New Year, Same Resolutions as Every Other New Year

The year is 2020. I should be writing that I’m living in a flying car-partment on the moon, or that we’ve achieved world peace or nuclear standoff or are living under cockroach rule. We might not be so far from the nuclear standoff.

Instead, I’m trying to get back to work, in my normal non-flying house on Earth, like everyone else. I ‘took time off over the school Christmas holidays’, or ‘completely failed to do anything useful for the last two weeks and am blaming it on the kids and trying to make it appear intentional’. That’s scary, because it’s my job now, and I absolutely need to be self-motivating and able to compartmentalise my work and life even when I’m working at home.

The kids are at their dad’s and I’m trying to work. I went to the gym (this is new for me, but essential, especially as my main job now involves sitting on my arse within range of the cupboard where we keep the ket*). I came home. I listened to an audiobook for a bit, which is shorthand for mooched around but tried to feel like I was still engaging my brain in some way. I felt a bit bleary-eyed so I had a nap. I woke up on the settee and thought I’d gone blind, as I’d been smushing a blanket into my eyes to keep the light out. I thought about making a coffee, and found that there was a whole section of my coffee maker that came apart for cleaning, that I hadn’t previously been aware of. It was disgusting. I spent half an hour bleaching everything in sight (I’m quite mould-phobic) then made a coffee. It tasted slightly of bleach, and the Oatly separated a little, like soya milk used to in the olden days before proprietary vegan options were well thought out and pleasant.

Putting my thoughts down into a blog seems like a good way to engage my typing muscles again, so this is a segue into proper work (of which I have a pleasing amount, though not quite enough to live on just yet – I’m still doing shifts at the place I still think of as my real job), and not just more procrastinating. Honest, guv.

So, New Year, New Me? Not really; what would happen to the old me? It sounds too much like dying. I made the same New Year’s resolutions as every year:

  • Lose two stone obviously.
  • Read more.
  • Become independently wealthy.
  • Stop getting riled up when the kids bicker.
  • Storm the Bastille or appropriate local/contemporary equivalent.
  • See friends more even if it’s raining.
  • Write more, and not just work stuff.
  • Wear more gold, especially makeup, ESPECIALLY eyebrows.
Goldie-lookin’ face for the New Year.

I already joined a gym. It hasn’t made me instantly svelte and strong, which is obviously shocking, and the reason I don’t play an instrument. I want instant results, and I want them now! ‘I’m not excellent at it straight away? Then it probably doesn’t deserve my effort.’ That’s clearly a terrible attitude, and if I was going in for New Year New Me – and I’m not, I’m already excellent – that would be something I’d address. I don’t know how to succinctly put that into New Year’s Resolution form.

  • Be better at being bad at things.

No, not quite that.

  • Keep doing the stuff you’re bad at.

No, not that either. If the aim is not to give up easily, the answer is to make progress measurable:

  • Do a new thing ten times before you give up on it.

Ugh. Not that. If I suspect that the goal is arbitrary, I’ll never stick to it.

  • Keep doing the stuff you’re bad at for a predetermined length of time based on the average amount of time taken to show progress, as evidenced by, at the very least, a large-scale survey.

Yes, that sounds like something I can stick to.

My next post will be about nursing or medical writing again, I promise.

*In Newcastle and other parts of North East England, ‘ket’ means sweets and crisps and general rubbish food, not necessarily ketamine. It’s never not funny to people who aren’t from around here.


Published by Elaine Francis

I'm a registered nurse making the jump to freelance writing. I started chronicling my notice period with a view to a smooth segue into full-time writing, but it's become an emotional rollercoaster.

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