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New year, who dis?

I love New Year’s. Christmas is good and all, but New Year’s is my favourite. On New Year’s Eve, I clear the day and clean the house. I do the stuff I don’t normally do when cleaning generally, like scrubbing the splashed gunk off the kettle and washing the front of the dishwasher. Last year (whoa, 2016 is last year) I even took the garbage/compost bins out and scoured them, outside and in, until they were immaculate. Why? Because I like waking up and feeling the excitement of a whole year of potential, and waking up to a clean house increases that tenfold—it’s starting the new year as I plan to go on.

On New Year’s Day, I have a tradition of doing a little of all the things I want to do a lot of during the year. I’m not superstitious, but that’s the best damn way of spending a day I can think of and I’m happy to use a public holiday to legitimise it. So I cook, and eat, and play my violin and my clarinet; I knit and write and go for a walk and lift some weights—and this year I sipped champagne in the bathtub while reading an excellent novel because I’m just that fancy.

I’ll be honest: it was a busy day.

Every year I think about all the things I want to do more of: more music practice, more writing, more hiking, more whatever. And I’m slowly (slooowly) (sloooooooowly) coming to realise that time is a zero-sum game. The more time you spend doing one thing, the less you have to spend doing another. Look, I know this isn’t rocket surgery, but you wouldn’t believe how many days I plan out as if this is completely not the case.

It would be lovely for me to report that this new wisdom has encouraged me to do less this year, and do it better. But no. Instead I’ve signed up for fencing classes (awww yiss), I’m teaching yoga again, and I have such plans for hiking, travelling and strength training that I have to remind myself periodically that I have a job and actually have to spend time working as well. (Not to mention sleeping.)

So instead of setting myself goals and resolutions this year, I’ve decided to set a few gentle boundaries, mysteriously in the second person:

  1. Read the books you’ve got. Let’s see how long you can go without buying a new book. (Currently enjoying a four-week streak of not-buying, which is amazing, but there’s another tab open in the browser RIGHT NOW with a book I’m probably going to buy as soon as I have a glass of wine.)
  2. Bigger breakfasts. You’re sick of hitting the wall mid-morning and then spending the period from 10:30 until 12:00 every day complaining about being tired (I expect M’s a bit over it, too).
  3. More sleep. Well, if you insist.
  4. Pair of socks on the needles at all times. Earlier this year I realised my sock drawer was mortifying: everything in it was either worn through or didn’t fit. (It’s totally possible to stuff up the fit on a sock.) This is not a proud state for a knitter, and in the months since I’ve made about seven pairs (phew)—and hot dang, I’m back on the sock wagon.
  5. Knit the yarn you’ve got. Okay, you can buy that yarn for that rad sweater you’re going to make, but everything else has to come from the stash, capisce? If you’re feeling stumped and uninspired, see point 4.
  6. If in doubt, go for a walk. You never regret a walk.

With these firm principles in mind, I feel like I can march safely forward into 2017. C’mon everybody!

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