New Year’s Absolutions 2020


It’s that time again! Time to reflect on the year that was and absolve myself from those niggling ‘shoulds’ that I just can’t bring myself to do.

So, in time for the kick-off to the 2020s, I absolve myself of …

Finishing my ‘to be read’ list before buying new books

I LOVE books – as in, I love them so much I should marry them. I once said that if the TBR list on my Kindle was a stack of books on my bedside table and it fell on me in the night, it would crush me and I would die.

That’s still true.

And even though I feel guilty about the ones I haven’t read yet, I won’t stop buying books. It’s because of that moment when I’m contemplating ‘next read’ and I have so many options that I can find exactly what I’m in the mood for.

So, no more guilt. I’ll just keep buying all the books. BUYING. ALL. THE. BOOKS!

Taking up running (again)

I used to be a runner. I ran here, I ran there, I ran all over the darned place. Then I got runner’s arthritis and had foot surgery (it hurt worse than the arthritis for more than a year). And I kept promising myself I’d get back to running, because the truth is (and I know that may change what you think of me), I love to run.


It’s my meditation, it clears my head at the end of a long day, it fuels my creativity, it revs me up at the start of the day, and it does wonders for my legs. Or, it did. It’s been years since I ran regularly. It’s just too painful on that foot – not during the run, but afterwards and sometimes for days.

Still, that niggling promise rears its head from time to time.

So, new promise: no more running. I am, however, contemplating a new spin bike…

Doing keto

Keto is a fantastic way for some people to manage their sugar sensitivity, break their sugar addiction, lose weight, and live a healthy life. (BTW, if you think keto is eating as much bacon as you like, that’s not accurate and it’s worth reading up.)

Yet …

Having tried several stints of keto over the past 18 months, ever since I started learning about the health benefits, I know for sure that it is not for me.

I have a sensitivity to artificial sweeteners and to high fat food, even if it is good fat. I never get to the point where I feel great and have loads of energy. Keto has never once made me feel better, so never again.

However, I do intermittent fasting (intermittently – a couple of times a week) and that works amazingly to make me feel great.

Going 100% digital

My partner, Ben, is something of a tech aficionado and he’s tech savvy to the point of savantness. Thinking back over 2019, I can count the times I’ve seen him put pen to paper on one hand – and they were signing cards or documents.

I, on the other hand, am passionate about all things paper. I write lists, I scribble reminders on Post-its, I muse into notebooks (love me a good notebook), I write my character profiles by hand, and in my day job, I will sketch out plans and ideas on butcher’s paper. A stationery store is the mother ship to me.

So, no matter how many tech tools get designed and made to replicate all these paper-driven activities, I will fiercely hold onto my pen and will wield it to organise, plan, pontificate, create, and remind.

After all, the pen is mightier than the latest piece of software.

That’s all for this year. I wish you all the best for 2020 – may it be filled with grand adventures and lots of what makes you happy.

And remember to add a comment to this post with your absolutions …



New Year’s Absolutions 2019

Those who have followed my blog for a while will know I don’t write New Year’s Resolutions. I do set goals from time-to-time, but the pressure we place on those resolutions can be stifling at best and paralysing at worst, and I refuse to start off a sparkly new year by tainting it with pressure.

Instead, I write ‘absolutions’ – those things I absolve myself from doing. And, a little like wishing for more wishes, I first absolve myself from writing resolutions. Then I consider what things I want to take off my looming to-do list.

For 2019, I hereby absolve myself of the following:

Joining Instagram

If I had a dollar for every time someone has said, “You should be on Instagram!” I could have funded this year’s sabbatical without dipping into savings. I am a travelling author. Apparently, Instagram is the perfect platform for me. But, is it? I have this blog. I have a Facebook author page, and I have grown my Twitter followers from 300 (in March this year) to 2000+. I also have author pages on Goodreads and Amazon. I have enough on my social media plate.


Finishing the Outlander books

This is a hard one for me, because I love this series. Once I watched season one of the TV show, I picked up the books. I read #1-6 over a year, interspersed between other books. They are incredibly well written – both great storytelling and stunning prose. They are also a huge time commitment as they average 1000 pages each. But I’m stuck on book seven. It follows too many characters besides Jamie and Claire, and I got into the series because I loved their story. I am (mostly) enjoying season 4 of the TV show, by the way.

Season Four

Getting into Virtual Reality

This is also a hard one for me, because VR is really frigging cool. And, my partner, Ben, has a full rig back home in Melbourne, including a steering wheel and pedals for driving. There have been many times when I’ve returned home to find him fully kitted-out and doing battle with unseen enemies or racing around a track in Italy.

