To take up more space, to take more chances, make more mistakes, more friends, more noise. Take trips, say yes, create more. Write more and be more present.
I’m tired of all the new me bullshit. While it’s nice to take stock of a year and look upon a fresh new one with a sliver of excitement, why must we always have to change? Who I am is just fine thanks, I’ll not be adjusting at all.
Apart from trying to save instead of spend, I’ll be:
Eating whatever the fuck I like
Going on at least two European breaks
Visiting London at least once
Writing regularly and maybe even outlining a plan to write something ‘real’
Recording a lot of new episodes for the podcast
Watching all the films
Reading all the books
Being vocal about anything and everything than means something to me
It seems I saw out 2015 with much hope in my heart, setting some interesting personal challenges and then adding to them in early January. Since we’re half way through the year I thought it might be fun to recap and see where I’m at with those.
Instead of being all list-y, I’ll break this into lifestyle categories I think.
Travel & Adventure
Well, I’m no closer to NYC but I have been up to the North! We stayed in a hotel so I think it counts. Seriously though, I don’t think there’ll be a foreign break this year as too much has come up for us financially but Glynn is taking driving lessons so there will be some adventure. TBH I’d be happy with a road trip just us at this stage. We’ll get more exotic when we can.
Work & Education
New job? Nope. But things are better so I’m much happier. I do crave more creative freedom but that’s okay, I feel my blog helps with that.
I haven’t signed up for the coding course yet but I am about to do an online Forensic Science and Profiling Diploma, because my obsession with true crime has obviously gone way too far! I’ve also picked up a sketch book and I’m looking to start a 10 week drawing class in September. So not bad on the extra-curricular front if I say it myself!
Health & Well-being
I’m still going to the gym around 3-4 times a week and I can feel noticeable change in my hench-ness. I’m enjoying doing this for myself, with no motive other than wanting to feel stronger.
I think I’m doing better at not running myself down for not looking like other people. I try not to say derogatory things about myself. We all have low days though and on those days I stay away from mirrors and do nice things for myself until it passes.
I’m saying yes to more good stuff and no to more shit – and that feels bloody great. I don’t spend too much time with people I don’t care for and that feels even better.
I also feel like I’m getting better at the over-apologies. They’re born of insecurity and, for me, are a hangover from a bad relationship, so I’m happy to work on letting this characteristic go. I know in my heart I have nothing to be sorry for, ever and I have as much right to be present as any other fucker.
Well, I’m not rich but I did pay off a large chunk of debt just after Christmas. I’m currently on a no-shopping ban too which is helping.
Look, I’m always going to have a bit too much of an interest in online shopping and there will always be good months and bad months but we’re doing okay. We’d love to buy somewhere in the next few years and that is going to require massive dedication and sacrifice, so I feel okay about being a bit free and easy at the moment.
I have been tattooed a couple of times in 2016, including my very favourite Wonder Woman tattoo which I realise I haven’t even photographed since it’s healed. I will try to do that properly soon. I’ve been reading more, been taking some fine #selfies and all in all I’m a happy lady.
I know I have to write more, I know sometimes I have a tendency to coast through life at a comfortable pace but generally I like life and the people in it. I’m lucky to have a good family and I’m in good health, so for now there’s nothing to really complain about.
There’s still time to make change and get better at my new hobbies, especially the drawing. I have a weird feeling there’s a distinct illustrative style buried within me and I just want to coax it out!
I think the sign off on this 6 month catch up is just to keep on keeping on. Which is what I intend to do.
People can be really huffy about resolutions and I get it when we’re bombarded as soon as Boxing Day is over with spam emails from Weight Watchers and gym groups. But I kind of like them myself.
I feel like I’m quite a pro-active kind of chap when I want to be and I respond well to being held accountable, even if it’s just to an old Blog post, written and viewed only by myself.
