when i was a kid, new year’s resolutions were probably the most significant holiday tradition my family had. we didn’t celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah; we celebrated New Year’s. Turkey dinner on the 31st, a little cuckoo clock atop the New Year’s tree, presents, those cracker things you pull and there’s a little toy inside, and resolutions made. Not as a big family discussion, but at some point I’d make a list. (How awesome would it be to read the resolutions of one’s 7-year-old self? Hilarious.) I’ll have to root around in my mom’s basement to find this oversized illustrated book my sister wrote in grade school about some little mice who made new year’s resolutions. I think the lead mouse was named Tammy and she resolved to learn how to ice skate. It’s pretty charming. (And maybe the littlest mouse was based on me!)
i started in on this year’s list last night. a bit dull, a bit like the ones I’ve made every year for the past decade but let’s have at it.
Inspired by the book my dear friend Claire gave me for Chrimbo, A Writer’s Life by Lyndall Gordon on my favourite but much ignored Virginia Woolf. (Much ignored by me. Not by the world.) VW wrote every day, her whole life — write, write, write.
1. Write, write, write. (a) In my journal/diary book, which is now mostly a collection of entries written when I am feeling particularly low. I used to write more often in the high school and university days — I resolve to write in it more. (b) Every day, work on that book (which I haven’t told you about yet). and (c) write here on this blog.
2. Read a wider range of books. Starting in on A Writer’s Life reminded me how seldom I read something that is not light and fluffy. Obviously I read a lot at work, but it’s a different kind of reading — reading to improve something rather than reading to learn from a book or be entertained by it. At home, I’ve been reading light fiction for the most part. And I adore it. But with A Writer’s Life, I can feel my brain twisting around, trying to figure out what VW was all about, trying to remember To the Lighthouse and The Waves. There’s a pile of non-fiction I’m keen to read: more Michael Pollan, Harold Evans’ My Paper Chase, The Talented Miss Highsmith, The Push to Prescribe. (Basically any book that is discussed on The Current I’ll want to read.) I am officially accepting book recommendations — fiction, non-fiction, anything really.
3. Eat real food and take a break from sitting. This is the mandatory “healthier lifestyle” portion of the resolutions. Making lunches, eating breakfast (which I haven’t done yet today. oopsy), making dinner from healthful ingredients, drinking loads of water and loads less diet coke, and (here’s an important bit) going to the gym. Eep. I signed up for a gym membership a little while ago (which is getting to be a longer while ago). I have not gone. I must go. So I do not turn into a sloth and so my bank account knows why it’s being dinged monthly for a not-insignificant amount of moolah.
4. Pay more attention to the world outside the shows on the CW. My interests have grown rather insular. I may be very well-informed vis a vis the Gossipverse, but who is the President of Canada? We have a Prime Minister? Still that Harper fellow with the stare of a serial killer? Unfortunate.
5. Save up some money. I have a not-so-secret ambition to go to a one-week surf camp in Costa Rica. This one looks like the most genius trip of all time: surf lessons, yoga, beautiful beachside huts, fresh tasty food. And you don’t have to know how to surf. But it’s not cheap. And I am not rich. Maybe this time next year my trip will be booked!
Those are the main ones, at least for now, until I dream up more. Any good ‘uns I should add to my list? Do you dollies still make resolutions?