Wednesday 30 December 2015

Top 8 New Year Ideas (NOT Resolutions)

I've never been a fan of the word 'Resolutions' - it sets far too much of a challenge, and I'm old and wise enough to know that any resolutions I make would be broken within weeks. So instead, I've been having 'Ideas' for the New Year. Here's my top 8 Ideas for what I might* like to do in 2016 - maybe if you'd like to do them with me, you can be my motivation and I'll be yours (no promises though)?

1. Lose weight

Eat less, exercise more.

OK, I know it's boring, and I've been saying it for years, but just a little bit less to carry around would be nice. Oh, and an excuse to buy new clothes of course. However, to get to this point, I realise I will have to look at two things; diet and exercise. So don't hold your breath folks.

2. Stress less

Who am I kidding?! 

We've just bought a new house to renovate and live in. Watch this space for lots of home interior posts asking which taps are best. Moving house was rated as more stressful than bankruptcy, starting a new job or even divorce in some recent poll**.

Plus, I don't know if I mentioned it, but we have a girl with PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance). Free and easy living is not the name of the game, planning ahead to the nth degree and always having a Plan B, C and Z is what it's all about.

3. Clean the house

Well OK, maybe just tidy it up a bit more. 

In my head, I am aiming for the kind of household where it's all happy and bustle-y and anyone can walk in at any time and feel welcome and enveloped into our cosy home... in reality, I expect noses are turned up as visitors try to tiptoe through the Shopkins and surreptitiously brush off cat hairs if they dare to sit down anywhere. The new house (see Idea 2) is like a fresh start and will definitely be super minimalist and sleek from day 1... the girls are banned, of course.

Shopkins, for the uninitiated. This is about 1/10th of our collection.....

4. Sort my photos

Photo books are the future.

It's no lie that this has been on my to-do list for several years, and I do sporadically manage the odd bit of sorting, but this year I want to actually see some of the millions of photos that I take. Pointless taking them otherwise, isn't it? This whole post was actually just an excuse to spend hours sifting through this year's photos (don't get me started on the baby ones) to come up with this collage of one photo from each month this year. Do you even realise how difficult it was for me to whittle them down?!

Stephs Two Girls 2015 collage
Our 2015 Happy Collage

5. Wear more make-up

Or not. 

It crossed my mind recently how thankful I am for the upbringing I had and the genes I was given. I don't consider myself good-looking, and I don't doubt for one second that I could be made to look better with make-up (just not if I'm doing it myself, as at the grand old age of 43, I honestly still haven't a clue how). The thing is, I just don't care enough (yet). It's not self-confidence, as I've not been blessed with much of that, just a happy understanding that most of the time it doesn't matter what other people think of the way I look. Still, I am getting older, maybe I should be hiding embracing respecting that and turning to a make-up counter for some help....

6. Stop being last-minute

Is it really possible?

I've always been the kind of person who hates to be late but who only seems to be able to function and panic when it's right at the last minute. I pride myself on never having had to sign the late book at school, despite the difficulties we've had getting our youngest out of the house on occasion. We are nearly always walking in through the school gate last though, and I know it's just a matter of setting all the clocks in the house 5 minutes early so we can kid ourselves we are still late. Sounds like a good plan, no?

7. Act on reminders

As in, don't simply press OK to dismiss them on my phone.

I'm very good at making lists, and setting myself reminders in my super-duper technologically linked computer and phone. It's just making the time to do what needs to be done which is the problem. It's not as if I sit around with my feet up watching television the rest of the time, so you may well ask, what am I actually doing? Blogging, for one thing. Not going to stop that though, will have to think of another plan....

8. Live Life

Bryan Adams.

Possibly I shouldn't be sharing this, as a restraining order may follow, but I already have plans to see Bryan Adams THREE times this year (sorry Mr C). At his concert in May, at the Lytham Festival in August but much more imminently at Westminster on New Year's Eve (which will be broadcast live on BBC 1 I believe, so look out for me on your telly!). I'm also going to see Take That again in summer, so I should be pretty damn happy with my lot, and indeed I am.

This New Year's Eve event has made me stop and think though. I like to think of myself as a fairly well-balanced, stable kind of person who doesn't panic about much. There's been a fair amount of terrorism in my lifetime, but the recent Paris attacks seem to have affected me the most. I can't deny that I've had a bit of a wobble about going into Central London, at a key time of year, to celebrate in a very public place. The 'what ifs' are right there in the middle of my mind this time, not hidden away down the back. I don't think it's my time to go and I can't bear the thought of leaving my family behind.

BUT I also think it's important that I pass on to my girls a sense of what is right; that we can't let ourselves be bullied by others who think their way is the right way. Staying home sounds tempting, but it's not living life. As my favourite quote goes, 'Life's not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain'.

Happy New Year everyone!

*this word is very flexible and it means you can't hold me to any of this. Hooray.
** I never was very good at research and quoting proper figures.

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