Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year Ruminations

I’ve never done the traditional New Year Resolution thing. If I’m honest, it’s partly because I’m a minor rebel. And I know I'm a bit lazy and probably forget them in about ten minutes.

And why wait until January 1st to make changes? Why not just decide to do something and get on with it?

Yes, of course I could make fairly predictable resolutions, like lose weight and get fitter. But I need to address whatever it is holding me back from just doing that now.

So, just restructure my life to reduce stress to a more comfortable level and give me more free time? 

Umm... Just? 

I’ll need to work on that. 

There seem to be so many independant factors contributing to my overall stress level. Some are effectively impossible to address on my own, and at least one might require a huge upset in my life with a short-term stress overload. But I know I need to find a way to do something, as I can’t keep on going much longer the way things are now.

Just before Christmas, a couple of silly things left me feeling surprisingly rattled.

One was a Facebook meme about reaching out for your heart’s desire. Right at that moment, I realised I didn’t know what mine is. All my “desires” are a mix of heart and head, so I can’t be sure whether something is what I really want in my heart, or whether I decided to aim for it.

The second was someone posing the “suppose you’d made different choices in past” question in conversation. That’s not something I want to think about. It strikes me as a short-cut to unhappiness and dissatisfaction, especially when there are things in my life right now I’m far from overenthusiastic about. 

I’m where I am now because of decisions I made in the past. I can’t do anything about those now. All I can do is make decisions now and hope I get them right for the best possible future.

So, what can I decide now?

I can arrange an appointment with an advisor at my gym to design an exercise plan aimed at a reasonable fitness goal. While I vaguely think I’m still in my thirties, my body won’t be fooled. I can also get off my backside and go for a walk on the fantastic moors which are only 30 minues drive away.

I can consciously try to eat less, or at least consume fewer calories. I know I tend to eat more when I’m bored or stressed, so those are the times to be firmer with myself.

My two “creative” outlets, photography and writing, primarily require free time I can devote to them. Neither is one I can pick away at in an occasional five free minutes.

I’ve enjoyed three photography workshops this year, and these are something I can continue. I just need to discipline myself to finish off editing the photos and post the best ones to photography websites in the hope of selling them.

My first novella was published in November 2015, much to my delight, and I’ve already had some encouraging reviews. I’m getting on well with writing the second story in my planned series, which will be with the publisher in two or three months. Do I aim to complete another one or two other stories this year? One I’m pretty sure I can achieve, two would be a stretch.

But the things I’m most unhappy about in my life... Do I stick at it and hope they get better? Decide enough is enough? Find a middle way? No idea at the moment. Just have to hope any decisions I make help me find the best possible future.

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