To resolve or not to resolve?

I wonder if I am getting too old, too lazy or too awkward for New Year's Resolutions.  The beauty of writing a blog for quite a long time (since 2007! how amazing is that?) is that you can go back and check and see what was happening in your life in earlier Januaries.  Pottering back through the New Year entries I see that some years I have made resolutions and some years I have not.  One year I see that I resolved to be more glamorous on Thursdays.  I think we can safely say that did not happen.  On other years I have blithely ignored the very idea.  I see that I have however kept the resolution to stop resolving to eat less, drink less and exercise more.  I haven't done any of those things but at least I have stopped boringly girding myself up to do them and then berating myself for failing yet again.

We have had a challenging few months to finish off 2010 and this morning I learned that my much loved younger brother is ill.  This is not a year for making life any harder with worthy exhortations and rafts of negatives.  So here are some resolutions which might make life easier, funnier, happier, healthier; little ones  which I hope can be slotted in to full days.
  1. I will make more time with friends and, if going away from home is a bit tricky just now, more invitations for people to come here.  This is such a good one that I am going to pick the phone up just as soon as I finish writing this blog.
  2. I will do something every day that is just for me: a bath, a glass of good wine, half an hour upstairs on the bed with a book.
  3. I will do something every day that is just for Ian.  This is harder than it sounds.  He is a great one for sorting everything out for himself and looking after other people all the time.
  4. I will take the time every day to listen to my FIL, just to sit and chat for half an hour without trying to fill the time with jobs and chores.  I am getting my ear in now, beginning to understand both the strong regional accent and his own idiolect which means that he can expect you to fill in missing words and translate phrases.  Soon I may even always understand the meaning of "the old one, two", a phrase which slides around with, as far as I can tell, an entirely variable meaning, often tripping me up and leaving me grasping at empty air.  I will slow down and, for some time every day, let him set the pace.
  5. I will buy and wear some clothes in gorgeous colours.  I fancy a singing blue and green like the peacock feathers in the vase behind me.
  6. I will go to yoga every week and become a truly bendy person.
  7. I think I might join a choir.
  8. I think I might get a dog, maybe not right this minute though.
  9. I will plant yet more flowers for butterflies and bees in the field around the fruit trees.
  10. I will ensure that I see all the blogging friends I have been lucky enough to meet so far and also add some new ones to the "met in real life" tag.
  11. I will paint my toenails, even though it is winter.


  1. That's a good set of resolutions and all quite achieveable. I've made some of my own, and am really keen to keep to them, but it's very easy to let them slip. Good luck with yours, and happy new year!

  2. An excellent list and more of a recipe for a better way of living than a tedious bossy list of beratements (word?)
    Sorry to hear about your brother. How frightening.

  3. Hey Elizabeth, sorry to hear about your younger brother, I wish him a speedy recovery.

    Your list of resolutions was very interesting and I can second quite a few of them.

    Love the idea of becoming a more bendy person and with painted toenails too.....
    Spending time sitting and listening to your FIL will give you some wonderful memories.
    Time for yourself, family and friends always worth it.
    I wish you all the best with these and by the way, did you make that phone call after you hit the publish button?
    All the best to you and your for 2011, from a sunny part of Oz.

  4. Thats a lot of resolutions. Good list though.

    I must do something about my weight.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  5. I am most impressed with the generosity of your resolutions, and also the ones that making living more fun. Good thoughts for your brother's recovery.

  6. I hope yo can acheive the un acheivable!
    No resolutions hee, just to make it through the year with no major health issues, and that really is in the lap of the Gods.

  7. great list, so often resolutions are going to be things we STOP (negative things)doing rather than to good (positive) things. I like your list

  8. 11 resolutions! And do you, as I would, have to do no. 6 before you could achieve no. 11? Good luck with them; some sound pretty nice. Happy New Year. x

  9. NSM - the achievable thing was quite important. I suspect I will manage the glass of wine or the bath!
    Milla - I am not good at responding to bossy, whether it is someone else bossing me or me bossing myself. I need to talk myself round!
    Claire - thank you. I did make the phone call. All the best to you too!

  10. Great resolutions Elizabeth. I hope you manage to follow them through and feel the full benefit. I also hope that your brother is well soon.

  11. It's a rotten time, Elizabeth. My heart lurches when I read this post.

    Of the resolutions, I specially like the idea of being glamorous on Thursdays, even if you have never fulfilled it. I'm inspired by your idea of doing something conscious every day for your husband too. My husband might be glad I read that!

    I've also landed up interested to know what accent your father in law has.

    Oh! Friends! I miss so many who live far away!

    Will be thinking of you (not that that helps - and I do anyway).

    Best wishes for 2011.


  12. I don't think I'll make a list this year, Elizabeth. I won't even be thinking a list. If I feel the need I'll come back to your post and pick one of your resolutions, as we seem to have the same gaps needing to be spackled. The polished toes, yoga and half hour reading seem like a dream.
    I'm sorry to read about your brother's illness and I hope that it is something from which he will recover soon.

