As a child I came up with this genius idea that my New Year’s Resolution should be to not make any resolutions. Child me thought it was easy. Teenage me realised it was inherently paradoxical but, hey, it still works, right?
Last year I actually made a couple of proper resolutions which were to write more letters (inspired by Zoë and our new snail mail communication agreement) and to improve in my target languages. I enjoyed doing both these things and am going to continue these this year.
I think the next year is going to be an interesting one and a real time of change for me. All things being equal, I will graduate from my undergraduate degree. Realistically, I’m also likely to move back to England for my MA because there’s a wider offering of courses… and I’ve found one that I’ve quite simply fallen in love with, if only they let me in! That’s going to be a really funny time for me because I’ve also fallen in love with The Netherlands. The people I have met and the people I am lucky enough to call my friends have become so very dear to me. To move away from this place would not be my first choice, and nor is it a choice I make lightly. At the moment, I am fully expecting to move back once again once the education bit is done but that’s a bit further in the future. But as for 2017…
(some of) My aims for the year ahead:
Write more letters.
Letters are beautiful things. When writing a letter you must think about the person you’re writing to and take that time just for them. When you receive a letter there’s a physical connection with the sender no matter how far they may be. I love this oh so much. So yes, in 2017 I would like to write more letters, more regularly. If you’re interested in writing in the good old fashioned way then drop me a facebook message. And Zoë, pen at the ready!
Improve the languages.
German has come on in leaps and bounds over the past year and I want that to continue to happen. I also would like to make that transition to being able to speak Dutch and not just understand what’s going on – Dutch and I had a rocky start but I do so want to give it another go for obvious reasons. The other languages are still on the list, naturally, but got to focus somewhere.
Read for pleasure.
There’s nothing like a literature degree – or any degree I would wager – to make you stop reading as much. I always feel guilty for sitting down and reading if it’s not for my course so I’m going to try and set aside time just for pleasure reading. If I must structure my relaxation with military precision then so be it!
Paint more. A lot more.
Actually, I’ll expand this to all the visual arts. I’ve managed to keep going a bit with my scrapbooking and the latest Christmas card making spurt but, while that may help with trying new techniques and developing in ways I would not have considered, it doesn’t help with practicing straight design skills. I’m still keen on making a profession out of something artistic so I should probably focus on this a little bit more! Oh, and it’s fun too, of course.
Practice playing music more.
Heh, I have a small colony of instruments staring at me with judging eyes because they don’t get half as much love as they should. I hate playing in my flat because I worry I’m disturbing people (and endless scales, repeated passages, and the inevitable mistakes that happen when practicing are not pleasant to hear over and over again!). Need to get over this self-consciousness. I also hope to be able to take some more lessons in 2017, although that may have to wait until I know where I’ll be spending the second half of the year!
Get a degree and get accepted to/start on a new course.
Hopefully this one is a given but I feel it has to go on the list as it’s going to be a dominating feature of the upcoming year!
Overall, it looks like 2017 is going to be both a busy and a transformative year for me. I’m nervous but thoroughly excited to see what it brings. And as for you reading this, I hope that 2017 brings you, and those you care about, health, love, and every joy in the world.
Happy New Year!