New Year’s Aspirations

Hmmm. Resolutions. It seems that you either make them, er, resolutely, or you hum and hah for a while about the whole silly process and them make them anyway.

In fact, I’m usually all in favour of magnificently ignoring them since I can’t really see a lot of objective distance between yesterday and today.

And yet, and yet. There are some aspirations for the year ahead that have been simmering nicely for a while. Some of them are to do with work and education and aren’t really the province of this blog. But others are more about fun and inspiration and here they are:

  • Run a half-marathon – in particular, this one. Training is well under way. We have no idea if we can do it or not, but the only way to find out is by trying. The man with the best advice on doing this, who promotes running for the joy of it and for achieving the best you can, rather than for recognition and public rewards, can be found here.
  • Go on the holiday outlined in this post – preferably in early June. It’s fundamentally a tour of lidos and outdoor swimming facilities in south-west England, two of which have been threatened with closure after Cornwall Council withdrew their funding. This was a very timely reminder not to take these things for granted. We need to make a point of visiting them while we still can.
  • Get at least half of our allotment dug and in cultivation. We finally reached the top of the waiting list last spring and got one large bed into cultivation for the growing season. We got a nice salad potato crop out of that, but haven’t really got much further. Since it’s only a half plot anyway, that might sound a little unambitious – but it’s all about the art of the possible, innit? The front bit, the section we haven’t touched yet, is the subject of elaborate plans to build a potager with raised beds. Perhaps that’s one for next year… We also had a lot of fun foraging in 2010 so it would be good to keep that up, particularly with a mushroom identification course.
  • Keep persevering with my bid to master The 24 Forms – this is a Yang-style Tai Chi programme from Dr Paul Lam. Last year I got the hang of his beginners’ programme, found it a incredibly worthwhile exercise, and managed to do it at least three or four times a week. I feel it’s important to keep the momentum going through 2011 with this one.
  • Make the MyWeeklyBook challenge happen – this is simply the bid to read 52 books in a calendar year and, ideally, blog about the results. I’ve done it at least twice but it’s been all over the place in recent years, including going through a change of platform from LiveJournal to WordPress. Gosh, it would be nice to get that blog sorted out and functioning properly… At least I know what this week’s book is – see also the first item in this list.
  • Revise the completed NaNoWriMo story that I wrote during November and December, and plan a sequel for this year’s event. I’m really pleased to say that I managed to achieve my goal of finishing it by December 31 and entering it into this writing competition. I don’t truthfully expect to make the shortlist and am not at all sure how I would feel if I did; the real satisfaction comes in having completed an 86,000-word story and achieved a goal. The plan is to leave it alone for a few weeks and then go back and have another look. And having all the fun of working out what comes next, of course.

Those nice people at the British Humanist Association are recommending the concept of a social resolution this year by promoting the Resolution Revolution website. Having taken a look, and found the sign-up process too long-winded (although don’t be put off by me, do check it out for yourself if interested), I decided to add my social resolutions to the bottom of this list.

They are as follows: To keep working with the local council’s conservation volunteers; to keep supporting my town’s superb non-league football club and attending matches; to re-join the local library service (I left after getting incandescently angry over a piece of bureaucratic idiocy by the council – not, I stress, by the library staff), to use it regularly and to campaign very hard against the proposed cuts to opening hours; and to use the district’s open-air lidos through the summer.

That should do it. The abovementioned website is very big on giving blood and it always irritates the absolute hell out of me that I can’t do it any more on account of having had a transfusion myself – especially as I was an active, registered donor for years before they brought that rule in during 2004. Being a beneficiary of the service was once a fairly major motivating factor for donors, I should have thought. I know it was for me.

So, regrettably, I shall have to pass on that one, just on the off-chance that the blood service has already unwittingly infected me (a lifelong vegetarian, to boot) with vCJD. IT IS VERY IRRITATING INDEED. But, that personal gripe aside, the social resolution sounds like a great idea.