And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain… Nah, don’t worry, I’ll keep them pesky curtains at bay for the forseeable future. I may be old, and this ruddy vessel of mine may be sinking, but my work here isn’t done yet.
It’s the last night of the year, and here I am, propped up in my bed but unable to sleep as per usual. All alone in these dark and dreary hours, I’m contemplating the year that’s slowly dying in the night. I thought it was the saddest one of them all, but now I’m not so sure.
I can just about make out the silhouette of the budding new year that finally lies ahead of us. Tell me, what do you have in store for us, little one? And why, pray tell, does your arrival fill me with such dread?
I have always loved the New Year’s celebrations (especially in my parents’ house!). There is something almost magical about the ambience of the New Year’s night; and as the bell rings out its final tolls for the dying year, the sense of relief is nigh on palpable.
For as long as I can remember, I have spent this night meditating and writing my New Year’s resolutions. Little messages, or letters, to draw courage and energy from, in times when a new year offers resistance, and the cold winds of doubt and despair make it hard to hold on to, or believe in, anything at all.
There have been times in my life where I’m fairly certain the Serpent Tongued Choir, that resides somewhere in the subconscious regions of my mind, would have reached their coda, had not my resolutions been there to remind me.
Of who I am and what I am trying to achieve. Of what I fight for and what purpose I serve.
My self-esteem has always been frustratingly frail, but my self-confidence – and particularly my, almost arrogant, conviction that I can fend for myself no matter what – was pretty much intact until 2011 (but that is a story I will save for another day).
Even in situations where every single option failed, my self-confidence always carried me through.
My self-confidence and my resolutions.
But tonight, for the first time in my adult life, I shan’t be writing any New Year’s resolutions. Nope. Not even as much as a single little note of encouragement to see me through even the darkest of days in the year ahead shall I pen.
And why is that? (You would probably have asked, had you not been but a figment of my imagination.)
Ah, well, it’s very simple, my dear. (I would, of course, have answered.) I have no resolutions to make. Not a single one! I have yet to complete yesteryear’s (and yester-yesteryear’s to be perfectly honest) resolutions, and I can’t see that happening anytime soon.
And here you would be forgiven for thinking I am perhaps, as indeed most people are, in the habit of making lofty New Year’s resolutions; only to swiftly forget all about them at some point between Twelfth Night and Easter. You would be wrong, of course, but I’d forgive you nonetheless.
Oh my, what a predicament!
Where do we go from here, my dear companion? Shall we continue this imaginary dialogue, or shall I be a good little granny now and call it a day? *kmt* Shall I f**k! There is white space to be had on this site and it shall be mine!
This dark and dreary New Year’s night, I shall take great pleasure in telling this page, that no one but me knows of, more about the last resolution I committed to paper. It feels almost sinfully indulgent to lie here and write something just for the pleasure of writing. I think I could get used to this…
Now, let us talk about the last resolution. Yes, I do realise it sounds a tad dramatic to name it so, but I only wrote one resolution in 2017 and I haven’t written any since that night, so here we are. It was (and is) indeed my last resolution. And no, spooky pants, I will not write another one. I inherited some superstitions from my Nan and they are as dear to me as she was; but I will not change the course of my future just to make one single word sound less foreboding.
Stop arguing with me now, and let me tell you the rest of this story before I change my mind. I’m actually rather proud of this resolution and I think I’ll be ready to start telling more people about it soon. Tonight, my companion, I make you my confidante, but I ask you to keep my secret safe until I’m ready to let more people know. For now, let it be our baby and help me shelter it until it’s time to let go.
MY NAN AND MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
Let me start by telling you that I am a great fan of New Year’s resolutions. Ever since I lost my beloved Nan, and with her my childhood, to lung cancer, I have spent some time each New Year’s Eve formulating my resolutions for the year ahead. It has almost been like a magic ritual reconnecting me to my Nan and her legacy. She was born on New Year’s Day and she used to celebrate her birthday this night. I’ve always felt her presence in the wolf’s hour of the first day of the new year. You know, that special time in the early morning where a dying night evolves into a new day.
