Monday, 4 January 2021

IN WITH THE NEW



WELCOME to the world, 2021. You've been a long time coming and I've great plans for you. But first, I'll briefly mark the passing of the old.  

On new year's eve of 2020, I watch a silly, laugh-out-loud movie on TV with The Boy, then I read three chapters of a new book I've bought and I get to bed at 11.30. 

For the first time in forever, we are all in bed early that night. There is nowhere to go, no way to meet up with friends. Our country is back in lockdown. I lie there, listening to the fireworks that start at ten minutes to midnight, marvelling quietly as they reach a crescendo, as one year tips into the next. Goodbye, 2020. I will try to forget you. 

Enough said. But if 2020 has taught me anything, it's that best laid plans can fall apart, leaving a person in danger of becoming a Netflix addict while they eat their own weight in chocolate. Or so I've heard. 

So, in case this year becomes a bit pear-shaped also, a few resolutions are needed. And if 2020 taught me anything else, it was how bad I am at sticking to resolutions. Let's call them practices instead. I have a list (don't we all?) as well as a few tricks to help in my quest to be a better person.  

1. Read more books. 
Given how few books I got through during our first lockdown, which began back in March, it's astonishing I didn't forget how to read. So for the new year, I've employed some science to help me. Apparently, there is a scientific explanation for forgetting something when you leave a room. Like when you go upstairs to get something, only to forget what it is, by the time you get there. And you have to go back to where you first thought of it, to actually remember it. I read that it's  the brain's way of freeing up space, for the new memories we need to make in our new environment. Even if this new environment is just another room! 

In light of this fantastic news, I will now read at least two books at the same time. One will be upstairs and the other downstairs. I just have to remember not to have them in the same place. Otherwise, I might cause untold problems. Like in time travel movies, when the hero goes back and accidentally bumps into their younger self, and causes a time paradox. 

2. Walk more. 
I think that's entirely possible, because with all the cafes closed for everything except takeouts, it's the only way I currently get to see friends. If walking is the price I have to pay for a good gossip, show me the door. 

3. Drink less coffee. 
Conversely, this wasn't as much of a problem before The Great Lockdown of 2020. Until then, my morning routine was to toddle off to my nearest favourite coffee shop, buy my takeout and come back to my desk. Which meant I was a one coffee a day person. 

However, last March, The Husband treated me to my own rather snazzy espresso machine. Which also heats and froths the milk for cappucinos. Never one to do things half-heartedly, I've been grinding my own beans, making my own blends (no, really) and perfecting the art of coffee.

This new found love of DIY caffeine creations, reached peak silliness this Christmas, when The Eldest gave me a chocolate powder shaker and stencils. I've spent a ridiculous amount of time drenching stencils in Cadburys drinking chocolate, to produce coffees adorned with Christmas trees, flowers, coffee cups (!) and soppy love messages. The reason I need to cut down on my coffee, is because I'm spending too much time on my barista skills. 

4. Eat less chocolate. 
Like the Read More Books decision, I'm employing science again. I read somewhere (probably online, to be honest) that women crave chocolate when they're low in magnesium. Given that I have practically no will power, I've decided to find out how much magnesium I'm supposed to get, and the easiest, most painless way to get it. Other than chocolate. 

5. Have more fun.
This is probably the most important decision I'll make, especially as it comes after a year of stress and anxiety and general disappointment. Over Christmas, I played charades with my gang. It's a Christmas tradition, carried over from my own childhood, when I played the game with my own parents, siblings and often some extended family.

For a single hour, we acted out the silliest book, movie and song titles we could think of. We laughed until we could barely act out the mimes or guess at the titles: a shot of pure happiness. We need more of it in our lives. Happy new year. 

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Welcome to my first column of 2021 and thank you for reading. If this is your first visit to This Funny Irish Life, I'd love if you shared it. (Sharing buttons are just below!!) If you're a regular visitor, welcome back and I'd love if you shared it too. ;) 

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Sharon. xx