Saturday 5 July 2008

Midsummer Resolutions

I’m making resolutions. Yes, I know it’s not the New Year but that passed by in a blur of family trauma and I really didn’t have the inclination to do anything other than lurch through each day, clutching a bottle. Anyhow, New Year resolutions are a lousy cliché and also it’s a rotten dreary time of year to resolve to Do Better.
Midsummer (ho ho) is a different matter. As I write, the rain lashes down, the wind whips and, to be honest, it could be bloody New Year. Still, never mind. I have put Ray Lamontagne on the CD player (to remind myself that there is always someone more depressed than oneself) and stuck some neroli oil in the aromatherapy burner (to lighten the mood a little and to get rid of the overbearing smell of rancid dog). Now I am sitting at the kitchen table in our new (oh yes, oh yes!) breakfast room deciding on how to live out the rest of the year. So, I hereby resolve:

1. To follow my own advice. I am shamefaced to admit that while I can merrily dish out the wise words to all and sundry, to those who ask and those who don’t, I blithely ignore it myself. Therefore I will:
a) get my feng shui sorted. I know it sounds bonkers but I do believe in this stuff (the proof of the pudding and all that) and I haven’t lifted on finger towards sorting out my cutting chi and the money pit of the Loo of Doom.
b) start eating healthily. Yawn, yawn (the devil’s food is soooo good) but must be done. I am falling to bits and must get sorted. Last night I had a last hurrah of steak and chips and now it’s lentils all the way.
c) call in the experts. As soon as the money comes in (see point 6) I will get me to an osteopath/homeopath/nutritional therapist. I need to clean up my act and need some judicious prodding.

2. To have a makeover. Again, this is dependent on number 6 (as are most things) but as soon as humanly possible I’m going to get a haircut, a manicure, have my eyebrows shaped and my invisible eyelashes dyed. I’ve gone feral and need to remember that I once had self-respect and looked vaguely groomed (as opposed to a shaggy fat hairball). I will stop short of a wax as I don’t want the beauty therapist suing.

3. To blog more often. It really is therapy for me. However please note this does not mean I expect you to read and comment on every dollop of my verbosity (do you reckon one in seven is a reasonable expectation?).

4. To stop being honest. OK this flies in the face of my last post but it truly is the devil’s path. If I’ve learned anything this last year it’s that honesty, naming names and being blunt simply doesn’t pay. So, from now on I’m going to hide behind pseudonyms and trot out polite aphorisms and Not Stick My Neck Out.

5. To stop trying to be perfect. I have, at the last tally:
· a job (sort of – see point 6 again)
· a child (boy, 9, demanding and truculent)
· a husband (not rich, very messy)
· a Greek chorus of needy friends
· a house in the process of being dismantled and cobbled back together at huge expense and severe trauma
· two revolting dogs
· far too many goldfish (whatever possessed me to think that goldfish were easygoing happy little pets?)
· a garden full of triffids and ground elder
· a trail of divers builders, plumbers, electricians, decorators et al in constant need of urging, placating, praising, encouraging, decision-making and tea-providing

I do not have:
· a nanny, child-minder or cheery helpful relatives ready to pitch in
· a cleaner
· a personal assistant
· a never-ending supply of money

Ergo, I cannot be superwoman. You’d have thought I’d have realised it by now but I begin to think I am truly rather dim.

6. To make money. Somehow. I have £100 in the bank and a tax bill 30 times larger. I will rob Peter to pay Paul but it’ll mean we will run out of radiators by the time we get to the bedrooms unless I do something quick. I have been monstrously self-indulgent, wallowing in Poor Me syndrome and it has to stop. I have taken on a book project (nicely timed to tie in with the school holidays which have already started - how did that happen? so wrong - ) and shall actively pursue more work.

I was going to go on to 7,8, 9 and 10 but I think that’s enough to be going on with. Don’t you?


Lindsay said...

Apart from a pot of gold you seem to have a lot of good things in your life. I gave up minding what I looked like a lot time ago - in fact a friend of mine remarked how lucky I was that I seemed easy about myself! Being 6ft tall with size 10 feet and wonky knees, clothes and shoes are not fashion items! Good luck with the writing project.

Frances said...

Oh Jane, Midsummer is a fine time to begin anew. Anytime is, actually.

I am very pleased with myself this morning, having actually finished defrosting the freezer of my aged refridgerator. Not such a big accomplishment, you think? Ah, but for me it is a huge accomplishment. Why else has it taken me months (yes, months) to get around to it?

No answer.

