Friday, 2 January 2009

New Year Confusions

Ladies, Gentlmen and Smismars, welcome to 2009. Like Bambi, I too eschew plans for crazily over-elaborate and expensive new year celebrations in favour of spending time with people I actually like and can have a conversation with. The two best new years I ever spent were as follows:

  1. Travelling to Orkney for a week and spending it in a shack with no electricity or heating. There was whisky, beer, new year's day hiking on the Island of Hoy, visits to the neolithic village of Skara Brae and playing of ultimate frisbee on the beach while wearing three layers of clothes.

  2. Getting in free to a Mr Scruff gig with my two best mates, after one of said mate's then boyfriend won tickets. That's the most fun I've ever had clubbing, which is saying something as usually I take to clubbing like duck to merchant banking. Even though it was a great night, we were still plagued with London transport doing its usual crap thang and the weather being nipple-chappyingly freezing.

This year, I visited a friend in Norwich. The boyfriend decided he would accompany me and we spent a happy evening with eight other people, eating pizza and home-made chocolate brownie, drinking a bit and seeing whose quote knowledge of Futurama/Star Wars/The Simpsons/Family Guy/Narnia/random films was best. As the clock struck 12, we assembled outside and set some incendiary entertainment devices on fire. We then watched Bender's Game and stayed up discussing music until 4am-ish. All good fun. In what was possibly the geekiest New Year ever, we then watched Dune the next day. I have resolved to read it, because the film was frickin' awesome.

And now it's January 2 and I'm enjoying the liminality of this time of year. The normal operations of society have been suspended. Everything will kick back into fifth gear come Monday, but right now, it's hibernation time. I like this period, because it's the one time when I feel that it's completely acceptable to do nothing of use. It can't last too long, because otherwise you'd get bored. It's also worth quitting while you're ahead, too much of a good thing wears thin pretty quickly.

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, I think if you're going to make changes, you should just get on with it. There is nothing particularly special about this time of year that makes it a good time to change your life, your wardrobe or your personality, but people like structure and incentives. In this instance, I guess it gives you something to get you through the dark days when, by rights, we should all be tucked up o'nights sleeping for 16 hours.

Instead of resolutions, I'm going to post a list of aims. I'm hoping if I make them public, I may actually feel under some pressure to achieve them.

I want to:
- write something for myself every day, be it my unfinished novel, a short story, a poem or a blog entry. I just want to do something with words that isn't work. I want the fun of writing back, dammnit.
- buy my own climbing harness
- start making films with my iMac
- learn how to use my Mac ftp client
- change my website's layout
- play the clarinet more regularly again
- do more exercise
- be more positive
- pass the final stage of my journalism qualification first time
- be happier at work

That's hardly exhaustive, but it's a start and hopefully it's realistic. I think the trick is not to aim too high, but do the small things and you'll get there.

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