Tuesday, 3 January 2017

A Little List for 2017

A spiral-bound notebook open to two clear pages, with a pen laying diagonally across the right page

It's 2017 - a clean slate, a new page, a brand new year when we all start thinking about what we want and who we want to be in the next 365 (or 363, as I'm posting this a little later than planned) days. I ever do resolutions, because I never tend to stick to them. They always feel like chores to me, something I'm pressuring myself to do because I think I should, not because I want to. But there are things I would like to change, or things I would like to do that will make me happier. Small things, maybe, but things I think will make me happy or smile this year.

I'm also going to be kind to myself and say, if I don't actually get to do/change all the things I want, who cares? I'm not going to judge myself, bully myself, pressurise myself. And, also, I don't need a new year to start again; just because I've not managed to do something I wanted, doesn't mean I can't start trying again, it doesn't mean I have to wait until 2018 to do these things. As Alexandra Franzen says, today is not over yet - and in this case, the year is not over yet.

So, onto my little list of wants for the year.

Wear the Pretty Underwear

I love underwear. You will learn just how much soon, as there are plans for a post on underwear. But I don't wear my pretty underwear often enough. I always have some reason."The embroidery will look all lumpy under that tight top." "I don't stop moving at work, and these bras are the most comfortable to work in." And on, and on. But, I'm thinking no. I have pretty underwear, I love wearing pretty underwear, and I'm going to goddamn wear it. I heard about a woman who plans her outfit around her underwear; she decides what underwear she's wearing, and then picks an outfit that will work with the underwear she chooses - not the other way round. I might start doing this. And if my bras are uncomfortable to work in, then I need to invest in better bras. Yes, I know I don't technically need to wear bras, and I will continue to try to lose the bras in the warmer months. But I also like them, and I feel bloody great in nice underwear - even if my outfit is nothing special, even if no-one else knows. I know when I wear pretty underwear, I have a happier day. So the underwear is coming out of the drawer and going on my body.

Watching a Movie? Put Your Phone Down.

I have a habit of checking my email or scrolling through Twitter when I'm watching things on TV. It doesn't matter if it's a movie, a soap, the news, I will pick up my phone at some point and scroll, for no real reason. Then I miss what I'm watching and get confused. It's annoying. It's annoying to other people who then have to rewind so I can catch up. It's unfair on them, and I should bloody enjoy, or at least pay attention to (let's be honest, the news isn't that enjoyable) what I'm watching!

Try New Meals

I am an extremely fussy eater. Being so fussy means I don't eat the healthiest, but it also means that I often get bored of what I eat, because it's the same kind of thing over and over. But instead of telling myself to "eat more fruit and veg" and just adding things to meals I already eat and trying to force them down my throat, I've decided to try different meals. I'm going to take something I like eating, chicken for example, and look at various recipes and see which ones are less likely to taste awful. Then I'm going to cook them and try them.

This is great in lots of ways, because it will get me eating healthier, it'll introduce more greens to my diet by being a part of a recipe rather than an addition to a meal, I'll be eating a variety of things so I'll be less bored, and I'll get to cook. At the moment, cooking for me is very simple. It's basically put things in the oven and turn it on. But I like proper cooking, from scratch - but on the rare occasions I do so, I'm cooking for other people, something I don't like. But this way? I'll get to enjoy cooking and get to eat the food, and hopefully - fingers crossed - enjoy what I'm eating.

As I enjoy cooking, I have a ton of recipe cards that just don't get used. But now I'm searching through them, trying to find something that sounds like it might be ok. So far, I have plans for Creamy Chicken & Mushrooms and Home-Made Cod & Chips. I've got more to go through, but I'm looking forward to giving new meals a go!

With Dating, Keep Hoping

When it comes to dating, unless I decide that dating itself isn't working for me, disappointments shouldn't lead me to feeling despondent and wanting not to bother. I'm to remember why I started dating in the first place; that I'm doing this for me because it's something I want. If I do feel despondent, I shouldn't let it trick myself into thinking it's just laziness - because a disappointment means starting again, and can I even be bothered? - when it's actually fear of more disappointments. My hope has got to be louder than my fear.

Read More For Enjoyment

To say I don't read for enjoyment feels like a lie. As a book blogger, I read a lot of good books. But also as a book blogger, I kind of feel I have a responsibility to highlight certain kinds of books - diverse books - so readers can find them. I'm not going to change how I read, but how I think about what I'm reading. I'm going to pick up books and read them because they sound awesome, not because this is a book I think I should be talking about. While reading, I need to stop thinking about the blog and other readers, and simply focus on my enjoyment of the book. I miss just enjoying a book for the sake of it. So my thinking needs to change so I can get this back.

Go On Adventures!

I really want to do more in 2017. I want to fill up my diary. But this doesn't mean jetting around the globe (necessarily). Just getting out the house and doing something for enjoyment. More solo-dates to the cinema. Maybe head to a museum, I haven't been to a museum in years. Go for a walk around my local park. Go swimming. Look up events and attend them. Visit/meet people. And experiences; getting out and having more experiences. I want to do more. Suggestions welcome!

Take More Photos

Photos that aren't for social media and other people. Photos for me. Of people and fun times and things that just strike me as beautiful. Photos I intend to print and put in frames or in photo albums, rather than siting on my phone or computer, forgotten. Photos that mean something, to me. Photos that are memories, that are proof to myself that that awesome day did happen.

So those are my little wants and changes for 2017, things that I think will make my life a little happier. What have you got planned for 2017? If you've written about it, I'd love to read it!

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  1. Happy New Year, Jo! I'm really looking forward to following your progress over the next twelve months and I'm hoping that 2017 is the year we both meet. I feel like "my hope has got to be louder than my fear" needs to be printed on a t-shirt or something. That's SUCH a great quote! I've been trying to eat more fruit and veg and I actually feel so much better for it, so good luck on the adventurous eating front! I'm sure you'll smash all of your goals this year, lovely. Can't wait to keep track :)

    1. Happy New Year, Suzy! :) Ooh, I hope we meet this year, too! We should definitely actually discuss this as a thing that we're going to plan, haha!

      Ooh, thank you! I'm pretty sure I came up with it myself, but I don't know? I might have heard or read it somewhere and forgot about it, ha.

      I've started on the right track with the adventurous eating, I think! I made home made chicken nuggets, and they were pretty nice! Though that's not exactly a meal that's adding more goodness to my diet, but I'm sure I'll get there! :)

      Thanks, Suzy!

  2. I'm such a fussy eater too! It makes it so difficult sometimes, especially eating out. My diet for the last few months has literally been noodles, chicken and rice so I should probably work on trying new meals too.

    As for new adventures, try Go Ape or some escape rooms around the UK with a few friends. Always makes for a great day out! :)


    1. Oh, eating out is so difficult! Weddings, parties, I have to prepare for there not being anything for me to eat. I'll eat before a party, I'll bring sandwiches to a wedding (and feel terrible about it). Meals out, the same - I need to check what the menu's like beforehand, and if it's for a celebration, eat before and just drink when there. It's a nightmare. But I'm trying to do better!

      Thanks for the adventures suggestions! I'll have a look! :)