Earlier this week I picked up my laptop to start typing out a version of these thoughts only to realise that I probably, after two months of ignoring the messages, I should update the operating system. What should have taken half an hour, took most of the evening. After a few errors the best and quickest way to make my machine usable was to wipe it clean. All the videos, songs, games, random files I don’t know what they did but was too afraid to delete–gone.
As a non-idiotic user of technology the important and irreplaceable stuff is backed up into the cloud. So don’t worry, my unpublished memoirs of teen angst are safe. The Sims 3 is gone though, about 100gb of expansion packs and mods and the save games of countless play hours. But that’s OK. Some things need to be let go of. The Sims 3 wasn’t ported to Mac properly and would consistently crash, as well as taking up valuable hard drive space. It wasn’t doing my computer any good. So now I’ve solidly moved on to The Sims 4 on my tall friend’s gaming suitable pc and my laptop is running happily and clutter-free. To move on and make things be better I had to start over.
I’m not really into making new year’s resolutions. There is something icky and terribly forced about them. According to the media everyone is on a diet or ‘lifestyle change’, which is good for them. Trying to be better is the best we can do. But undoubtedly you will know someone who’s bought Joe Wicks’s book intending to change their lives only for it to now be forgotten and dusty on the bookshelf. You’ll have friends who stopped drinking for a week and a half just to give up on pay day. And people who are trying vegan but don’t actually know what they can eat. Resolutions are a fad, a marketing ploy for post-Christmas retail, and at worst mild-bragging material useful in polite small talk between colleagues. Eugh.
But I’m really into making this year better. Last year I didn’t visit a single new place, I gained weight, I lost confidence and I didn’t have many nice things to think of when ringing in the new year. Yet, I couldn’t help think about how good the year before was. 2016 was (comparatively) the tits. I was happy and healthy and did some cool stuff. So instead of a ‘new me’ I going back to what made me and that year so great.
Diet does play a big part of this, not necessarily eating less (just until I’ve lost the depression pounds) but eating more of the green stuff and cutting down on treats. As someone that loves food, so much so that as a child I would feel cheated not getting three square meals a day, acknowledging that certain foods don’t love me back is a little tricky. But everyone is different and eating white bread and sugary foods shouldn’t be the usual. Plus, eating less meat and dairy in general, as I used to, makes me feel better physically and emotionally better. I’m also not really drinking (and don’t say Dry January or I will tear out my hair but good for you if that’s what you like). For January, yes but not limited to. Drinking is expensive and unhealthy but I like it, so taking time off to break the habit is good for me. This also means that I had some red wine the other day but I’ve not messed everything up and decided to drink as much as I please.
Reading is something else that I let slip last year. There were months where I didn’t read a single book, which is pretty lame because I love books. To reform this habit my tall friend and I are making time to just sit and read before bed. If you want to be a better version of you the people that you love will want to support you, even in simple ways, it makes a difference.
What I’m doing this year is making changes I know I can keep. Using the past as evidence, I’m still looking forward to the year ahead and sticking to my convictions. As someone that really needs a bit of good in 2018 I’m cultivating it in myself. I’m feeling better and I’m hopeful.