I tend to make the same New Year’s Resolutions each year: read more, write more, do my physio, wear my bruxism mouthguard, be happy with my body shape and size as it is. This year I’ve also resolved to start swimming again (aim for once a month), and see my mum more (again, once a month would be a great increase). I try not to see them as firm resolutions as much as goals it would be nice to achieve, but even this softening of the term doesn’t stop me sometimes being hard on myself when I don’t manage to keep them up, even though it’s ill health and not laziness or lack of willpower that causes this. Depression stops me enjoying books, which are, when being read, my greatest joy; writing is hard to focus on when fatigued or in pain, or when the brain kittens are playing; the mouthguard hardly got worn at all in the first 10 months of last year thanks to a rogue wisdom tooth.
So, this year I’ve decided that in addition to my standard well-intentioned resolutions, I will add another: I resolve to try my hardest not to be angry with myself when health, physical or mental, prevents me from keeping a New Year’s Resolution, or an appointment, or a social event. All being angry with myself does is encourage me to wallow in self-pity over my shonky collagen and propensity to sadness, and I’m not a fan of self-pity when it comes to things I cannot change, where I cannot turn that self-pity into dogged determination. If I only read 16 books again, as I did last year, so be it – at least I read some books. If I only wear my mouthguard every few nights, that’s better than not at all. One thing I am determined to stick to, though, is the writing. One of the reasons I set up my Patreon page was to give me an impetus to write, if not to a schedule, then at least with greater frequency. But, if my health gets in the way of even that important goal, then I will try to remember the last and most important resolution for this year.