Women’s magazines love New Year. Their covers are full of titles like “New Year, New You!” and “How To Have Your Best Year Yet!”
This only brings out my inner cynic who, lets be honest, is rarely far from the surface. I recognise the absurdity of these false hopes even as I am drawn to their promise of transformation and the lure of Better.
Let’s face it: I’m not going to transform myself into a gregarious, high-energy style icon with a multi-million dollar business developed in my garage. One thing I do agree with those magazines on is that if I really, really wanted this I could achieve it or most of it. But it’s not going to happen because it’s not something I want.
And here I return to a persistent theme, namely how difficult it is to follow your dreams when those dreams are the antithesis of what the world says you Ought to want.
Dreams and plans and goals that the world endorses are big and bold, active, social and public. I want smaller, quieter, more private.
I want less stuff. I was thwarted in this by my father who gave me a book I wouldn’t buy because a flick through it in the library would be sufficient, and a very expensive designer alarm clock that I won’t use and have no need for. Now I have to figure out how to dispose of these items without causing offence. I realise this sounds ungrateful. It is. But I’d have been more grateful had he listened when I told him I didn’t want anything and if he really wanted to buy me something I’d prefer food or wine that I could consume.
Quieter should be easier to achieve, although it takes some discipline to shut out noise in all its many forms including social media, aimless web surfing, reality TV and the aforementioned women’s magazines. My real challenge will be to stop browsing on my phone when I wake up and to do something a bit more life-giving and positive when I start my day.
More private is entirely up to me really. Many would say I keep pretty much everything to myself as it is. And one has to share in order to have conversations with people and build relationships of any kind. But while I am hardly the type to air all my linen in public I do want to honour my need to keep some things to myself, not because they are scurrilous or shocking but because they are important to me. And I don’t want them tainted by others not treating them as important.
Those are my rules to live by this year. Same old me, really, only more so.
Incidentally I had a lovely Christmas Day with my nephews, no. 1’s partner & child, and my father, probably the nicest family Christmas I’ve ever had. But I won’t lie: it was taxing and I was completely over people for the next few days.