  13. No doubt days in Wales are much longer than elsewhere. Good luck with your long list. Personally I gave up yonks ago.

  14. If I was going to do #11, I would have to do #6 for a month beforehand.

  15. Happy New Year! and I do mean I hope you find happy days in 2011.

    I can relate to your difficult times over the past months ... so sorry to hear your brother is now ill.

    But your list sounds very sensible - the sort of list to refer back to when things get a bit out of hand; somewhere to find a life jacket to get one through.

    Isn't it good to know the garden is there, the view, the hens, the outragiously coloured nail varnish and a good book.

    Best wishes today to Ian, your FIL and yourself.

  16. Maggie - I am wondering if the dog would be the answer to the weight/exercise! Lost three pounds when I had my son's dog for a couple of months just through the walking I think, and felt good too!
    Hildred and Charles - thanks so much for the best wishes
    Penny - whoops! they weren't meant to be unachievable. The whole idea was to try to resolve things I could do. I might start with wearing gorgeous colours!
    Patty - thanks and happy New year!
    Rachel - I can manage to get at the toes(11) without extra yoga(6) but can't guarantee to be tidy with the polish!

  17. That's an impressive list; I hope it's all going well.
    Perhaps you should also resolve that failing to meet your own (high) standards needn't imply giving up for the remainder of the year!

  18. What sonderful ideas! I'm a bit sorry you gave upon on Glam Thursdays, which I think is brilliant. You might have caused quite a stir once-weekly in your nearest village...

    These resolutions give a big clue to You, Elizabeth. A thoughtful, caring person with whimsy around the edges. Not foolhardy ('I THINK I MIGHT get a dog') but resolute nonetheless ('I'm going to pick up the phone just as soon as I finishing writing...') and funny (painting toenails even though it's winter).
    I'm glad to know you, Elizabeth. I do hope your brother's illness is treatable and my best wishes go to him and to you and to Ian for this New Year.
    xx from Canada

  19. A lovely list, Elizabeth. I think I might borrow it! The problem is not with making resolutions, however, but keeping them. There are reasons you are not doing these things now. You will have to give up some things in order to do others. There aren't books on making time for resolutions.

    Hope your brother is OK. Happy New Year!

  20. hmmmmm so wot colour are the toenails then?
    Happy New Year from down here.
    Hope your brother is OK and FIL settles well.

  21. A good, sensible yet uplifting list. I'm still trying to decide what mine are. With a bit of luck I'll procrastinate so long that it'll be February and - tsk, tsk, - too late.

  22. Can thoroughly recommend the dog one - I couldn't exist without my dog.

  23. Well, as one of those blogging acquaintances I certainly look forward to seeing more of you. A very good list - aspirational and achievable!

  24. I hope you have a wonderful year

  25. Some great goals there Elizabeth - hope that you have fun in your pursuit of them. So sorry to hear about your brother's illness. You have already had a tough few months to contend with. Maybe we can meet up for coffee/seedling swap/natter in the spring in Chester?
    I will be looking out for an all singing bendy lady dressed in peacock feathers :)

  26. Happy New Year to you. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Goodness, it has been so hard for you recently.

    I love your list - I've taken some of the resolutions from it and hope to follow them myself. I hope there are many happy days for you in 2011 Elizabeth.

  27. I like your resolutions.
    Make sure you keep the one that involves treats for you.
    I hope your brother is soon better.

  28. It's a marvellous list ! Twinkling toes , jewel colours , yet more flowers and all .
    I hope your younger brother recovers quickly and your father-in-law settles in well . And that you and Ian managage to make time for yourselves , too .
    Spring's not far away !

  29. So sorry to hear about your brother, your family are really going through it at the moment. Glad your resolutions are for yourself, I think you are going to need to take good care of yourself this year so that you can be there for your loved ones. I really hope 2011 takes a turn for the better really soon - and look forward to seeing the new flowers around your fruit trees.

  30. I like your resolutions - very human, giving and incorporating ALL your senses!

    I'll certainly go for the first two! Though you definitely lost me at the end - never did understand toenail painting... no objection to it, I just dont't get it!

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  31. I adore the idea of resolving to be more glamorous on Thursdays!

    Hope you have a wonderful 2011.

  32. Great list, as for me I have been on the tread mill and bike. I blew it and had a peice of cheese cake.
    Hope your brother recovers soon.
    Happy New year


  33. Great list, as for me I have been on the tread mill and bike. I blew it and had a peice of cheese cake.
    Hope your brother recovers soon.
    Happy New year


  34. What a fabby inspiring list of resolutions....Happy New Year, it sounds like you are going to have a rare time and become a more 'bendy' person in the it.

  35. I think you made a good decision in choosing to give the negative resolutions a miss and concentrate on the positive. At least you'll feel like your moving forward all the time.

  36. That's a super list of resolutions.

    There are many there that I'd like to emulate

  37. Love this set of resolutions!!
    I might even make some now!

  38. I love your resolutions and we send healing blessings from Our Scented Cottage to your brother.

    Happy New year!


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