Monday, 3 January 2011

2011: The Year of Good Intentions?

Greetings everyone. I ushered in the new year by hosting a small soiree at my flat. By the time the clock struck midnight on 2010 (and closed that door behind me) around 25 people were crammed into my living room. It was a sea of people hugging and kissing and shaking hands and wishing everyone a Happy New Year. I wish I had thought to take more photographs.

2010 was not a bad year. Not the best year of my life (I think that belongs to the later half of 2002) but not down there with one of the worst (1997 was the start of a steep decline). In 2010 I:

  • Completed a Masters in Science 
  • Turned 25 and had a wonderful time on my birthday
  • Moved flats
  • Got a new job more suited to my qualifications
  • Went to my first professional conference
  • Started cooking properly again
So what do I plan for 2011? In the last days of 2010 I started feeling a bit lost. This is a usual cycle for me and hits every couple of years or so. It didn't seem to matter when I was a teenager. After all, when you're fifthteen, you think you're going to live forever. That feeling starts to ebb away when you're twenty five. My mother retires this year. My mother is old enough to retire. "Life is too short" was the wave that came crashing over me this year. 

And this time I am determined to do something about it. By coincidence an article appeared in yesterday's Sunday Herald which was part of a section of columnists writing about trends we would see happening in 2011. One article tackled the subject of alternative lifestyles; primarily a move away from the greed of consumerism and the constant need to acquire material goods. The first half of the article about minimalism really spoke to me. Despite my better attempts I have tried not to fall for the consumerism trap of always wanting more. But I have. My wardrobe is full of clothes I hardly wore and were expensive impulse buys. There are boxes of unread books stacked high in my bedroom. Enough is enough. 

Part of the above article discusses a blog called Minimal Student. Last night I was up until two in the morning reading through the articles. The blog's writer, a girl called Jessica, seems to be writing just for me. Of course I know she isn't but that is the mark of a good writer; making the reader feel like they are the intended, and perfect, audience for this material.

I'm going to ferment on what I have read over the past day. Already I have taken baby steps by an extension to Chrome called StayFocused. It is a handy tool. You can list websites that you are allowed a certain amount of time to browse. For example my blocked sites include Facebook and Twitter which are bad for eating up my time. Initially I didn't realise that the time you set includes all the sites listed on your blocked list. So I had used up my allotted time by the end of breakfast time today. 

Which meant I got stuff done. I put away the weekly shop Him Indoors ventured out to buy, cleaned out the kitchen cupboards, finished some work owed to someone else and caught up on some Write in for Writing's Sake admin. Late afternoon I settled down to watch The Usual Suspects in memory of the late, great Pete Postlethwaite who died today. Another reminder that life indeed is too short; he was only sixty-four. 

I feel like I have collected my thoughts a bit better. Tomorrow I am going to spend time thinking. Proper thinking not just "Oooh what shall I have for tea tonight?" Then I'll come back here and decide what I am going to make of myself in 2011. 



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