Oh, Nan, I can’t believe it’s been forty years!
Forty times that I’ve carefully selected my resolutions for the year ahead. Forty years that I’ve made an effort to track the progress in my journals. Some years, I’ve passed the challenge with flying colours. Some years, I’ve had to repeat one (or more!) of them. And some I’ve had to repeat more than once. There’s been times when I’ve chickened out and picked too easily achievable goals. Times when I’ve berated myself as the resolutions were too hard and demanded too much of me. But there has never been a time when I sat through this night and chose not to write my resolutions with you. Not once.
Alas, there is always a first.
Two years ago, I did something I’d never done before. Instead of picking a few different things in my main focus and development areas, I nailed down a number of things I could do to leave a legacy behind for my grandkids to know me by. The idea was so huge I knew it would take me years to achieve. If it was achievable at all. And then I threw caution to the wind and cranked the dial up to 11! I baked all the ideas I had come up with into one single (but humongous!) resolution and set myself the target of doing it as another five-year project.
To be honest, this resolution blew my mind. I aimed higher than ever before and set goals that, quite frankly, scared the sh*t out of me. And I made sure to be painstakingly specific in my descriptions, so as not to leave any potential loopholes. I know myself well enough to realise that if there’s an open back door somewhere, I’ll bolt when things get too emotionally draining or intimidating; and I wasn’t gonna let myself out of this one.
Dayum, I’m good! There is no way out of this. No bolt holes. It is a do or die kinda setup.
I’m afraid I’m not ready to share all the details of this crazy project yet, but I can reveal that this domain and the All of Me blog are two small cogs in the machinery I’m building. Or will build, to be precise. I’ve spent the past two years planning, researching and organising this resolution project; and now I have just about reached the point where I can finally start the build. If all goes to plan, I will unveil this blog at some point in the coming year; and when I do it will mark the beginning of my last big adventure. I have a few tentative dates for this in mind, but I’m not ready to commit to any of them yet. Right now, I feel like an over-protective expectant mother trying to keep the bump to myself, and I want to enjoy that feeling a little longer.
If things work out the way I hope they will, I will continue to work on this project for the rest of my life. Having said that, and I want to be very clear on this, it is not something I take for granted. Hell, no! If anything, I’m pretty convinced that I’m working on a mad hubris project that, one day, will sprout wings only to swoop in and sever my backside. Hence the element of fear I mentioned earlier. But I guess that’s part of the charm with a legacy project. You just don’t know how it will pan out.
Although I’m holding back on the details, I think it’s safe to say that there’s a lot of writing involved in this project. I can also tell you that it’s a good idea to keep an eye on this page (or to sign up for my newsletter to come) to be kept in the loop. It may also give you a chance to learn more about a wide variety of things. Including what kind of mad hatter am I to be doing something like this. And about the weird and wonderful journey that lead me from a sleepy farmers’ village in the north of Sweden to the bed in the outskirts of London where I spend 98% of my time.
AND NOW THE END IS NEAR - LET'S do the COUNTDOWN!
So, by now we have established that The Grand Plan is for my machinery to be in motion before we’re back here to “celebrate” next New Year’s Eve. But for that to happen, I have a lot more work to get done. Not tonight though. Tonight, I’m all yours and I’d like to continue sharing secrets with you in the true New Year’s spirit of remember, repair and renew.
Guess what? We did it!
In spite of everything life has thrown at us, we’ve made it through to the very end of yet another year. And here we are, me and you, in the final hours of 2019. Waiting for that moment when we can leave the old behind us and step into the new. Waiting to breathe new life into our lungs and hearts.
Can you hear the bells ring for us?
Come! Let’s do the countdown together and I’ll see you on the other side!
12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7…
The text in the blue card at the top of the page is, of course, a part of the lyrics from ABBA’s phenomenal Happy New Year song.