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Secret Diary

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Last year I wrote my New Year’s Resolutions on a piece of paper, and published them for accountability.
I’ve never looked back to them to check what I was actually doing. Granted, I don’t need a piece of paper to remind me that I should be less shy around a certain someone who, I’m told by everyone who knows him, is an absolute sweetheart.
It may not be the best strategy to ensure things get done, but at the same time it highlights how deeply I really feel about achieving any of those things. I would only achieve what was in my heart regardless of whether it was on paper. So here’s the list, and here’s what happened.

Feel good.
My spiritual life was, more or less, successfully covered. A good record of Mass attendance, a few retreats, a summer spent working for a religious charity. I haven’t stretched my body on a mat that much. I’ve spent a lot of time with friends, made new ones as well, developed a taste for red wine while at it.

Don’t let love turn yourself sour.
I have moved on from the person who broke my heart shortly before I wrote that, but I would lie if I said I didn’t cry for someone all year.

Do something new that you were never going to do before, for the sake of the experience.
I dressed as Captain Kirk for Comic Con. It turned out everyone dressed as Captain Kirk so I wasn’t the odd one out.

Go to the seaside.
Up to the hips in cold water on a quiet beach past a pine forest on the coast near Norfolk.

Do something reckless and liberating.
I’ve been singing at a reception at party conference.

Tell your family that you love them.
This could be improved, but I’m going to visit for Christmas and I’ve even invited my aunt.

Start a business or a project.
I’m the co-founder of Good Works Society, but I’m also working on having my own business in the new year.

Learn to breathe properly so you can sing.
I’ve been found out to have hay fever and I’ve been singing at the Corpus Christi procession with less effort than before so a definite level up.

Stop assuming what people will think, just do it.
I think I’m doing fairly well. I can now stand up in front of a crowd and give a speech written by myself and not someone else without shaking because I feel vulnerable. I’m also told I’m very confident in social settings by someone who has observed me throughout the year.

Talk to the celebrity crush.
I had to say “excuse me” once he was in my way, does that count?

Be open to possibilities. God works in mysterious ways.
I’ve fundraised my rent for January so I guess I’ve been open beyond reasonable.

I don’t have resolutions for the new year ahead. I’ve experimented with them, and life seems so much better when I don’t think about it being better, or me being good enough. The truth is, we are the sum of what we do year after year, and achieving one thing or many in 2015 isn’t that much in the great scheme of things. When I’m old and, God willing, I will tell tales of my youth to my grandchildren, I will not remember when I run 3 miles at the pace a healthy person would have on a slow day, or dropping one size in my M&S jeggings when I was 26. I may remember the details of major events that impacted my life in 2015, but it would be things that had a lasting impact. If I were to write new resolutions they would be broadly the same, and so they’d be next year, and the year after that. Goal-setting may work for some, but it’s not my cup of tea.
I’m a coffee-drinker: rich, bold and I like the unpredictable.

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