Thursday, January 6, 2011

(Non New Year's) Resolutions

Did you make any new year’s resolutions? I’ve opted not to make any new ones, since I have plenty made throughout 2010 that still need to be implemented.

Firstly, books. We have lots of books, which isn’t a problem in itself since I love books. Few months back we were chatting about potentially moving into the countryside and I asked my husband if he would prefer to live in a small town or a village. His reply was “If we live in a village, the closest library could be miles away, therefore a small town would be better for us”. Since most people usually think about proximity of supermarkets, hospitals, school and such I queried him on his choice. His reply was sweet, amusing and very accurate: “I thought about what makes you happy and the only thing I could come up with was frequent visits to the library”. Hence, the books aren’t the problem in themselves, but the combination of all the unread books and my current reading speed means that I have plenty of reading material in my own house to keep me occupied for years. Once I came to accept this realization, I decided that I have to read at least three books that I already own before I can buy another one or borrow one from the library.

In the same vein, I probably should have some resolutions about my craft stash, craft interests or my Ravelry queue. However, recently I was relatively good at using whatever I have on hand, seem to manage to keep Ravelry queue at around 300 items and feel like learning a new skills or a new craft allows me to gain a better understanding of other ones (the more I learn the more I notice how everything is connected to everything else); therefore I’ll just keep on learning and making and loving it. I may aim to get through Crochet Workshop by James Walters and Knitter’s Handbook by Montse Stanley, to improve both my crochet and knitting skills.

I keep on dreaming about learning more about photography as I still use my DSLR as point-and-shoot camera instead of exploring all the possibilities it has to offer, but I have no plan or even remotest idea of how best to start myself on this learning journey. Anyone has any advice?

One area of life I want to concentrate on in the next few months is meal planning. We eat reasonably well, but lately the meal preparation was ad-hoc and last minute, which makes me feel stressed and also occasionally results in buying food items that go off before we get a chance to use them. My plan is to designate a meal type to each day of the week (roast on Sunday, soup on Monday, etc), write down 2-3 meals of each type and once a week figure out the meal plan for the coming week. Hopefully that way we won’t waste food and I’ll avoid getting stressed about what will be on our table for dinner that day.

Few years back I came across a blog-post by a creative coach, who instead of making new year’s resolutions choose one word to describe what she wants the year to be, and this year this post by Kate of Foxs Lane reminded me of it. Looking back we had the year of travel (2008), the year of visitors (2009), the year of existing (2010). It feels like all we did last year was get through one day at the time. Although there were some life-changing decisions made during it, which may explain why everything else pails into insignificance. After spending about 9 months in the adoption process: getting in touch with our local adoption social service, having interview with them, attending training; and finally in May arriving to the point when we could request the Home Study, we faced the reality of how long it is likely to take to get through all the bureaucratic hoop jumping first in UK and then in Russia before we are likely to welcome a child into our family (at least another 2 years) and after that we would have to stay in UK for another 3 to be able to send update reports back to Russia. And being as homesick as I am for Australia and all the other things happening in the extended family, I couldn’t commit myself to 5, 6, 7 or maybe even more years of staying here. There were also other reasons, which all added up to making the decision not to go ahead with the international adoption the right one. And yet it is profoundly difficult to accept the right decision, when it feels so wrong, selfish and shortsighted. Another hard decision was made few months afterwards when we committed ourselves to staying in UK for further two years.

The arrival of 2011 feels sudden, but also highly welcome. I don’t want to choose any emotional, high-reaching or profound words for it, thus I want it to be a year of walking. I love walking, I used to walk for hours just because I could. There are so many wonderful walks around London and UK and some of them, like Thames Path, I wanted to do for years.

Walking Shoes
Recently I bought good walking shoes that are described as “classic walking boot for extensive walking and moderate trekking”, so if I don’t do any interesting walks this year I’ll feel a bit like one of those people, who buys a huge 4-wheel-drive just to drive their kids 500 meters to school and never takes it off-road. Maybe I can convince my sister to do a walk or two with me, when she is here in early February, though slow walking with a pregnant woman could be not her exact idea of tourist fun.

As you can see I don’t really need any additional fresh resolutions, but I’ll love to hear which ones you’ve made?


driftwood said...

I hope the new year brings you happiness. and I love how it is the library that brings it!

Annie said...

For some reason, I think it is really surprising that we came up with EXACTLY the same idea for meal planning! That's just what I was going to do, and I really think it will help.

I'm the same way with books. For a couple of years we lived in a tiny little town without much of a library - and I actually did turn to my own shelves! It was amazing what I ended up reading, as I had a few sets of books that I'd been given because their Victorian covers "fit" in my bookcases - so I read all of Wilkie Collins, Dickens and a few much more obscure authors whose names I don't even remember! But, I was surprised that I enjoyed every book!

Tanya said...

I've never made new year's resolutions. It wasn't something I'd heard of till late in adulthood and now it's not ever something I think to do. But really I make resolutions (plans) all the time anyway. :)

I love your resolutions by the way. And I also have a massive stash of books at home I still need to read as well as love going to the library to get more.

The only good thing about my long train travel to work is it has given me a few hours to read every week. :) So since I've been back at work I have gotten through more books. Right now I'm currently reading three books but being on holidays I am not getting through any of them.

Anonymous said...

I'll walk with you :-)