Wrapped Up In Books

2009: What will you resolve to do this year?
January 9, 2009, 1:40 pm
Filed under: A, potpourri | Tags: , , , , ,

I’ll begin this post with a reflection upon my resolutions for 2008. It’s worth saying that I had to dig out an old email to S to find exactly what it was I had resolved to do, because I obviously have probably not stuck with (m)any of them. I’ve cut and pasted for your perusal:

1) take my vitamins daily. I feel better when I do this, and there’s really no downside
besides the fact I’m sometimes scared the giant multivitamin will get stuck in my throat.

2) eat more fruit and veggies. By proxy, the shitty stuff in my diet will decrease.

3) wear less black. Not too long ago I complimented my coworker’s shirt and asked her
where she got it. She gave the name of some store on Queen St and told me ‘it comes in
black, too’. That was a hint.

4) donate blood more often. In order to do this I need to take my iron pills more
frequently. Working in a hospital is like a perpetual guilt-trip: you constantly are
reminded of all the people who need whole blood and platelets and I haven’t donated since
December 2006.

5) make life matter more. Even though I know this job is pretty disposable (what I do
doesn’t matter all that much), I want to make it seem more worth my while and maybe start
dicking around less at work. Traveling is also super-high on this list, and I figure
that should be an easy-enough resolution to keep up. Also, I’m going to re-apply for
meds and master’s programs because I want life to be on the up-and-up instead of Debbie
Downer Alley.

To metabolize this point by point, I did take my vitamins (B12, iron (ferrous glutamate), folic acid, and a multivitamin) most days in 2008. And if I skipped any of them, it was the big m-fing multivitamin that still feels like it will get caught in my throat. I have always been good about eating fruits and vegetables; it’s how I was raised (I’ve previously mentioned how my sisters and I actually argue over who gets more Brussels sprouts), and I’m not too sure why I decided to include this. Probably choosing to eat less takeaway would’ve been the better option. Christ Almighty, did I ever fail on the wearing black resolution. Let’s be serious, this one, if any, was destined for full-out failure! I donated blood once in the year, only because I was working 75+ hour weeks and really didn’t have the time, and if I did, I felt like my blood was barely of high enough quality to validate its pumping through my own veins, nevermind someone else’s.

Number five I’ll pride myself on being the total success of my year. Not only did I end up visiting friends (R, T, H, C, and A) in Paris, Strasbourg, and London later that same month, but I made my job matter more by taking on way more responsibility, even at no financial compensation, traveling to the Mayo Clinic for a medical conference to meet patients and doctors who are exceptionally recognized for their contributions to treatment and diagnosis in the field of autoimmune disease. I did reapply to grad school, and was accepted everywhere I applied. When we were moving to Scotland, E and I traveled to Belfast then spent three weeks discovering all of Scotland save for Glasgow (despite flying in and out), Skye, the Hebrides, and Orkney and Shetland. I have plans to see all of these before the end of August this year. I returned to Paris before Christmas to visit with A again. All in all, I have five stamps from either Charles de Gaulle or Gare du Nord in my passport. It’s getting a bit ridiculous.

So that’s that. On with this year’s resolutions, and I’ll admit, the list is a bit exhaustive.

1) Wear whatever I want. This is my rebellion against my restriction on black last year. I realise that a lot of people sort of identify me with wearing black, and personally I find it extremely comfortable to wear, so why deny it.

2) Swim two to three times weekly. When I moved here I brought my swimsuit, two silicone swim caps, and, I thought, my goggles. It turns out the last item didn’t end up in my overstuffed suitcase, and as such, I’ve had minimal physical activity all of last semester. Swimming is one of those weird things I’m happiest doing; that is to say, not playing around, but rather carving out orderly, well-placed strokes through the water. My mind wanders and eventually settles on nothing, and I feel it’s one of the very few times I can absolutely be relaxed. If I get totally crazy I might try surfing in the North Sea, but one day at a time!

3) Speak more candidly. I realize I already pretty much say what’s on my mind when it’s on my mind, but I think there are things I leave unsaid (for whatever reason) which still need addressing.

4) Better keep in touch with friends and family. This applies to those home and abroad; I’d still like to travel more, and it’s easiest to do when you stay with people you know (nevermind cheaper). I owe too many people an email or a Skype chat, and I almost feel like ‘to hell with it, let them read the blog instead’ but that’s such an asshole route to take. I figure if I can sit down for a full afternoon each month or whatever and bang out a good length email to each of these people (or at least not let the responses on my end pile up), this will be more manageable.

5) Not buy coffee/lattes. I cannot count the dollars/pounds/what have you, wasted on takeaway coffee. I don’t own a coffee maker here and it’s really cramping my caffeine-y style. Instead, I’ll estimate that I’ve probably spent $500 CDN on coffee in 2008 alone. I also told myself I’d wait until I got back to Aberdeen to enact this resolution as I was having a daily latte when I was in London, and probably spent £20 in a single week on it. Yikes. (Nevermind that I really don’t need the sugar.)

6) Be less of a consumer. I succumbed while in Paris to too many things (future post) and felt not myself for having done it. I’d rather buy things the way my Dad does: replace them when they’re worn out; but if it’s canned, stockpile (for a nuclear apocalypse – just kidding! C&L, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout). This just makes good sense.

7) Warning, this may blow your mind: Go to church more often. I know. I know. I. Know. Last year I think my ‘church-going’ was comprised of being inside a bunch of different cathedrals on my holidays. And even despite this resolution, I do not consider myself religious beyond just wanting to be a ‘good person’. Going to church reminds me of time with my Mom. I went to Evensong at Notre Dame, and two Sung Eucharists at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral when I was in London (originally this was part of a plan to avoid having to pay admission to any of these places – they can’t charge you for worship). While I didn’t understand most of what was said at Notre Dame (save for the Latin), I found the Westminster sermon to be comforting. I figure I’ll give this one a go. An hour of my time once a week will not kill me. I think this sort of ties in with the be-a-better-person thing, but do take note that this will not be a ‘year of living biblically’ – that sort of idea is completely out to lunch.

Do any of you have something notable for the year? I think I’ll do an update in June or something and let you know the progress (or regress) I’ve made.

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