 was ‘consolidation’. After what was, for me, a pretty shitty 2015 full of apocalyptic life changes, I wanted a year of no change. I wanted a year of consolidation.
My resolutions were all about consolidating my new beginnings from 2015 and settling into my and Cygnet’s new life. All in all, 2016 was a pretty good year and I can even say that I managed to abide by my 2016 resolutions. Well, most of them anyway – I didn’t take a vitamin tablet every day, in fact I didn’t even manage a week. I did go to the theatre more than once a month and Cygnet and I had some great times together. I hope that 2017 will be more of the same in that regard.
This year, I’ve decided that my word, my theme, for the year is going to be expansion. By ‘expansion’ I don’t mean that I am going to put on a load of weight, or move to a bigger flat, or get 1000 new friends on Facebook. I mean that I am going to expand my horizons, read some more, learn to deal with things a little better, experiment, do stuff that I wouldn’t normally do, go to places I wouldn’t normally go to. This isn’t about change, just growth. This is about being myself – being the best version of myself more of the time.
In 2017 I am going to:
Do something new, or scary, or different every week
A high-flyer at work once said to me that to develop I needed to go to a meeting that scared me s******s and say at least three things in said meeting every single week. This ‘high-flyer’ is likely to be running my company (which is a pretty big company) within the next couple of years and I do not have his career ambition. There is something to be said though about putting ourselves out of our comfort zones.
I am therefore going to do something new, or scary, or different every single week in 2017. Some of this comfort zone transgression may be at work – it is going to have to be – I spend 40 hours a week there! I should be doing scary stuff outside of work too.
Scary stuff might mean plucking up the courage to go into the local bar on my own on a Friday night (you can read about my crisis of confidence here).
I intend to go to places I’ve never been to before, see things I’ve never seen, experience things I’ve never experienced. I intend to smell, taste, touch, see and hear new things.
And, so that I remember and learn from these things, I am going to keep a list of what I’ve done. Easy…or maybe not, but I am going to give it a go.
Read a book a month
I used to read a lot. Now I manage about six pages a week, usually in the bath once Cygnet has gone to bed. I miss it and I need to make time for more fiction. One book a month feels as though it should be an achievable goal even for this time poor single, working mum. I’ll let you know.
Go to the theatre once a month
This is just me being self-indulgent. This was on my list of resolutions last year. It is helpful to have a reminder to do things that you love, a ‘chore’ that you really want to do. I saw some great stuff last year: An Inspector Calls; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; Wonder.land.
I also saw some less than mediocre comedy and an eminently forgettable monologue which really did feel like a chore rather than a pleasure. Sometimes you have to see the rubbish stuff to appreciate the good stuff.
Be more robust with my ex
My ex likes to get his own way. I don’t deal with conflict well. It makes me tense and stressed and I do everything that I can to avoid any form of conflict. When it comes to my ex this usually means letting him have his own way. My ex exploits my conciliatory position and demands more and more and more.
He seems to know which buttons to press to get what he wants. He argues aggressively and then cries. It took me a while to recognise and write about the compliance and control in our relationship, but my ex is an emotional manipulator and I need to learn how best to cope with that. I need to be more robust and businesslike with my ex.
Be more ‘zen’
I am not entirely sure what this means or what I want ‘be more zen’ to mean. I do know that I find dealing with my ex really stressful. Over the course of 2016, I think I learned not to show it, but I tend to internalise that stress.
I feel the tension rising up my back like a tidal wave. My breathing quickens. Waves then crash relentlessly and forcefully against my back. They surge and then circulate like a whirlpool between my shoulders.
I cannot control my ex, in fact I cannot even predict his actions, but I should be able to control how my mind and body react to him.
So, I’ve downloaded a the app Headspace, I’ve bought a yoga for stress release DVD. I don’t yet know what will work, but there has to be something and in 2017 I intend to find my coping mechanism. I’ll try anything twice, and if all else fails…
…I’ll just drink more wine.
Happy New Year!