Resolutions. Generally I try to avoid such things, mainly because I have a real dislike of them. Well, actually, that’s not entirely true. I dislike the way people seem to feel they warrant some sort of declamatory announcement, usually through social media, just so we all know that, along with what they’ve eaten for lunch, they’re also giving up smoking and going to the gym EVERY DAY. I dislike the fact you feel pressured into making them at New Years. In fact it seems some people defer making them until the new year as if that makes them count more. I also dislike the idea that it’s ok not to keep them. Especially those you make at New Years, mainly because you came up with something crap like not biting your nails or drink more water, because you were unprepared and under pressure. Sometimes, however, I’ve found it necessary to take decisive action against the dangers of coasting through life and this action has manifested by way of a resolution. While in the process of ‘resolving’, incidentally, I have a little voice in the back of my head reminding me its ok if I don’t manage to keep them, nobody ever does. I dislike that voice too.
This last year has been a year of decisions, resolutions, negotiations and re-negotiations. Looking back, it’s sometimes hard to see what’s been achieved and what I still need to do. I know I was going to try running my own business but got sidetracked, however, that sidetrack achieved other things that running the business wouldn’t have. In that case do I count a success or a failure?
This morning I found my diary. I’ve not faithfully kept it, but written on occasion, when I’ve been on holiday and want to remember the small details that slip away with time or when I’ve felt it necessary to make some sort of resolution. The last time I wrote was August 2012 and the subject matter was how I intended to make more of my life. Bearing in mind it was written only months before I made the crazy decision to give everything up, move to Norfolk and run workshops in schools it made for interesting reading.
The resolutions were listed under headings – paint, photo, write, be a better teacher, be fitter, read, travel, save and communicate. I won’t bore you with a detailed breakdown of each, suffice it to say the general thrust was to do more and waste less time. Going through each one it became clear I’ve achieved in each area except the decision to save at least £150 each month. It seems less and less a surprise I found myself here.
Tracking even further back, and it seems in January 2012 I reluctantly set resolutions because I felt I was on/at the cusp of an important year. A year I intended to finish proud of my achievements, not knowing when I wrote that, the decisions I would end up making. I finished 2012 amazed and slightly shocked by my bravery but certainly proud of what I had done. 2013 has proved the decisions I made were the right ones, that bravery does not always turn out to be stupidity in disguise (as was my greatest fear).
Having laid the groundwork, 2014 looks to be another success. I’ve nearly painted enough for the Open Galleries exhibition over Easter, just today a review on my blog benefited from the endorsement of Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures (I’m still reeling from that one!), I teach part time which means I actually enjoy the time I do spe nd teaching and I’m generally a much happier person. I’m not going to set resolutions this January, instead I’m just going to try for more of the same. Its a slow process, dream chasing, but it’s a rewarding one.