Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions … I hate the idea, but I made some anyway

I’m not a lover of hard and fast rules. My work environment revels in a sea of gray—with few absolute constraints. While technical strategy often seems set in stone, there’s very little that is so concrete that it actually can’t be challenged or changed.

I do countenance some exceptions to this liberal indecisiveness! Including the Ten Commandments and wedding vows.

But when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, it all seems a bit Pharisetical. Making yourself rules and commitments that you know you won’t be able to keep for the first twelve days, never mind twelve months.

Doesn’t the maxim state what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger? Maybe it’s time for a change. Time to at least continue to develop and stretch some existing trends. (I originally wrote this post on Christmas Eve, so at least that was non-conformist!)

It feels less publish and be damned, more publish and damn yourself. So if you meet me in real life, be polite and don’t ask me how I’m getting on with these goals. No nagging. Just assume absolute failure and we’ll all agree to move on!

I’d like to …

  • … be home at tea time and bath time more often that in 2006. Family is important. And family time is important for partners and for children. (Anyway, bedtime story books are wonderful.) A corollary would be not to receive “gold cards” for any further hotel chains or airlines! (It’s too late for Holiday Inn and bmi.)
  • … have lunch with my wife on a weekday once a month. Given the hours I end up working, and the days spent away from home, making a date for lunch in town (“in town” translates to “in Belfast” for non-locals) once a month seems perfectly reasonable (if unattainable in 2006).
  • … be more mindful of my life’s effect on the environment. Turns out that recycling paper, milk cartons and tins is pretty easy. Even pulling out the staples is manageable. But what’s the next step? I suspect that a wind turbine in urban East Belfast would be inefficient and unsightly. Feels a bit eco-nerdish too. But then nearly any eco-friendly action feels silly and over-the-top. But given the number of flights I take in a year, I owe the Earth some repayment. I’m wondering whether I could start to bring plastic bags with me when I’m going shopping. (Frankly I’m embarrassed to even suggest it.) But stopping filling our house with yet more Sainsbury’s branded white bags wouldn’t be a bad idea. (Could just keep a stash in the glove compartment of the car?) And maybe once in a while, I'll get the pink Metro bus into work. After 18 months I should really give it a go!
  • … watch through the first six series of West Wing (132 episodes, lent to me by a colleague) before the end of 2007. Bonus: watch the seventh series! Extra bonus: finish watching the Blake’s Seven DVDs too. Update: started this one early. Up to Series 1, episode 5!
  • … de-clutter my life, leaving more room for God & others. Recurring theme on AiB? Specifically I’m going to apply a “month rule” to lots of areas. I’ll try to file away all those bills and receipts once a month. I will try to ditch free trade magazines that aren’t read within a month of popping through the letter box. And I’ll try really hard to rid our house of the large cardboard boxes provided by the removal firm when we moved in 18 months ago. With more space, less clutter, there might be fewer distractions and excuses to spending time with God each day. Not that the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God isn't already around quite a lot and capable of squeezing into the tightest of corners. But I'd like to intentionally spend more time listening, and less time bluffing. And a tidier house might be more conducive to inviting strangers and friends around for coffee or even dinner.

I think that’s enough for now. Someone remind me to review them at Easter to see if they’re viable!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

New Year's Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day and remain until the set goal has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set.

Everything so true about New Year's Resolution and yet everybody has their own set of resolutions every new year. On the bright side, at least we set our goals and ponder on the past year and coming years.