Thursday, 15 January 2015

2015 - the year of 'better'

This blog was originally supposed to be linked into the gratitudes fad that swept through social media a while ago, and has been held onto by a few positive minded individuals.

When I created it, it was because I had recently completed a full 21 Days of Positivity (3 gratitudes, 1 random act of kindness, 1 reach-out to an old friend) and felt like I needed to do it again. Then the world got in the way, and my energy for remaining positive went into day-to-day activities. I survived, but didn't feel up to blogging. So I forgot about it. It was only the other day when I returned to a different blog (my Small Kitchen Diary) to post about how curry is my favourite thing ever right now, that I rediscovered this one. So this is me changing my mind about what I want this blog to be about.

I have previously always tried to make a blog on a particular theme, and keep it to a specific style. I think I'm going to use this one as a platform for saying the things I feel like saying. Some days they will be pointless little anecdotal stories, other days they will be things I've learned or remembered that might be of interest. I haven't got an exhaustive list yet because I don't know what I'll feel like writing a week from now, but I know I will still be trying to get better at things, like writing and blogging and keeping in touch.

That brings me very neatly to today's subject. This year, 2015, is the year of 'better'. Prior to New Year, I made the decision that the majority of my New Year's resolutions should be, not to change something fundamental about myself, but to put a little bit more time and energy into something that I've already begun to improve. I would like to get better at things this year.

So far, my 'getting better' resolutions are thus:
- I will get better at keeping my space tidy. To accomplish this, I decimated (in the correct sense) my possessions: I got rid of about 10% or everything. It has tranformed how I feel about myself in my own space. I am so much less angry with myself and so much less likely to break, lose or forget things. I will probably do this again, having shed the outer shell of 'stuff' that I didn't need, now I'm starting to get to grips with the possessions I really do use/love/want to hang onto, and the ones that (having thought I did) I don't.

- I will get better at keeping in touch. This has been a nice one. I am trying to say thank you to all those people who have put time and energy into keeping me safe and sane over the last few years. It's not been easy for me, and it's not been easy for the people around me, either. The really good friends are the ones who are still brave enough to ask "How are you doing today?" So I'm getting in touch with them to ask them how they are, and to tell them that, thanks to their kindness and emotional support, I'm ok now.

- I will get better at wasting less. I have denied myself several perishables of late because I haven't finished what I've got in stock. I'm nowhere near perfect yet. I am still disappointed in myself for the amount I throw away, but it is less. This is a resolution that needs to pick up steam over quite a long time. I'll need to change my habits to make it really work for me, and do it in conjunction with the next resolution.

- I will get better at cooking from scratch. I love cooking, but when I'm depressed, I find it really hard to make new foods. Enter my saviour 'Made in India, Cooked in Britain'. Meera Sodha is an exceptional cookery writer and culinary inspiration. She is also a thoroughly nice person - I wrote to her to thank her for getting me back into cooking; she responded with a charming email within 24 hours. I got the book for Christmas and have been making huge curry dishes that I don't mind eating day after day. The use of things like pulses and tins of things means that I am less likely to have something festering in the fridge because I can't finish it off, like salad. I hate salad.

- I will get better at treating myself like a human being. This is my big one. For years I denied myself enough sleep, enough food, enough mental quiet, enough exercise. I have broken the cycle now, but I'm now trying to head back in the other direction. In the spirit of this, I have taken up yoga before bed, and am trying to spend a good hour a day reading fiction. This is helping me to relax like never before. Only at the start of this week did I manage to empty my mind fully for a little while for the very first time.

So this year, I want to do things better. I want to improve. I recommend this as a course of action. I don't want to completely rewrite myself, but I want to continue the edits I've been working on for a while, and make them better. That's all.

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