So I am the kind of person who thinks about resolutions and goals as the NY starts undulating toward us. Of course I’ve already set some goals but I’ve been thinking of some more. Here they are:
I will not say anything derogatory about my body in 2016 – Verrry challenging but I’m going to try because I deserve this and so does every woman of every size, shape, etc
I will buy and keep a sketch book close to me, and find a drawing style – I don’t think I have any talent in this arena but that’s okay, I’m at a point in my life where I can happily accept that just because I’m shit at something, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it
I will be more direct and less apologetic – No explanation needed
I will not doubt my skills at work no matter how I am made to feel – I’m a paranoid android from 9-5, this needs to change
I will read the classics I have not yet read – There are a lot. I’m really looking forward to this one
I will up my selfie game – IMPORTANT
Right. Happy New Year all, I’m off to achieve some of these bad boys. Starting with… maybe buying a sketch book?
It’s become a thing in our household to quit something we love on New Year’s Eve and stick to it for the duration of the coming year. I’m not sure why, but 2015 was my first year in the ‘game’ and I gave up chocolate, just for shits n’ gigs.
My lovely husband spent 2014 saying no to pork products, and this year is off the beer. His dedication to whatever the fuck the point of this is, is incredible. I suppose I only chose chocolate because I knew it would be hard and I wanted to prove to him (and myself?) that I can do it.
I’ve had about 3 slip ups, alright? But they’re all bought and paid for, none of them are secrets. I still thinks it’s bloody impressive that I haven’t bought chocolate for almost a full year. And don’t worry about me, I’ve still gorged on plenty of sweets and savoury snacks, I’m no fool.
The question is: what to give up this year? G has already committed to crisps, bringing my brother down with him (who incidentally, inspired by Bacon Gate, quit coffee for 2015). I’m thinking biscuits*.
What I’d really like to give up is Facebook. I mean, how hard can it be?
Really hard, I think. I love social media. I’m all about Twitter, all over Instagram and well that’s about it really but FB is a unique waste ground, isn’t it? It seems to have rules of its own and the rules are, there ain’t no rules.
As a result you get a melting pot of startling views, a rich tapestry of hot takes from across the world. For the most part people are fabulous but some of these misguided, uneducated opinions are starting to get me down.
Maybe things I do on FB upset others. I mean maybe there is such a thing as too many photos of men with glittery beards, who knows?
I have to do something drastic soon before my head explodes. I’ve already gone on a blocking spree, hiding a significant amount of people from my timeline.
It’s not any one topic either. I’ve bowed out of online friendships (without unfriending because that seems petty and has often come back to bite me on the nose) for all manner of offences. Sexism, racism, all too casual and therefore insidious fat shaming; general, hopeless ignorance. Minion memes.
I’m not perfect by any means. I don’t always get everything right, shock horror. I’m sure you could pick on some of the things I believe in/say/post but for the most part I live by the rule if I don’t know much about something, I’ll leave it alone. And post a photograph of a teapot or something.
So what to do? WHAT TO DO.
Despite the fact I now know just how racist some of my once normal-seeming friends are, I love Facebook for how easy it is to keep everyone together. So maybe I’ll do it, maybe I won’t.
Maybe I’ll just go on blocking people until there’s nobody left.
All I do know is, the one thing worse than Facebook itself? Someone umming and ahhing about leaving it.
“And now we welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Happy New Year! (Got to start with the obligatory NY inspirational quote, natch).
I have, of course, already lightly laid down the gauntlet for New Year. That list contained only a handful of areas I would like to examine in 2015.
I haven’t changed my mind about any of them, though you could argue that I’ve broken at least three already (I’m not counting my indiscretions until 5th January, which is Monday re: moving, being angry and spending though). Hey, these are my resolutions, I’ll be sketchy about the details if I want to.
The good news is that this is Day 2 and I haven’t had chocolate. Sadly this coincides with a crippling bout of PMS cravings. My only fear is that most of my historic chocolate eating has been instinctual. What if I eat it automatically and don’t realise until it’s too late? THE HORROR.
