I don’t put a lot of faith in New Year’s Resolutions. It’s hard to specify something exact enough that you’re actually going to be able to follow. Stuff like “lose weight,” “don’t eat as much junk food” and “go to the gym” are pretty vague. And boring. I’d rather not.
That being said, I do think there is always room for improvement, so I was thinking about things I’d like to change up for myself this year, with exact instructions to follow. Here are the few I’ve come up with.
1. Be more aware of the news again. I went from working in a newsroom to being at home with a baby, and I have to tell you the contrast was as startling as it was soothing. Being surrounded by televisions blasting the worst of what’s going on in the world is stressful, even in a subconscious way. Then you’re all snuggled up with this bundle of innocent perfection and you can’t imagine ever wanting to know what’s going on in the world again.
But that changes. I’ve been finding that my mental clarity, missing for so long since pregnancy, is finally starting to come back and I’m a little devastated at how out of the loop I am when it comes to international affairs, something I used to pride myself on knowing a great deal about. So how to fix this?
You might think I should just start watching the news again, but I have issues with daily news – I find it often uninformed and repetitive, as 24-hour news channels try to squeeze every last drop of “news” out of any sensationalist event. It drives me crazy, and I never feel better informed after watching the news. Reading books about policy is also all wrong, because by the time something is published, it’s already outdated.
So I am committing to reading one news magazine that I consider informed, credible and legitimate. For me, that’s the Economist. I am going to read this weekly and hope I find myself better informed on what’s going on around me.
2. Take more photographs. Inspired by a friend of mine who has been posting her photos from a photo challenge over the last month (and she takes the most beautiful photos – so incredibly talented), I decided I wanted to do a photo challenge as well. I’m not particularly gifted when it comes to photography, but I enjoy dabbling now that I don’t have to take photos for work anymore! And just the fact that I have a challenge daily means I will have my camera at hand, which is a good start. I’m hoping it will also help me look at the world with a different eye. The photo above is my challenge for today: Breakfast.
3. Read better books. Last year I had a number I wanted to reach for books read. I just barely missed it, but I would often fly through books, just anxious to get onto the next one so I could put another notch in my book-reading belt. I don’t think that necessarily makes me a better reader. I want to focus on quality over quantity, even if it means reading a large, wordy novel that’s going to take some time to get through. There are a few books I’ve been meaning to get to for years, and this is going to be that year. On my list this year are: Sarum, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and Fall of Giants. I’m sure this list will expand as I go!
I hope you’re all enjoying the new year, whether or not you’re looking for resolutions!
Word of the day:
Expunge: to strike or blot out; erase; obliterate