The New Year is a time for resolutions. Mentally, at least, most of us compile formidable lists of do's and dont's. The same old favourites recur year in year out with monotonous regularity. We resolve to get up earlier each morning, eat less, smoke less, find more time to play with the children, do a thousand and one jobs about the house, be nice to people we don't like, drive carefully and take the dog for a walk every day ! Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. If we remain inveterate smokers, or stick to an unhealthy eating pattern, it is only because we have so often experienced the frustration that results from failure.
Most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out. We also make the fundamental error of announcing our resolutions to everybody so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our bad old ways. Aware of these pitfalls, two years ago I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself. I limited myself to two modest ambitions: to do physical exercises every morning and to read more of an evening. An all-night party on New Year's Eve provided me with a good excuse for not carrying out either of these new resolutions on the first day of the year 2008, but on the second, I applied myself assiduously to the task.
The daily exercises lasted only 11 minutes and I proposed to do them early in the morning before Alkis had got up ! The self-descipline required to drag myself out of bed 11 minutes before Alkis got up - that is at about 6:45 am ! Nevertheless, I managed to creep out of bed into the living-room for 2 days before Alkis found me out ! After jumping about on the carpet and ..twisting the human frame into uncomfortable positions, I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition. It was this that betrayed me !
The next morning , hubby trooped in to watch the performance ! That was really unsettling but I fended off the taunts and jibes good-humouredly and soon Alkis got used to the idea. However, my enthusiasm waned.. The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. Little by little the 11 minutes fell to zero. By January 10th 2008, i was back to where I had started from. I argued that if I spent less time exhausting myself at exercises in the morning I would keep my mind fresh for reading when I got home from work. Resisting the hypnotising effect of the Internet, I sat in my study for a few evenings, refusing to switch on the PC, with my eyes glued to a book.
One night , however, feeling cold and lonely (Alkis was away on a business trip), I switched on the PC, logged in TypePad....pretending to read Bleak House by Charles Dickens. That proved to be my undoing, for i soon got back to blogging and replying to comments! I still haven't given up my resolution to do more reading . ( I used to be an avid reader ! ). In fact, I have just bought a book entitled How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute. Perhaps it will solve my problem, but ...I haven't had time to read it yet ! I will.... sometime in 2010!