I seem to recall making three last year which I kept to varying degrees of success, so I'll stick to a generalised few again...
Last year's resolutions were:
1. Get fit and lose weight. I started swimming regularly with herringprincess, which has had a positive effect on my arms if nothing else, though I'm still a stone overweight and my legs are still horrible. I did attempt to start riding my bike but a lack of money rather effectively put a stop to that before it started...
2. Get organised. This ebbs and flows. Paul and I have been much better at taking lunch to work rather than buying it, and I've been mostly getting up before 7.40am on work days.
3. Get the flat sorted. This one's been a mixture, I suppose. There are books on bookcases and we recently rearranged the kitchen, but the attic is still full of boxes... Ah well.
So, this year's resolutions shall be:
1. Continue to get fit and lose weight. I shall continue to go swimming with Alison, and Paul and I are intending to join LA Fitness (it's around the corner, so there's no excuse) at some point. I may also buy a new bike. And I got a smoothie maker for Christmas so will be endeavouring to use that.
2. Continue to be organised. In other words, keep getting up at 7.30, eat breakfast, make lunch the night before, etc. I've also bought a diary to keep track of birthdays and choir commitments.
3. Continue sorting the flat. We're supposed to be inheriting another bookcase which will hopefully hold some of my larger books, thus emptying the bottom shelf of the wooden shelves and also of Trevor's bookcase. Also, in the new year we are going to redecorate the bedroom and rearrange the furniture to move the PC in there and make the current PC area a bookcase area instead... And I'll sort those bloody boxes out in the attic. I will.
(Those three are just continuations of last year, really; here's some new ones.)
4. Learn to drive. I promised to do this in 2008 purely because the cost and quality of public transport is getting worse and worse. Not sure how I'm going to afford the lessons / a car, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it...
5. Do more writing. Not an easy one to just make myself do, but I've made lots of progress this year in terms of actually writing new things (I have 3-4 fics on the go, and I'm slowly working on more bits of "Reclamation".) I suppose, really, it's more about remembering to sit down and write, and not dismissing the possibility because of being tired or distracted. I also need to try and write at home, rather than at work...
6. Eat out less. Paul and I are both guilty of not being arsed to cook and wandering to the nearest eating establishment, and we've agreed that twice a month is more than adequate. Which should hopefully mean I have a bit more spare money.
I think three more in addition to last year's three is an adequate proposal. I don't want to put generalising and impossible statements like "Be happy" or "Stop being paranoid", because I will be ultimately disappointed when such doesn't happen. I have accepted that recovery is a long, tedious and painful journey, and that eventually I will Be Happy and everything in the world will be right, and I will stop being paranoid about the people around me. For the moment, I'm just living life and mostly coping and occasionally wanting to hide under a rock, but it's better than it was, and that's okay.
So, last night I made the cottage pie as anticipated, which, um, filled the kitchen with steam due to frying and boiling at the same time. Which wouldn't have been quite so bad if the steam wasn't full of onion, so I couldn't stay in there for more than two minutes at a time; my eyes are incredibly sensitive to onions. There were meant to be the remainder of the 'pigs-in-blankets' from Christmas Day but they ended up completely charred...
Anyway, the pie was very nice indeed. Except then my stomach was not happy in the slightest during the evening... I don't think it was the fault of the pie, as Paul was fine. The only thing I'd eaten that day which he hadn't was a smoothie (2 apples, 1 pear, some yogurt and some apple+mango juice) and some leftover turkey the day before... I suspect it's the turkey rather than the smoothie... In any case, we have pie for lunch today so I'll find out later, I suppose...
I also watched "A Day in the Life of J K Rowling" on ITV in the evening... Whilst I may not be an avid follower of the Harry Potter series (and now thoroughly spoiled, thanks Jo... :P) J K Rowling, as a writer, fascinates me. I think it's because of where she comes from and where she's ended up. It's such a Cinderella story, in a way, and yet she remains so down to earth about it and doesn't forget that point in her life when she had nothing.
The bit I liked, especially, was the interviewer asking her direct questions at the start and end of the year following her life (from the completion of Deathly Hallows onwards). She said a couple of things which struck me quite poignantly. "I wanted to be published" was one of her declarations about how things were at the start, even though she didn't anticipate, or necessarily want, to be famous. Also, "I want to write; I need to write" as her explanation as for why.
That's all writers want: to write. To ultimately be published.
I always feel rather anxious of saying that I want to be like Jo Rowling, because that implies an inherent lust for fame. What I mean when I say that is, if I am ever famous - if I'm ever published, even though that possibility seems more distant now than ever - I want to remain down-to-earth, humble and ordinary. I don't want to write the next Hary Potter; I just want - need - to write. That's everything.
I think it's something that non-writers really struggle to understand. When I wrote things at school for fun, I would usually end up in the following conversation:
Random Person: What are you doing?
Me: Writing a story.
Random Person: *incredulous expression* Why?
My Brain: "Because if I don't I will die. I will cease to be. Writing is my life-force. Writing is my window to expressing all those feelings I can't admit in reality. Writing is who I am and what I am and what I will always be."
Because when you are at school, if you're not that way inclined, Creative Writing seems a fairly pointless exercise, especially as you get older. Even when I did it at Uni, the majority of the course was spent telling you how difficult it was to get published, and in the Writing for TV module especially I found my creativity and vision being crushed by what was 'expected' of the course.
Anyway. As ever, I could ramble on about this until the cows come home (which is a really bizarre saying, given there are no cows in my flat), but it's inevitably quite futile.
In short: I admire and aspire to be just like J K Rowling.
And that, as they say, is that.