It’s January 4th and I haven’t broken my New Year’s resolutions yet.
Okay, it’s January 4th and the reason that I haven’t broken my resolutions is that I haven’t made any yet. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing when you don’t have a house strewn with leftover food, booze and wrapping paper, and a headache that is only exceeded in size by your brand new and seasonal belly flab.
I’m not a fan of commitments made over the silly season. New Year’s Resolutions made on the stroke of midnight tend to be insane (“I WILL run a marathon this year – no, this month – no, right NOW! Time me!”) or forgotten the next day until someone shows you the scrawled notes on a beer mat that you signed with a pen in your mouth at 11.55pm as you were holding two champagne glasses at the time.
This year, I resolve not to spend most of January trying to decipher my own tipsy mouth-writing. It’s a start.
Other than the usual vague wishes (I want a pony and a trip to the Amazon and a hover car and a machine that turns belly fat into gold) I do have some goals.
For the pedants out there, yes, these are different to resolutions. Well, to me, anyway. A resolution is a statement of intent. A goal is defined aim with a definite conclusion, making it sound more official and achievable. It’s the difference between “I am giving up smoking” and “I will not smoke at all this year”.
Chief amongst them is my plan of spending less time sighing dreamily at travel brochures and more getting through the vast stacks of unread books that now teeter on every surface. It was a bit of a book-y Christmas and – as both the Bloke and I are avid readers, and everyone know a book is a great gift for us – it’s not so much as a case of make space on the bookshelves as build a new set of the darn things.
Unfortunately, while the books we received are on many instructional and informative topics, book-shelf building isn’t on them. I do love to get books for Christmas, they’re not just useful but also an excellent guide to how the gift-giver sees you.
One friend has gifted me a book on writing travel books, another one a book on grammar (yes, yes, I get the hint). I have three real-life travelogues too, including the hilarious Jaguars Ripped My Flesh by Tim Cahill. These are all inspiring the urge to book a trip through the Amazon but sadly the budget to save up for these trips is lacking.
I do, however, have a copy of Cath Armstrong’s “Saving Money Is Easy”, a month-by-month guide to getting your finances under control. It opens by talking about making resolutions and setting goals to get out of debt and build up your savings, and is a sensible and clearly written guide to making your money go further.
And while she is a fan of money going further, I’m probably not going to South America right now. She is keen on saving for things that make you happy but I suspect in my case she would advocate that instead of trekking to Amazonia and tangle with the jungle there right now, I could just tidy up the balcony and trim back the plants and now-resident wildlife so we could use it again.
With sufficient squinting, and perhaps a touch of the leftover booze, I may even be able to persuade myself that I’m in the Amazon. With a huge stack of books and the goal of getting through them before the year 2012 rocks round, when apparently the Amazon isn’t going to be much fun to visit anyway.