I can’t take full responsibility for this post.
I was inspired to write this after reading Bunny Eats Design‘s blog. Her post about her manifesto for 2017 (she’s written one every year for the past few years) made me think about what I’m doing self-improvement wise as we head into a new year. So I’m copying her idea and sharing this with you.
(As as aside you should read her blog. She’s very good)
There’s a few things that I think I need to pay more attention to this year:
I’m not good with money. It slips through my fingers like water. I am fortunate to have a husband who is fiscally responsible, which keeps me in check somewhat. I’ve berated myself repeatedly over the years about my ability to overspend. Or worse, to be responsible for a week or so, then congratulate myself on my fiscal prudence by blowing everything apart on a nice pair of shoes.The thing is, the cycle of spending then self-flagellation is not helping me. I still do it. The weekly tracking of expenditure (yes, I have a spreadsheet) hasn’t worked. I still get to the end of the month and find that my outgoings and incomings are not matching.So I need to think about things differently. I need to think about my consumerism.
A few days ago I watched the movie Captain Fantastic. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a father raising his kids in the wild, removed from the excesses of modern life. It’s about a great deal more than that also (familial love, loss, heartbreak, social rejection of outsiders, etc, etc), but the simplicity of their lives, and the joy they had without an abundance of material things really struck a chord with me.
I spend money on stuff. I have a wardrobe full of clothes I hardly wear, I have a house full of things that look pretty. Meanwhile, my husband has clothes he’s owned for as long as I’ve known him (tracking at 20 years, give or take). He only buys clothes to replace what has worn out.
I’m beginning to find my consumerism a bit repellent. It’s a part of my character that I am not fond of. I think that it’s time it moved on.
2017 Goal: To only buy new things as the old needs replacing.
- More experiences
This is directly related to the above.I’m spending too much money on stuff that doesn’t really make me happy and doesn’t build memories. When I’m 80, I won’t look back at my life and say “damn, those were a nice pair of shoes!”My kids are at the great age. Amelia is striding determinedly into her teens, Ollie is still my baby, but only has a couple of years to go until he too is a teenager. We have many years of our children still living in our house, but the number of years that we have where they want to spend time with us is dwindling.
On top of that, I am now, sad to say, in middle age. That means half of my life is gone. Luckily, there’s another half to go, but who knows what will befall me in those years?
I want to spend more time experiencing our amazing world and what it has to offer. Anyone who knows me, knows that we travel as much as we can, but experiences mean less time lying by a pool at a resort, and more time getting out and getting amongst it. Eating the food, seeing the temples, visiting the ruins, talking to people. Broadening ours and our children’s horizons. Recognising that we have a good life, and that we should not take it for granted.
2017 Goal: Less stuff, more experiences
- Get to work
My blog is really only a few months old. It took 6 months of not working at all to decide that this was an important part of what I wanted to do. It then took another 4 months for me to start taking it seriously, to make the effort to post regularly and to put some structure around what I post.But there’s still a long way to go. I am fortunate to have a few loyal followers (thanks to you guys!), but I need to put the effort in to get my numbers up so I can start making a dollar or two.I’m not naive. I know that it can take years for blogging to return even a small living. I figure that there’s no time like the present to start putting the hours in and building what I’ve started.
2017 Goal: Less time messing about, more time building something good.
- The whirlpool in my stomach
As I’ve talked about previously, work related stress has taken it’s toll on me. It continues to do so, a year down the track from moving away from advertising to follow my food dreams.It takes little effort for me to return to my old life mentally, to feel my stomach churn, my jaw clench, my muscles tighten, my heart rate increase. Over the past.It’s time to do what I need to do to live in the present. To learn to control the anxiety I feel, and put the past behind me. To appreciate what I have, enjoy the experiences that come my way, and be thankful.
Yoga, mindfulness, meditation, all these things need to play a role in my life this year.
2017 Goal: Put the past to bed, and be thankful for the present.