I’m not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions – I tend to think every day is a chance to change, to start again. I also think January is just about the worst month to start anything remotely virtuous like exercise or ditching any unhealthy habits. Dark nights need dark pursuits ( not vampire slaying or anything – I’m thinking hearty brown stews and chocolate pudding by candle light…) But there is something about the onset of a new year, or writing that date for the first time, or opening a new calendar, that makes you acutely aware that a clean slate lies ahead, a seemingly endless expanse of new opportunities. So here’s what I’d like to do this year.
Re-aquaint myself with my camera – Taking photographs is something that I’ve always loved, and when I bought my first DSLR a few years ago, my pictures got better and better. With the advent of iPhones, instagram etc. the need for lugging about my big camera (along with all the baby paraphernalia) It’s fallen by the wayside. I’d like to try and get to grips with it again, maybe my linking up with a 52 project or Living Arrows as a way to motivate me and inspire me.
Ten perfectly ticklesome toes, photographed in 2013.
Make time for myself. Many of my own personal ambitions and interests are on hold. There is always so much I want to do, and I become so paralysed by the decisions that I don’t do anything. I never realised before how much my ownership of time would alter once I became a mother, so I know that I’m still not going to be able to do anything, but I’m determined to do something. This will include a regular craft activity and a regular exercise activity. It might not be the same thing every week / month, but the crucial thing is, that I will make a time for it in my week – and fill it with something. I have already brainstormed a list of small and bigger craft projects and I have tried to be realistic about what I can achieve.
Getting my craft on baby!
Looking after myself – I’ve let myself go this year. I have a wardrobe full of clothes that I don’t wear because they are too impractical, or too small. My hair has only been cut once in 14 months and thanks to post-natal hair loss and regrowth, its looking pretty scary (hello strange monkey fringe). My friend had her hair cut and coloured today, and seriously, my reaction freaked me out. I was SO excited by it I felt giddy for an hour after I saw it, like some kind of MuncHAIRsons by proxy, if you will. IMAGINE what it would be like if I like my own hair-do?!! I’d explode. Obviously. I’m also a little bit averse to spending money on clothes – I’m never sure if they are going to work in my wardrobe, and also keenly aware of personal finance and ethics of cheap fashion. I think it has to start with an overhaul of my own wardrobe. Chucking out the things that don’t fit anymore, and working in the things that I just don’t wear.
Exhibit A: Crimes against fashion
Live more thoughtfully. In circa 1988, I learned about the Ozone layer, and promptly educated our hapless but wonderful teacher, press-ganged the rest of my friends into making home sewn badges with matching posters, and went on to be awarded one of the first ever green Blue Peter badges. I also wanted to join Greenpeace, Save the Whales/Elephants/Tigers/Rainforests, as well as go to Africa and help the starving babies. I wanted a better world. I was a hippy in the making. I was a right activist, but it seemed to annoy some people, and I recall a feeling that being a “do-gooder” was not a good thing, and that it was much more important to “get real”. Man, how adults like to confuse the pure and optimistic hearts of children eh? Since then, I guess I convinced myself (or been convinced) that it’s okay to ignore my own impact on the environment, because I’d rather not pay a premium for ‘eco’ or ethical products (part of me does think they are a bit of a marketing invention). I think the politics and economics of it are very complex, and I’m wary of seemingly hopping onto any ‘movement’ without really understanding it. So my first step with this is to educate myself and try and work out the fluffy floss from the er… pink syrup. Gotta love a candyfloss analogy, no?
Red lippy is ALWAYS a good start.
Having read them back, I’m aware of how selfish they all seem. But 2013 was such a year of shifting roles and priorities. Becoming a Mum strips away so much bullshit from your life, and makes you hone in on the fundamentals. My primary focus is very much my daughter, and our family unit and trying to make our home life happy and safe and healthy. For anybody who has not made that shift, that all sounds very easy, but it hasn’t been, and in trying to get it right, I put my own needs at the bottom of the pile. But 2014 is the time to try and bring them back up again. You can’t make anybody else happy until you have made yourself happy. (Just sayin’.)
p.s. You might have realised that there are not 2,014 items in this blog post. The title is a little grammatically ambiguous. Soz for any disappointment y’all.