Happy new year everyone! Cue obligatory “new year new me” post!
Nah, just kidding.
In all honesty, I`m not one for believing that a new year is the ultimate opportunity for change. Change is something you can (and should) do every day. You want to eat healthier? Why not start straight after Christmas anyway. You want to sport more? Get on your bike and go out right now, never mind the weather. Doesn`t matter which day it is. Spring is also a time of new beginnings, summer is a very energetic time with long days that provide plenty of daylight for your use, autumn is a time of gritting your teeth and preparing (and why not prepare your body the same way?), and winter is a time of festivities and letting your loved ones know you love them – why not extend that generosity to yourself?
In the end, time is very much a human invention, and a date is just a number we humans assigned to the days to add some system and make things easier. It`s a way of keeping track of the seasons, really.
However, that said, I don`t actually mind using the date as a reference point. While change is always good, starting say, a challenge, is much easier done on the first day of a month or a year. Last year`s challenge was to read 50 books in one year (which I didn`t manage). This year I have two:
The first challenge is about books again. Specifically, me and a friend challenged each other: I`m not allowed to buy books for the entire year, and she`s not allowed to buy clothing. From January 1 to December 31, I can only buy magazines, trade books, get books as a present, or borrow them. This challenge serves largely to get rid of that strange habit of always buying books, and not nearly always reading them. I hope this will give me a chance to not only save some money, but also to finally read all those poor books I have stacked around here but have not read yet. It will also give me more incentive to join in on book-tradings, borrowing books from friends, and maybe this will give me a way to books I would not usually read.
The second challenge is more of a monthly one. Since I`d been feeling stuck, like I`m not getting anywhere and not learning anything new, losing my skills so to speak, I want to learn something new every month. One new thing for each month, means 12 new skills. I still need to decide what I`m going to do which month, but so far some of the skills include drawing, juggling, and a new language. If anyone has any ideas on what might be fun to learn, and doesn`t cost too much (or any) money, let me know in the comments!
And just to make sure: I`m not expecting to suddenly make gorgeous artwork after just one month of drawing, nor am I expecting to be fluent in another language all of a sudden. That`s not what this challenge is about: it`s literally about challenging myself, trying out new things, seeing what I like and don`t like. It doesn`t have to be useful in jobs or everyday life; I`m learning for the sake of learning. Kickstarting my brain, so to speak. I`ve been feeling for a long time like I`d been losing my intelligence, like my mind is clouded and hazy and I have to struggle to find anything. So I`m hoping this will help clear my mind a bit, give me some new short-term goals.
Those are my two challenges for the year. I`m definitely excited!
And although I said I don`t do resolutions, I don`t think it hurts to acknowledge what I want/need to improve, even if I`m also okay with starting later in the year with some of these:
-I want to improve my video making, and learn more about cinematography, editing, etc.
-I want to lower the bars for myself. I have a tendency to set really high expectations for everything I do, and as a result am almost always overworked and stressed out.
-In a follow up on that: I want to learn that making mistakes is okay, it`s not the end of the world
-I want to change my wardrobe. I`m really bored of the clothes I have.
-However, this requires a certain courage with clothing, that I currently do not have. So another point I would like to change, is that I want to feel comfortable in more different outfits.
-I want to learn how to deal with mental illness, and accept that my problems are not just magically going to go away, but that it`s going to take a lot of time and patience and hard work. I want to learn that that`s okay.
-All in all, I want to be more awesome and less suck-y.
I`m not expecting any of this to suddenly kick in. Hell, I`m not even sure I`ll learn some of the things I want to learn, full stop. It`s difficult to lose habits; it`s even more difficult to unlearn a belief so firmly set in your own mind. The first step, they say, is realisation. But when you know all these things about yourself from a distant point of view, yet nothing`s really getting through, it`s a whole different case. I`m fairly certain some of my friends will send very pointed looks my way while mentioning this blogpost, in a “remember what you yourself said” way, but writing down what I know is different from actually fully realising it inside your head.
I`ll try. I am always trying. And that`s the best I can do right now.