My resolution for 2019 is to knuckle down and really make something of this whole “blogging” shenanigan.
So here we are: 5 days into the new year and I’m writing a post about resolutions that all serious bloggers wrote 2 weeks ago.
Going well then!
Which got me to thinking: “resolutions” are nasty little things!
They’re loaded with connotations of pass/fail absolutes. They imply that, whatever you’ve been doing so far has been wrong and whole new path will make you right. And completely changing our lives is hard! When we struggle with maintaining our “new year, new you” mentality, the sense that we’re going to be stuck with the bad old you can be a real downer.
These same scary milestones come around every year, and whether it’s New Year’s Eve, your birthday, or the birthdays of younger, more successful people – they turn up and remind us that another year has gone by, and here we still are. Social media makes this so much worse; we’re surrounded by images of what others have – and how bloody happy they are for having it. How we can feel anything other than that we’re doing it all wrong?
And so we resolve to do better! Henceforth we shall be utterly different! Unrecognisably gym-fit and health-conscious, better read and less procrastinatey!
It’s surprising to no one that within weeks, days or – let’s face it – moments, we fail to meet our lofty, new expectations.
Humbug to all that!
The problem with most resolutions is that (for almost all of us), we’re not bad people and we’re not doing things wrong. We enjoy the habits we’ve fallen into, the vast majority of which are harmless. Just because we don’t flagellate ourselves for every burger we eat and every day we don’t see the inside of a gym, doesn’t mean that life would actually be any better if we had 6-pack abs, a gurgling baby and a second car.
What is it that we’re really coveting when we lust after some enviable picture on Instagram? Is it the beach-ready body, or the 5-star Mykonos hotel, or the new car smell?
Or is it something bigger. A grand dissatisfaction.
Like so many X-ennials careening towards our 40s, with 10+ years of “career” under our belts, the reality is that we’ve fallen into the trap of Needful Things (not the Stephen King story, though this one is even more terrifying than the made-for-TV adaptation):
We need the things. Things cost money. Money comes from a job. Here is a job, so it must be what I need to do to get the things I need.
10 years in is where your head is just far enough above the parapet that you can finally glimpse where you’re headed, and for a lot of us, it’s that creeping realisation that actually, where we’re going was never where we really meant to go.
This is the realisation that underlies every good mid-life crisis; but rather than dismissing that as an eye-rolling cliche about picking up a newer, younger partner and a convertible, why not acknowledge it!
Confession: I am envious of other people’s lives.
Realisation: I’m envious because I’m not happy where I am or where I’m going.
So, as we sally forth into the choppy waters of 2019, rather than resolving to publish a post every day or run miles, let’s address our intentions instead.
Let’s not wish for a different life! Let’s make it different!
There’s no pass/fail resolution to meet. We’re going to take this side-hustle to the mainstream and take back ownership of our journey and our destination.
A salary is just a trap to keep you dependent on your employer. 2019 is the year we take back control!
(Yes: this is a Brexit coincidence. We mean actually taking responsibility for our own destiny, which is completely different from the farcical Tory pissing contest that has already left the UK poorer, weaker and less significant. Our “taking back control” is going to go loads better!)
…for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Ulysses, Alfred Tennyson