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Comforts and Discomforts in the New Year

Goodbye, dumpster fire! Goodbye, and don’t come back! Many people are saying a hearty “Fuck Off” to 2020 in the hopes that 2021 will be marginally better. I don’t need to list all of the terrible things that happened in what was supposed to be a shiny start of a new decade, but it jolted me a little to remember that Australia was on fire in 2020 – it seems like years ago that that was the case, but no. That was only a year ago. But as always hope springs eternal at the strike of midnight, when a new year hearkens and optimism flows through the veins (I was in bed by 10, but the sentiment is the same).

Toodles, 2020!

We all know nothing will immediately change in 2021, though I hope change will happen in this year. We will still be wearing masks for the foreseeable future, and we will all watch in horror as another part of the world is on fire. We will shake our heads at what we perceive as the stupidity of others and we will lament how our fellow humans are treated. I suppose the question then becomes what do we do to change that? I’ll admit, I was not as active in the Black Lives Matter movement as I would have like to have been – I made a sign, I went to a rally, and I donated to the local BLM movement – but this was a minimal effort and looking back I wish I had done more. Caution about coronavirus kept me away from other activities, plus, I hate to say it, laziness. This year I want to take more opportunities to embrace the discomfort and show my support to a movement that I fully believe in and want to be an ally for.

I’m not going to set resolutions because they do not work for me. I know they don’t work for me because every year I try some grand new plan, and every year they go strong for a week and then I sit back on the couch. But I do want to list some comforts and discomforts for me to try this year, this year that might offer a glimmer of hope after a truly trying year.

I believe 2021 will be an improvement on 2020. I also believe that there are undeniable issues that need to be addressed and worked on, such as wealth disparity, systemic racism, and misinformation. These are topics that I think about a lot, and I wish I had the answers to. This list will not include solutions to these because it is personal to my self-improvement, but I want to take some actions that will be a step in righting some wrongs.

Let’s grab 2021 by the citrus fruits.

Discomforts

  • Read more about social justice. This has been a goal of mine for several months, and I have read a few books on the topic. It is uncomfortable but necessary reading that makes me think differently about my own situation, and about how I want to act and think in a world where injustice is rampant.
  • Become stronger and eat locally produced foods. All around us people are getting sicker through inactivity and diets. This is not the time to talk about the food system and how stacked the deck is against the people, but I truly believe that I need to say a hearty Fuck You! to the food conglomerates and put my dollars into a more sustainable local system. I read The Sacred Cow as inspiration, and I hope you do too. This is a discomfort because it means more thoughtful choices and a lot more time devoted to this (but honestly, what am I taking the time from? Watching Netflix?).
  • Quit drinking. I am now twelve days sober, and I feel pretty good. I want this to be a permanent thing. I don’t want to say that in a month I have convinced myself that I didn’t have a problem, and that I can go back to it. I was feeling like shit and not getting proper sleep on a regular basis, so yeah, I have a problem. I’m working to fix it, and it’s uncomfortable and difficult. Thankfully this time I have taken the time to build my supports, namely my husband and my mom.

Comforts

  • Read more in general. Is there anything better than curling up with a good book and a cup of tea? It’s so freaking satisfying, and I love being pulled into a story that fires up the imagination in a way that a film can’t. I want to balance reading fiction with non-fiction and become a more well-rounded reader.
  • Hobbies. I recently completed a puzzle, and was shocked at how much I enjoyed it. Getting into the flow of it made me relax in a way that isn’t really possible with tv or mindless scrolling. I have a few things that I would like to try, namely sketching and sewing.
  • Spending more time with family, whether in person or online. We’ve done a pretty good job of having online meet ups, but we could do better. If 2020 did nothing else it made me appreciate my family and our open communication. This is also the year that my husband and I want to start trying for a kid, so that indicates more rumpy-pumpy quality time!
  • Save, save, save. Building my savings is a comfort for me. It wraps around me like a security blanket, knowing I am doing everything I can to secure my future comfort. I am still very interested in the FIRE movement and have taken several baby steps towards it. Now it’s time to go guns blazing, reducing my spending (no alcohol costs anymore!) and banking the difference.

Good luck to all of you, may you all have a good year ahead of you!

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