January 4th, 2004


Re: solutions

It's been very hard to make any meaningful resolutions this year. You see, I've realised (and how you'll all laugh at how long it's taken me to realise this!) that one's own resolve just isn't enough. That no matter how much one may want something and believe it's the right thing, and do everything within one's power to effect it, in the end "everything within one's power" may not be sufficient. Other people can always destroy one's plans -- whether by their actions or by the absence of their actions.

I've been trying for so long to develop the willpower to do what I want to do, to be where I want to be, to take control of my life ... only to find that willpower's just a sigh in a cyclone. And for all that I may huff and puff, it's the howling gale of happenstance that will blow my house down or leave it standing.

So I've tried to make some safe resolutions. Oh, they might seem as if I'm trying to challenge myself to do more, to be more ("You're a human being, not a human doing"), but really they're all terribly safe and inconsequential. I'm trying to make them, you see, as if there were some kind of point to trying to "improve myself". As if there was going to be a next week, never mind a next year. At the moment, though, I don't feel as though I dare think that far ahead.

But, still, you can't just sit there, can you, you have to keep going, because, after all, if you didn't, then, well, goodness, absolutely, mustn't grumble, worse things happen at sea, there's many would be glad of, and so on, and, well, anyway, where there's life there's platitudes.

New Year's Resolutions:

  • Write something other than boring "what-happened-when" on LJ at least once a week. I'm not sure yet whether my usual disjointed navel-gazing ramblings should 'count' for that.

  • Write something, anything, in a medium other than LJ/news, this year. Even if nobody else sees it.

  • Read at least one new (i.e. not previously read) book each week. Keep a record of these by updating this -- if nothing appears here after a few weeks feel free to poke me with sticks.

  • Practice at least one of my instruments (piano, violin, viola) at least once a week. Orchestra rehearsals don't count as practice!

  • Practice karate at least once a week, even if only for a few minutes.

  • Stay away from ProQuest! And hopefully find a better job, but to some extent that's out of my hands.

  • Keep track of what I spend, and don't spend as much (I'm not going to set hard and fast limits because I find that if I break them then I tend to just give up -- I'm hoping that by forcing myself to keep track I'll make myself realise how much I'm spending on useless stuff).

  • Save money! This isn't really quite the same thing as the previous resolution. I suspect I'm going to need to have some savings, however small, to fall back on at some point this year.

  • Pay credit card bills on time.

  • Pay the mortgage and pay sion_a back what I owe him.

  • Reply to email quicker, if only to send a short message to say "Longer reply will follow" or words to that effect.

  • Get Christmas cards sent on time (okay, that's a long way in the future, but there's no harm in making the resolution now, assuming I'll still be in a state to communicate with anyone come Christmas).

  • Send fewer text messages (hopefully I won't have so much need to send them, before this year is out, but that's another matter) and/or switch to a better plan for my mobile.

There! And what a total waste of time and thought that was.

You see, it's all just an elaborate cover (although, of course, now that I've said it, it's not really much of a cover, is it?) for the fact that what I really want to resolve to do with my life is either live it -- and I mean live, not just carry on existing from day to week to miserable month -- or give up on the whole sorry business.