‘Tis almost the time to start working on New Year’s resolutions. But I’m old and decrepit, and have enough experience with those. Before you make NY resolutions, be aware that:

  1. You’ll probably decide New Year’s Day is a holiday anyway, then Jan 2 is when you have to go to work which is UNFAIR, then the weekend is coming, and you’ll reluctantly get to it on Jan 7, already feeling guilty. (Or is it just me?)
  2. You’ll totally adhere to them for approximately 17 days. (Or is it just me?)
  3. Your reserve to avoid sweets will begin to crumble when your significant other tells you his colleague Jerry did something. At this point your brain will start flashing BEN & JERRY in huge, red lights. (Or is it just me?)
  4. Your decision to go to the gym five times a week will begin to crumble when you realise how many weeks there are per year. (Or is it just me?)
  5. You’ll be ready to start preparing NY resolutions for 2020 around the 25th of January, 2019. (That will NOT be me.)

Instead of resolutions, this year I am trying to have goals. The nice thing with goals is that they’re not a binary 0/1 made it/failed sort of thing, unless you decide to torment yourself by thinking like this, at which point you’ve made New Year’s resolutions, then called it something else.

Imagine that on January 1 you give yourself a goal to become a bazillionaire. (Note the lack of “…before December 31st”.) At the end of the year, you find yourself being a mere multi-millionaire. If it were a resolution, being a mere multi-millionaire would constitute a big FAIL. Since it’s a goal, you’re doing tremendously well. Also, you’re now my best friend and can I borrow $100,000 please?

Without further ado, here are my goals for 2019…

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(Note: there is a chance “Awaiting the Solstice” is an Enya song title. I didn’t check.)

I have a very complicated relationship with Christmas (called “Xmas” further on).

I grew up in a country that is considered 105% Catholic despite the fact that only about 35% people actually believe in God. My entire family consisted of atheists or agnostics. Nevertheless, we always gathered around the table twice a year: for Easter and for Xmas, which we actually called either “Holidays” (with the capital H) or “Gwiazdka” (“Little Star”). There was a tree, generally a plastic one, full-on decorations, tons of food and drink, but mostly – when I was still a kid – the important bit: PRESENTS!!!

Our family habit was that you had to try all sorts of food on the table. Even if you didn’t like something, you had to eat a tiniest bit because it was a tradition. I actually don’t know whether it’s a Catholic tradition at all, but it was what our family did. As kids we generally ate everything at record speed, but still, the presents had to remain wrapped under the tree until the last person tried everything. To call us slightly impatient was an understatement. We knew very well there was no Santa, but there were PRESENTS OMG HURRY UP WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU OLD PEOPLE!!!

As the years have passed I didn’t even notice that I, too, began to turn into an Old Person (i.e. over 15 years old) and started to pay more attention to the food than the presents. This might or might not have been related to the fact that my grandma 1) always gave me longjohns, and 2) they were always too small. The food, however, was always delicious and a lot of the dishes were prepared exclusively for Xmas. The extra plus side was that it was prepared by people who weren’t me.

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I am currently spending some time at my family home, with mom and brothers (and husby, of course). And…I have no motivation to write. AT ALL.

This doesn’t sound like a big deal. But since I started on Storytellers on Jan 1st, 2017 I haven’t stopped writing for longer than 2-3 days when my health issues made it impossible. This is my first actual “vacation” from writing in two years. Brain’s all like “we are on holiday, bugger off, I refuse to do gramer en spelink”.

I forgot how it feels to actually take some rest. I always told people writing relaxes me. Which it does, but perhaps after two years of going nearly non-stop a week off might be a good idea…? It’s not burnout, although had I gone at this pace further I might have reached one. Brain is just not interested. There’s snow, there’s my mom’s food, my brother’s kids (send help – 7-year-old twin boys), a new tattoo tomorrow. Even when we were in Iceland I kept writing, in fact being there gave me extra motivation. Right now? Nope. I do absolutely nothing useful, don’t bother getting dressed before noon, eat tons of sweets. (Note to self: you WILL do extra workouts when you come back home.) I don’t even read anything more serious than music magazines.

Do you find it easy to take an actual break? A real holiday without either feeling guilty about not doing Things And Stuff? I’m new to this and need pointers…