Here are two comforts I can offer in this blog post: I’m not a very consistent ‘New Year’s Resolution’ creator (or keeper), but this year I’ve stumbled across a couple of new habits which somehow stuck. As March climbs I think I’ve waited the appropriate amount of time before boasting of how I’m actually still doing the things I chose to back on January 1st, 2019. Needless to say, I’m pretty proud.
This year, I chose to give up something and I chose to add something: less TV, more cooking. Allow me to tell you how it’s going so far…
No TV - This year, I stopped watching TV (by ‘TV’ I definitely mean Netflix, since I don’t own a television). Before I receive your undue awe, I must confess my mild exaggeration because I still watch episodes and movies with my boyfriend sometimes, when we’re together. But, when I’m on my own I’ve completely cut TV out. A by-product of this has been me reading a lot more, and also listening to lectures or audiobooks occasionally for those times when I’m in the mood to be entertained. Interestingly, my mind still frequently suggests watching an episode whenever I wonder what I should do within the lull of a day. I kind of hoped that impulse would go, though it is less pervasive.
More cooking - By the end of 2019 I want to be a better cook. I’m not sure what my measurement stick will be, but there seems to be a list of persuading reasons why I should invest in learning more about cooking. It’s hospitable, it’s generous, it will help me eat ‘in season’ and also help me understand how to utilise what I buy (so I can waste less food, which I confess I still do a lot). A friend has lent me a wee pile of recipe books which I’m reading through like novels, and every week I’m cooking a meal that I share. I’m learning that hosting is a whole different ball-game to simply cooking for myself, and timing is a whole realm I’ve never mastered. Hold me accountable world, I want you over for dinner sometime.
Wanting some more inspiration? I’ve had a couple of other resolution successes from the last few years. I joined a scheme called ‘Damn Early Days’ where you wake up at 4:30am for every weekday of January. The idea is to use this ‘extra’ time to do the things you’ve always wanted to, like read poetry or watch the sunrise or get more fit. I carried on doing it throughout February too (2017), but eventually it got a bit unhealthy because sometimes I can control stuff beyond what’s wise or gracious. It was good for a time and, damn, is it good to be done. I also nipped a bad habit in the bud a couple of years ago. I used to stream movies and TV programmes pretty regularly, which, by the way is illegal. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit but I always reasoned that it wasn’t that bad because everyone does it. A conviction grew deeply in me though that we should be honest and willing to pay for what we use, and when we don’t, injustices take place. I also noticed that a lot of these streaming sites had soft-porn advertisements in a banner on the side, and even without me clicking on the links these companies were still receiving ad revenue. Gross. I’ll never go back.
So here’s to us - here’s to making little changes that’ll someday grow big.