Real life used to start at the end of the working day. When I was young it was when hope and excitement started. Even when I went on to a second job for the evening, it was full of people and flirting, constant newness and nowness. Now I go home and it is food, tv, bed, reading, conk out, another day. I don’t eat lunch apart from snacking, so when I get home I am absolutely starving and eat too much, so my body is overwhelmed with a combination of satiety and exhaustion. I can’t conceive of having the energy to start something else. But maybe that is just a function of my habits. I want to treat this year as an experiment in energy and doing. I want the old excitement. I don’t know if it’s possible. When I moan about not having the energy to do things in the evening after work, some people say ‘what do you expect at your age?’ and suggest it is nothing to do with my health (which is what I tend to blame – Lupus is a bitch for killing the life-force out of you). I don’t expect to get back to that youthful, hopeful, flirty sense of possibilities. I might be single but people my age are a little bit, well not entirely, but a little bit, you know, meh. That sentence hides but still says a lot about my own self-image as well, but let’s not dwell on that.
So – 1st August is actually the start of a new year for me, and New Year resolutions are a way of turning over a new leaf of some sort. My list does not include bungee-jumping or doing anything scary, just small decisions about change. One baby step at a time.
I want to overcome my moodiness. I don’t mean bad moods particularly – most of the time I’m reasonably cheerful. I just mean I can’t, from one day to the next, continue with anything. How I feel about things changes. This is why I can’t write a whole damn story. I can get thoroughly into something for such a small period of time. Also I’m interested in so many different things, so I find it really hard to settle into being good at any one of them.
I want to make some use of my daydreaminess. It’s a good thing – the most creative times can be the times when apparently nothing is going on, just staring into space – but it keeps me in my head, and is when I think about doing things rather than doing them. Procrastination and planning – and then the next day, my mood takes me down a different path anyway. Sheesh.
I don’t mind growing old, but I don’t want to be decrepit. No-one does, I guess, but fitness is good every which way you look, because it deals with stress, and gives you more vim and vigour – that sense of aliveness that is the very opposite of what I feel when I sit on my sofa watching Revenge, wondering why the hell I am addicted to it and seriously missing it during the season break.
What makes life worthwhile? Well I’m lucky because my work does, but I’m trying really hard to build that second element – the part of my life that isn’t work. And how we use our time makes a huge difference. The doing of something. The accomplishment. Not the consumption of someone else’s doing.
So my baby step plan is to DO something myself, every week, for a whole week at a time. I don’t know if I can achieve it, but I’m starting now. This week’s activity? Writing. No more Sunday Scribbles – this will be the Daily Despatch. For one week only. The next week will be something physical. Yikes.