Well, THIS has come around a little sooner than I anticipated. One moment I was eating sausage rolls for breakfast, downing quince gin liquer (found myself with three bottles of the stuff, don’t ask) and indiscriminately scoffing chocolates at any time of day or night, and the next I was awoken at 6am by a cuckoo (that’s the sound my alarm makes) and expected to present myself at work, in real clothes and presumably without an hourly cheese and biscuit snack.
That’s the long way of saying: 2020 is here, and real life has started again.
I have to admit to feeling slightly miffed that it all ‘felt the same as it was’ on that first Thursday and Friday back at work, lamenting my perceived lack of ‘new year feeling’, whatever that is, but the days since have admittedly brought with them a more positive outlook – as well as the assurance that they’re just days, so it doesn’t really matter.
I would love to say that I have 2020 all mapped out, but real life – the one where you also have to work, change your bedsheets and keep up to date with texting your mum back – means that I haven’t really spent a lot of time on a plan for the year.
I considered having a word of the year instead, something I’d seen others do that had always appealed, but I haven’t yet found one that feels right. I haven’t put together a list of resolutions or goals either; not because I’m averse to resolutions (I’m not at all, despite the degree to which people love to hate them), but because I just didn’t feel like it.
What I have started the started the year with is both intention, and intentions.
Intentions to read, to spend time outside, to nurture my friendships and relationships, to nourish myself and to grow professionally and personally. And intention, in the sense that I’m making a conscious effort to play an active role in what comes next for me, and live in an intentional way.
And that all seems to be going rather well so far. Dare I say it, I’m feeling very clear and content, and I’m looking forward to the stuff I hope to see through in 2020. Here’s what’s in my calendar or on my agenda.
For as long as I can remember, there have been two countries at the very top of my travel wishlist: Peru, and New Zealand. This year I will finally make it to the latter, having booked flights a couple of weeks ago. We have three weeks in the country, with a wedding to attend in Wellington halfway through the trip, and time in both the North and South islands planned. The Lord of the Rings books were very important to me as a teenager (and still are) and I foresee tears at Hobbiton, tragic as that undoubtedly is – I’ve been waiting 18 years, after all.
As an awful cliché of a person, I’ll start this paragraph in the exact way you would expect; there are lots of things about the person I imagined myself to be at age 30 that don’t appear to be the case now I’m standing on its doorstep. I don’t think I mind, because there are lots of things about the person I was at 21 that were fucking stupid and her obsession with herself, male approval, being the best at everything and general *achievement* are just some of them.
I think 30 is going to be a GREAT age, but I know myself well enough to know that a few moments this year where my resolve on that front could waver are possible, and I’m determined not to be influenced by the suggestion from any source that anything I am is not ‘enough’ for that arbitrary number and just focus on the celebrations.
Saving for our future home
Somehow despite opening a Help to Buy ISA in 2019 I didn’t technically save a penny – the ISA balance went up, but the balance in the account I already had (negligible) savings in depleted to zero. Bravo me. Still, we are beginning to think of buying a house, and if we want to do that, I’ll need to stop spending the entirety of my wages on wagamama takeaway.
Truth be told, I don’t entirely understand the British obsession with buying houses as young as you possibly can or the ‘waste of money’ comments around renting (you’re paying for somewhere to live, this is reasonable), but the idea is starting to appeal at the grand old age of 29. I’m not sure if we’ll actually GeT oN tHe PrOpErTy LaDdEr this year – maybe we will, maybe we wont – however I am keen to have somewhere of our own when our financial situation is right.
Living more in line with my values
Two things have happened over the past couple of years. Firstly, I’ve thought more about my own personal values and code of ethics than I ever have done before, and secondly, I’ve undergone a real shift in my knowledge of certain issues, both through general growth in awareness and also through my own research and reading.
It’s been impossible for these two processes to collide without having to also accept that the way I act or live does not (and probably cannot) align with my values, and there are lots of small changes I could make to marry them up better. I also appreciate that it’s impossible – as a member of the human race trying to do better in a world set up for the opposite – to avoid a nice big chunk of of hypocrisy, but it’s still something I want to focus on learning about and making changes for.
Vague as it is, I’m entering the year feeling ready for change and enthusiastic towards it. I have no idea what change the next 12 months might entail and I have no idea what scale of change I’m thinking of, but 2019 was a (necessarily) static year, and truly, 2020 feels like the time for movement.