“Do yourself a favour, right now, and realise two things: 1. You will keep getting older, and then you will die. 2. Everything that’s ever entered your experience has lasted and will continue to last for only a brief moment in the life of the universe. This is game time, champ. You’re in. You’re in, playing, right now, and the clock is ticking. So stop wondering what it all means and how you’ll possibly ever do X and what people will think, and get on with your life already. Stop being a pussy and go do something amazing.”
– Johnny Truant, The Universe Doesn’t Give A Flying Fuck About You
Ever read a book and thought “what the hell was that” afterwards, but in a good way?
A few nights ago I came across and downloaded “The Universe Doesn’t Give A Flying Fuck About You” by Johnny Truant, mainly because it was free on the Kindle store. I settled in for a read, but it actually only took 10 minutes to get through. 10 minutes of fabulously back-handed motivation
Smart phones, aka pocket internet browsers, are bad for us in a lot of ways.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the internet. Without it, we couldn’t convert fahrenheit to celsius right there in the kitchen, or read handy articles on which Disney prince has the best butt (still disappointed by the winner there #teamLiShang). But it’s true – I don’t believe many of us are going to reach the end of our lives and think “man, I just didn’t spend enough time on Facebook.”’
While I’m not addicted to my phone (I can happily go without it on holidays, and if it’s flat I don’t freak out) but if it’s there I have a very bad (and very strong) habit of picking it up and scrolling endlessly throughvarious social media apps.
I really want to be a neat person. When the house is tidy, everything just feels so much more relaxing and I feel like I have more time. Unfortunately, I’m very prone to being the not-so-proud owner of a floordrobe, and the dining table seems to be perpetually covered in my make-up, jewellery, empty contact lens packets, receipts and more.
My apartment is by no means clean all the time, but I’ve started working out what does and doesn’t help me, as a naturally messy person, be tidier. And hopefully they’ll also work for my fellow mess-heads who know it’s not so simple as just picking up after yourself.
This is separate from my 2015 New Years Resolutions – for those, click here.
If there are two things that I remember most clearly from the golden days of Myspace, they would be the time that Brandon told me he wanted to throw his computer in the bathtub every time I posted a melodramatic bulletin (remember those? #nostalgia), and a quote that continues to follow me years after I deleted my account:
I’ve since found out this is (as pretty much everything else on Myspace was) an appropriation of something Gerard Way said. Either way it seemed very profound to 15-year-old me.
These days, I’m less concerned by it flashing before me in a quick death, and more by it boring me before a slow one. When I’m old and in a hospital bed living out my last days/weeks/months, I want to have a lot of varied experiences to look back on, and feel that I was at least a little bit interesting.
That quote is the reason I get up to see the sunrise sometimes, and agree to eat chickens feet and duck tongues. It’s also the reason I’ve written a list of things I want to achieve by the time 2015 is over.
This list is different to my resolutions, which you can find here. Instead of long-term lifestyle changes, these are just short-term goals and experiences (some of which I will potentially hate) that will hopefully make me more healthy, well-rounded, social and generally more interesting. I also just have a thing for lists.
They range from physical challenges to learning a new language – expect lots of adventures, geeky stuff, and a lot of unleashing my inner child.
The list is taped to the side of my bookshelf, but you can see it here.
Disclaimer: Now, I realize that what I consider to be fun and interesting may bore someone else to tears. I’m sure 92-year-old-me will possibly be happier to reminisce about books and art exhibitions rather than the time I sprained my ankle at a trampoline centre. But I’m going to do both. You do you – I’d love to hear what’s on your list!
I wasn’t quite ready to let go of 2014. Not just because it was such a fantastic year for me, but also because this is the first new year since I was about 10 that I haven’t had my resolutions all set and rearing to go.
1. Go to Japan – tick. In June I did a whirlwind trip of Tokyo, Nagahama and Kyoto.
2. Graduate from uni – tick. I am now the proud owner of a very expensive piece of paper.
3. Focus on being happy – tick, tick and tick again. I left two particularly negative people behind, got a job I love, spent my first full calendar year living with Brandon, spent more time with family, climbed more mountains (literally) and much much more.
So I think in ticking all of those off, my brain must have also ticked off the entire concept of resolutions and decided we didn’t need to do that anymore. But I’m still in love with the whole idea of resolutions and the optimism that comes with January 1st (see more on that here), so I’ve racked my brain for this year’s goals.
The result is that in 2015, I’m making actual resolutions of my I-should-reallys.
Everyone has a few: “I should really drink less” or “I should really call my mum more often.” This year I’m going to stop being so vague about mine, work on them properly, and hopefully change “I should” to “I will.”
I should really will get back in shape.
My fitness levels were great in 2012, pretty good in 2013, and then got destroyed in 2014 (I didn’t just fall off the bandwagon, I rolled it off a cliff). This could seem like a pretty shallow goal, but it’s not (well, it is a bit). In addition to fitting back into the entire size 8 wardrobe I’ve sadly left behind, more exercise and eating properly makes me genuinely more happy and more pleasant to be around, so it’s win-win for everyone. Bring on those endorphins.
I should really will stop being so messy.
Seriously, I’m shocking. I thought living with a neat-freak who’s in the army would make me clean up my act (I prefer my puns intended) but 18 months later I’ve actually just dragged him down to my level.
I should really will look at my phone less.
I’m not addicted to my phone – I could gladly go without it for a week. But if it’s there, I play with it. A few weeks ago I looked up and out the bus window and there was the most gorgeous sunset over the river. Instead of going straight home I got off and went for a walk to enjoy it. Who knows how many more I’ve missed? This year I won’t spend entire bus trips scrolling past the same Instagram posts I saw the hour before.
If you haven’t made any resolutions yet, why not tackle one of your I-should-reallys?
There’s a statistic floating around at the moment, getting quoted by every news outlet and their dog: only 8% of new year’s resolutions are kept. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but, forever the resolutionist, I’d like to think that there are two significant reasons for this:
1. People feel like they have to come up with something impressive/deep/interesting on short notice. So on December 31st or the days after, they pick something they don’t really care about.
2. We often choose something too specific. They say that goals need to be measurable, but when you set yourself a benchmark you’re also making it easier to fail. Saying that you’ll run more often is easier to keep than “I will run four times a week.”
By turning I-Should-Reallys into resolutions, you’re more likely to follow it. Not only are they generally not guided by a specific number (so you’re less likely to feel a sense of failure if you don’t make much progress for a week or two) but they’re also something that you know you want to do – you’ve just been putting it off for a long time.
Remember – it’s a year’s resolution, not a short term goal. Don’t stress if you haven’t completed it by April, or if you go backwards for a while in July – you’ve got twelve months to work it out. The best ones will give you something to work on, and become part of your lifestyle.
Whether it’s quitting smoking or going kayaking more often, let me know what your I-Should-Reallys-Turned-Resolutions are below