It looks incredible, and I LOVED my ten minutes in the Google Earth VR world. But VR gives me the kind of motion sickness that stays with me for hours – nausea, dizziness, a mild headache. It breaks my heart a little, but I promise to go back to it when they improve it to the point where it doesn’t make me sick.

NOT actual footage of me

Getting to the bottom of my TBR pile

If my ‘to be read’ pile was made up of physical books and it fell on me in the night, it would kill me.

On my Kindle, it makes up ten pages of covers. Some of those covers represent samples of books I want to check out (at some point), some are must-reads by favourite authors, some are must-reads by my author friends. I know I will never really get to the bottom of that pile – I’d have to take up reading as a full-time job – so I absolve myself. My current priority when I finish a book is to scroll through those covers and seek out the books written by my author friends. I get to read across genres, and I get to connect with them on a new level.


Going grey

I had this one on last year’s list, too. And believe me, I have seriously considered removing it from the list in 2018, because I’ve maintained my brunette status while living abroad. But I am still not ready to embrace my silver vixen status, especially as my options are grow it out (NOOOOOOOO), cut it all off and start again (NOOOOOOOO), or pay oodles of dollars over many months to have a pro do it (HMMMMMMM). Maybe in a year or seven.

Stacy London is fabulous

Whatever your resolutions or absolutions are, I wish you a peaceful, happy, successful, adventurous, challenging, exciting, and lovely 2019.


New Year’s Absolutions 2017


Every year I think of the (sometimes silly) promises I have made to myself – or the albatrosses of obligations I have somehow bought into – and absolve myself of them. This is in the spirit of seeking (only) joyful, authentic, positive pursuits, and releasing myself from the pursuits that make me resentful, angry or bored.

My absolutions for 2017:

Reading books that are boring. I have actually become good at this: putting down books that are not engaging enough. Specifically, I absolve myself of finishing John Grisham’s latest, The Whistler, about a (yawn) whistle-blower. I wanted to like this book. I have read and liked Grisham for 25 years. Except that this book is boring. I got 30% in and was using it to put myself to sleep each night. It’s still on my Kindle, but I will not finish it.

Watching TV shows that I don’t like – or stop liking. It’s 2017 and we are spoiled for choice. We can watch anything and everything. We can watch across genres and on demand. We can binge watch – binging on TV shows like they are giant bags of potato chips. In 2016, I started watching Mr Robot. It’s good TV – really good TV – only I got sick of the premise. I didn’t like characters. I can appreciate the writing and acting without liking the show, but I no longer watch it.

Instead, I watch shows I continue to enjoy because time is precious and life is too short to watch ‘bad’ TV (which also applies to good TV that you don’t enjoy anymore). In 2016, I also stopped watching Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Rosewood, and Last Man on Earth. TV I am (still) enjoying: This is Us, Designated Survivor, Outlander, Madam Secretary, Modern Family, and Brooklyn 99. Oh, and the 4 episodes of Gilmore Girls that popped up recently.

Eating vegan/gluten free/organic/dairy free/Ayurvedic/Paleo. For about 20 years now I have subscribed to the 80/20 rule for eating/drinking: 80% of the time, I eat low-fat protein, whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies and drink tea (green, red and black) and lots of water. 20% of the time, I eat and drink what I like. This works for me. I don’t need to be dairy free because I am not lactose intolerant. I don’t need to eat gluten-free because I am not celiac. I have IBS, which means I have to be careful about eating uncooked fruit and veggies, but other than that, I’m good. If you need to eat differently to me to be or feel well, I will wholeheartedly support you. But I will not subscribe to a new way of eating just ’cause – Pete Evans, you lunatic.

Moving up the corporate ladder. I don’t want my boss’ job. He spends the majority of his time creating spreadsheets, writing tenders and taking meetings. In fact he spends more time in meetings than I do out of them. This is not what I want to do. I work in education; I want to educate. Like most industries, moving up at my company will take me further away from the thing I love. 2017 will be about exploring the breadth of my role, and discovering what my counterparts around the world are doing and sharing with them what I do. I want to make a difference more than I want to make a profit. This does not bode well for someone who wants to move on up, so, it’s a good thing that this isn’t me.

What I do want to in the next year: I want to travel widely. I want write across genres and for different audiences. I want to be fit and healthy. I want to make more of an effort to see my friends and family. I want to make solid plans to live elsewhere, and/or to expand my role, and/or to take on another role. I want to continue to learn and grow and be challenged. I want to give. I want to love.

Absolving myself of these things and more will give me time and space to pursue my loves, my dreams, and the things that will make me happy.

On that note, Happy New Year, everyone. May 2017 be grand, full of adventures and challenges, and replete with love and laughter. Be well, and be happy.