I’m imagining myself as a light and airy waif come December 31st 2015, all my lumpy bits having miraculously melted away due to lack of Dairy Milk. But who the hell am I kidding? I didn’t quit crisps, sweet/salty popcorn, jelly babies or non-chocolaty cake. Butter, cream or bread. I’m not an idiot.
*Insert Homer Simpson-esque dribbling here*
I just wanted to add to my previous Resolutions post, not with too much more, certainly with not too much more New Year, New Me poppycock. Let’s face it, it’s unlikely that this is the year I change absolutely everything that I dislike about my life, lovely thought that might be.
Short of wanting more money, a holiday and not being out of breath when I do up my bra in the morning, I’m pretty happy. I’m trying to be kinder to myself and to believe that I’m fucking fabulous the way I am.
Well well well, here we are on the cusp of a brand new year and it feels like we were standing here not so long ago, doesn’t it? Where did 2014 go?
That said, quite a lot of shit has gone down and even as I ponder how speedily those months have flown by, I know it has felt like a full year.
The obligatory recap (and you will have to forgive me for a rather long and self indulgent post):
It’s hard to believe that A Voluptuous Mind has only been in existence since March. Before that I wore a few monikers, including The Meet Cute and Groupie for the Underdog.
Looking back on my blog is how I know what I did, what my mental states were throughout and what I have achieved.
I started my current job role in February after what felt like an epic battle to get it. I went up against my (now) good friend and in the end won it based on my writing ability. To me a great victory, even if it appears small to others.
It’s been a huge learning curve, stepping up from the bottom (where all good employees begin) into Head Office and having to adapt accordingly. For the most part I am happy and doing well, with a few frustrations that don’t seem important now. I’m doing okay work wise. Whether I will ever have a career based on what I do now is another matter, but is something to have a think about.
What my job has given me is a handful of really brilliant friendships and for that how could I ever be mad? I’ve been touched by the love I have received from three of my now closest friends and feel like a stronger person for each one of them. I’ve been inspired to get off my ample arse and move, in the best possible way – to think about what I want from life, who I want to share it with and invest in.
These women are a million light years away from the unhealthy friendships I have put up with in the past and that’s just magical really.
Among the hair brained schemes I had at the beginning of 2014 were: singing lessons, hula hooping and running. Only one of those stuck to be honest, but hey, that’s better than nothing. I also tried my hand at reviewing a few movies and books, which is something I would like to take into the new year.
I plan to have my nose stuck in a book as much as possible next year, rather than on my phone or whiling the hours away on Candy Crush Soda (which has not real merit at all). Ditto Netflix.
Last year my husband gave up bacon for the whole of 2014.
As I write this, he hasn’t broken this vow once and although his resolution has been a hard one to stick to, especially at sociable breakfast times, he has chosen to hold fast.
This year, for him, it is a toss-up between giving up Facebook or beer.
I think I’m going to take a leaf out of his book in 2015 and quit chocolate. Seems legit, no? Who needs it really? And there are plenty of sweet treats a girl can turn to if she needs one.
On top of that I’ve been thinking of what I can do this year by way of resolutions and I’ve come up with this:
Move whenever I can (which I already try to do)
Stop putting myself down
Stop being angry at things I can’t change
Stop spending so much on useless toot
Write like nobody’s reading (I’m going to write more candidly from now on, so hold onto your hats!)
Not so bad, is it? Not so very difficult. Stop gorging myself on the food of the Gods, move my arse, write and be a nicer person.
Done, done and done.
I can’t find the link to last year’s resolutions but I’m going to take a wild stab at the conclusion that I didn’t achieve many of them.
I did take singing lessons (briefly), become more active and took up hula hooping, so it wasn’t a complete bust. I’ve made some amazing friends, been to nice places and genuinely, honestly, I love my life.
I’m also at a place where I feel strong and hopeful. I feel good about what I have and anything more I gain on top of that will only enhance the feeling. I’m so well-loved that there isn’t anything I can’t do if I want to.
I might come back to this before the year fades out, but for now I’m happy with my small list.
What are your thoughts on the dreaded New Year’s Resolution?