Monday, January 5, 2009

Ringing in the new year

The Amateur Actress asked me about my New Year Resolutions while we were on the train to work this morning.

I know many people don't like them, don't make them, and if they do make them, don't keep them.

I however, love love love New Year Resolutions. Although I inevitably tend to slip off the end of virtue and into resigned habituation somewhere around April, I do love the thought that you can start the year afresh, vowing to be better, smarter, stronger, brighter, just by waking up in January.

This year, I resolve the following:
  1. 2009 is the year of good style. No more daggy outfits thrown together. This year I will be poised and groomed. I will be true to my own style and buy only what suits me extraordinarily well, or that which I love and cannot live without. This may or may not save me money. For example, that stripy yellow Trelise Cooper dress I saw in a window in Carlton, I can have that although it doesn't technically suit me, because I love it. The style is great - sleeveless, fitted bodice, full skirt - but the colour is not so good. Yellow is the colour of death on me, it makes me look as though I have hepatitis, but I love it so I wear it (usually on my bottom half so that I don't frighten people at work). Perhaps this goes against the resolution to have good style, as the only diseases that ever seem to be in fashion are anorexia, but then I did say style and not fashion. And also, the dress has stripy blocks of white, red, navy and possibly purple, which help to mitigate all that yellow.

  2. In 2009 I will relearn the value of a treat. When I was little, fizzy drink was only for special occasions. Possibly because it used to make me throw up if I drank it after dark, so my parents made it a rule - but you get the gist. When I was younger, chocolate was only for special occasions. When I started working, if I wanted to buy something I had to save up for it. If it was out of my budget, it did not go on my credit card. Now though, I earn a reasonable wage and if I want something, I can usually buy it. Oh, not the strand of baroque pearls I've always fancied of course, but certainly a dress, or cute shoes, or a bottle of wine, or dinner at a nice restaurant, and so on. And all of this diminishes the value of the treat. Christmas isn't so special anymore. Birthdays can pale. I want to experience the excitement and anticipation of special events without needing to spend ever more money to get the thrill. And this leads me to resolution number 3:

  3. In 2009 I will spend less money. I have plenty of stuff. I don't need more "stuff". As my good friend Neil once said when we were in Damascus in Syria and I was desperate to go back to get the matching silver wedding cup to the one I purchased the day before: it won't make you happy. And he was right. I think part of my quest to quietening the unease inside me, or finding a centre of calm, or discovering what it is that's worrying me, is that I need to divest myself of "stuff". And that includes unnecessary and unhealthy habits as well as unnecessary things. It's not going super well so far, although that Trelise Cooper dress was on sale and therefore I saved myself around $200. It's a weak justification, I know.

I have a couple of other resolutions - eat less, exercise more, be nicer to people, don't be as competitive at work - but these are less "resolutions" than they are "year-round maxims I wish I could live by".

So let's see how things go in 2009. I'll keep you posted.

(Today I am wearing another wrap-around dress - all the better to hide the trifle I ate at Christmas - in a stretchy black material patterned with red, orange, blue and cream flowers. It's nicer in person than it might sound. I have camel-coloured flats on, with a red trim bow highlight and a black patent toe section.)

1 comment:

SoMH said...

As is my wont, I take a converse (or even perverse) view re Resolutions 2 and 3. To wit: you had a strict and austere country childhood, and now you have achieved a level of affluence through hard work and the application of talent. Why not simply enjoy that achievement? Even if you spend less, you won't be taking away from your capacity to spend; the deep thrill of a material treat like clothes/a fancy meal comes chiefly from their being ordinarily unaffordable. I much prefer the lower-key hum of being an accomplished grown-up who no longer has to agonise/save for ages over every non-essential purchase.
And, of course, nothing should ever dim the thrill of bagging a genuine bargain. I'm hoping that yellow dress wasn't SO expensive that $200 off isn't a major achievement in itself. :-)