The above is intended to show you support in your resolve. We surely cannot be perfect, and live up to our heavy expectations of ourselves. Think that lots of us have difficulty setting aside "me" time.

I recently spoke with a lady whom my company has hired to help with life/work balance. We had a lovely little chat, but she was of no help to me whatsover. She had no realistic suggestions, and could only agree that such a balance was a worthy ideal. My lesson was ... I need to find that balance on my own!


Cait O'Connor said...

I too am sitting at the computer, it's chilly and rainy outside,could be New Year indeed and a good a time as any to resolve. I have me playlist going full blast (Lionel Richie now..... Penny Lover..... (aaaaahhhhh where would we be without music?) and if we weren't going out tonight I would be on the Guinness by now (I am on leave from work, had hoped to enjoy lazing in the garden enjoying summer sunshine, some hopes).
Enough about me. We are all with you and I am so pleased you will be blogging more. We can all identify with you on these resolutions, I know I can. (Ryan Adams more aaaaaah's La wotsit, my fave) Stay strong,

Elizabethd said...

Jane, that is a huge list to concentrate on! Maybe just go with one or two, and eat a smidgen of chocolate while you work out which ones to stick to.
Wasnt that helpful?

blogthatmama said...

Go Jane! I think it's great to analyse yourself, then talk yourself up and into so many resolutions. Sometimes you need to think of everything to get anything done. Good luck, I'll be reading on in anticipation of your successes blogthatmamax

Norma Murray said...

If you do nothing else, eat healthily, you'll find if you get that right many of the other things will fall into place. I love the idea of mid summer resolutions...

Lane Mathias said...

It's a nice place you've got here:-) And I love Asbo Jack!

Midsummer seems a good time to lay it all out and make a 'plan'. I can't believe half the year has gone already. Who stole it?:-)

All the best with your resolutions:-)

Kitty said...

Add to the end of that list - be kind to myself.
(And don't forget 5-a-day my way!)

Anonymous said...

I think that's more than enough for the time being. You forgot to put resolving to sit at the back at concerts.Went to one yesterday and kept thinking "Thank God my daughter is not here with me". I won't go into it at the risk of sounding cruel, but we would have set each other off something chronic, and got to the hot spasming uncontrollable stage where its just sheer embarrassment.For everyone concerned.Suffice it to say it was a women's choir who took themselves very seriously and did several "upbeat numbers" and atrocious"workshopped pieces".(sorry sisters).

abcd said...

I could certainly join you in a one or two of those resolutions.
I get my Feng Shui books out and have a dabble every now and then but usually give up as it is so complicated so hope you blog about doing yours. Isn't there something in Feng Shui about having one black goldfish with the others to absorb the bad luck?

Fire Byrd said...

So that was yesterday.... they still going strong??
Good to know that the rooms are starting to come together.
Does this mean an end to scones?? Cause there will be a crisis in September if so!

Milla said...

oh fabulously well-organised Jane. Must follow suit. I just love your list, particularly 5 (obviously! the one where youlet yourself off the hook!) Off to read your other blog and then to tidy what E calls the futility room.

Anonymous said...

I think realising you can't (always!) be perfect is really important. Other people might look to be wswimming through life in a charmed dream - but I bet the vast majority are paddling madly underneath and full of a lack of self belief.
Good luck!

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I love these and your midsummer resolution idea. Just as soon as I feel sufficiently strong minded I will do some myself. It is a relief to know, looking at the fabulous pictures in your spirit of ... books, that you do not in fact live the perfect life!
A resolution about having a good time sounds like one to add to your list.

CAMILLA said...

I could do with a makeover Jane, I just see a fog when I look in the mirror.! ah it'my age.! Son said why can't you grow old gracefully mumsy...... nah, don't want to.!

One step at a time Jane, that's a big list. always love your blogs, sooo sorry it's been a while since I last visited, wish there was more time.

CAMILLA said...

I could do with a makeover Jane, I just see a fog when I look in the mirror.! ah it'my age.! Son said why can't you grow old gracefully mumsy...... nah, don't want to.!

One step at a time Jane, that's a big list. always love your blogs, sooo sorry it's been a while since I last visited, wish there was more time.


Oh, Jane - lovely to read you again and so happy to hear you'll be blogging more (nosy, you see - need to find out more about that caged man you once let slip you had in your house...) Lovely set of resolutions (although did misread initially that you had £100K in the bank, and thought what's she moaning about?) Mind you, not sure about the not drinking...

Best of luck with it all. J xxx

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