New Year


Every year I say I don’t do resolutions and then come up with a list of things I want accomplish for the next year that are completely indistinguishable from resolutions. I mean, maybe not: the thing I object to most about standard New Year’s Resolutions is that they tend to focus on really societally approved forms of self- improvement- weight loss, working out, becoming a more efficient and better recompensed cog in the Capitalist Wheel yadda yadda. And I’m not into any of that, especially after 2020 when we saw all these mini- waves of resolution making with every successive new move into lockdown. Sourdough bread! Embroidery! Repainting the study!

This constant push for self- improvement is on the one hand completely natural and understandable, especially in the context of the great global bewilderment that was 2020, but on the other hand it is completely cool and fair if the whole thing was enough to make you (me) want to curl up in on the sofa and hide under a pile of scatter cushions until 2023.

And still, I find myself on the afternoon of the 1st of January 2021, lying in bed in my dressing gown, tummy full of diet coke and cake that I brought home from an intimate and low key New Year’s celebration*, writing the list of things I want to change and focus on. It’s ingrained in me now. When I say I don’t like doing the whole resolutions thing what I’m saying is ‘I want to accept myself as I am. I don’t want to act as if any of this (gestures broadly at self and surroundings) is in any way Not Okay. All of This is Deeply Okay’.

All of that said, there are things I want to focus on, positive things I want to bring into my life as additions, rather than negatives I need to knead or shave away or airbrush until they are more acceptable to me.

Right, can I do the list now? Okay, let’s do this!

In 2021 I want to:

1. Get into Kraftwerk.

I am a woman of a certain age who spent a substantial proportion of the 90s at raves and obsessively listening to electronic music, and yet I’ve never explored the work of these techno pioneers in depth. It makes no sense! Make it make sense!

2. Swap out some of the cheese in my diet for soya because I am perimenopausal and could do with the phytoestrogens.

Very boring, not much to say about this, except that being perimenopausal sucks and is only better than the alternative in that the alternative is Being Dead.

3. Buy some proper lighting.

My flat is north facing and the light here absolutely sucks: there is very little natural light for a lot of the year except by the window with the curtains open, which makes taking nudes difficult if not impossible. In addition this year has been a hard one for body image stuff and I have fallen out of love with the camera in a big way. I’m illustrating blog posts with photos that are 4 years old which feels like an admission of defeat (and dishonest as well for some reason, being as I’m a fair bit bigger now).

4. Blogging resolutions

Write more and write less; more often, fewer words, if you prefer. I’m far too verbose and although I learnt how to edit my work at Very Expensive Journalism School that was 20 years ago and I’ve forgotten most of it. I’ve pretty much abandoned any plans I might ever have naively had for my blog to have a huge and monetisable audience at some point in the future: I’m just not good at a lot of the stuff that goes with that territory and don’t know how to learn it, and tying too much of my self- worth to the reception of my writing seems like a dark path to take for mental health besides. I can remind myself of stuff I used to know in the service of being a better writer, however, and one of those things is pretty simple: just say less.

5. Sex

To outline any kind of detailed plan about sex this year would be an act of the most extraordinary hubris- I sure I could manage it if I tried, but I’m not going to bother (although I do have a draft post about sex aspirations that I might try and write seperately from the whole resolution thing soon).

I will say this: at some point this year I’d like to have an orgasm with someone else in the room. Not a lot to ask, one would hope. Please, Universe? Pretty please in slutboots and fishnets with a collar on top?

(* risotto and board games with the members of one other household, all entirely above board and I still feel guilty, as if I should have stayed home)

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