Those of you who have been following my blog for a while will know that each year I write not ‘resolutions’, but ‘absolutions’.
These are the things I absolve myself from doing the following year―GUILT FREE!
Either I will remove them from my mental ‘to do’ list or I will stop doing them because they do not ‘spark joy’. These are the things I have been told―by myself, by loved ones, by society―that I should do but really, really don’t want to.
So, on the list they go!
1. Reading the entire contents of my Kindle
As an avid reader, I have a problem―I cannot say no to books. I buy a lot of books, I get given a lot of books … but I have too many books. TOO MANY BOOKS! Every time I finish a book, I am paralysed by choice as to what to read next. I flick through the (literally) dozens of pages of unread books on my Kindle and often end up tossing it on the bed in frustration and turning on Netflix.
I like choice. Choice is good―there is a book for every mood on my Kindle: spy thriller, (gruesome) crime thriller, LA detective thriller, romcom, contemporary romance, contemporary women’s fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, historical romance, outback romance, even some fantasy, SciFi and horror …
The thing is, I have at least a dozen unread books in each genre (and sub-genre) taunting me.
In the past few days, I have taken steps to mitigate this paralysing guilt of owning so many unread books. Collections! I have decided my next 3 reads and everything else has gone into a TBR Collection―a neat little folder that I can swipe past all at once on my Kindle’s ‘home’ screen. Now I just need to stop acquiring more books. Hmm.
In mid-2022, I signed up for a weekly meditation session at work (facilitated by a colleague) to help us cope with the pandemic. Half-way through the first session, conducted via TEAMS, I received a Teams message―apparently ‘urgent’―and I spent the rest of the meditation session putting out a (small) professional fire―essentially, the opposite of meditating.
The thing is, I not only suck at meditating, I (really) dislike it. I spend the whole time chastising myself for sucking at it and not being better at ‘adulting’.
Well, I absolve myself from meditating in 2022 because there are other ways to ‘be mindful’. Any time you are completely immersed in something―reading, dancing, cooking, revelling in natural beauty, combing the beach for the prettiest shell, sipping great wine and really tasting it, playing with a child and making them laugh, in the midst of an in-depth conversation, smashing out a new chapter or editing one―you are being mindful.
So, I aim to be mindful in the way that works for me without beating myself up about how I get to that immersive, blissful state.
3. Watching ‘Squid Game‘
I tried (2 full episodes) and I hated it (not just the premise but the lead actor’s―in my opinion, terrible―acting). I know it’s considered ‘good TV’ by millions of people but no piece of fiction is for everyone―just ask my readers―so it’s okay that I didn’t like it and that I won’t finish the season.
4. Getting a TikTok account
It’s not that there aren’t many, many entertaining people on TikTok, nor that I haven’t enjoyed the occasional TikTok (I don’t even know if that’s the correct term―are the clips on TikTok called TikToks?) that people have sent to me (case in point, this is hilarious).
It’s that I already spend 5-12 hours a week on social media for author biz. That’s not just posting, but creating assets, and commenting and sharing―and thanking others for commenting and sharing.
I just don’t have room in my life for another social media account. I felt the same way about Snapchat (and I was right about that BTW―remember Snapchat, anyone?)
5. Not making travel plans because ‘what if I have to cancel them?’
This is a double negative, I know.
To be clear, I absolve myself from not making travel plans, which means that 2022 is FILLED with travel plans. Sure, we’re buying the best insurance we can get and we’re mindful (that word again) that any or all of these trips may be cancelled, but for me and Ben, travel IS life.
So, trips on the cards:
- Southern coast of New South Wales to see friends (who live there)
- Inland in Victoria to see my cousins (who live there)
- Up to southern Queensland/norther NSW to see family and friends (who live there)
- Western Australia to see family (who live there). They have been behind the COVID Curtain implemented by Premier Mark McGowan for so long, I can’t even fly there to be with my mom who is recovering from a serious injury and is bed bound. (Grrrr, Mark!)
- The UK (!) to: see my family (sis, bro-in-law, nephew) in Rugby and Great-Aunt in Oxfordshire; meet my agent, Lina, and dear friend, Nina, face to face in Edinburgh; attend the Romance Novelists Association 2022 Conference; attend the HarperCollins author party; meet Pearson colleagues in London; meet my editor and other members of the One More Chapter publishing team, also in London; and catch up with other friends across the UK. (It’ll be a long trip.)
- Sailing the Cyclades Islands in Greece! I am SO excited about this. Ben and I will be sailing with our skipper friend, Patrick―our 3rd time sailing with him. Athens to Syros―8 days, 7 nights―and we’re taking my nephew, who will be 11 by then. (Aside: for those who have read the Holiday Romance series, Patrick is the real-life Duncan, only he’s a Kiwi).
So LOTS to look forward to in 2022, especially as I am absolving myself of so many things that will save me not just time, but angst, guilt, and regret.
And what could be a better way to start the New Year?
Happy 2022, everyone, and may it be filled with reunions, grand adventures, and many moments that will make you smile, fill your heart, and bring you peace and joy.