Lifestyle

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I didn’t become a better person

By Sandy Lloyd

SANDY LLOYD’S RESOLUTIONS GO IN ONE YEAR AND OUT THE OTHER

It’s the third week of January, 18 days since 2020 began — so how are those new year’s resolutions going?

The promises to yourself to lose weight or get fit or clean the house or stop smoking or drink less or save money or just generally get your s*** together for 2020.

Yep, I thought so. Out the window already, probably.

That’s because if you’re anything like me — a busy woman juggling a never-ending stream of work and family commitments — you just can’t cope with the added pressure of putting unrealistic expectations on yourself.

And nor should you have to. I think we should all celebrate the simple act of just getting through another day with our health and sanity relatively intact.

But it’s so tempting, isn’t it? That whole new-year-fresh-start idea beckoning to you from beyond midnight of the old year, exactly at the moment you’re at your most vulnerable in your post-Christmas domestic chaos and emotional and physical exhaustion. Or in the grip of too many New Year’s Eve drinks.

The light at the end of the tunnel feeling, that if you can just start that new diet or join the gym (again!) or de-mould the shower or refuse that last glass of wine — that somehow everything will be better and brighter and shinier.

And you’ll be a better and brighter and shinier person.

The experts tell us that about one quarter of people give up their resolutions after just one week, while fewer than one in 10 will maintain their goal to the end of the year.

So don’t feel alone on the failed new year’s resolutions train — it’s definitely stopping at all stations.

A quick note here to those amazing people who ARE sticking to your resolutions — you go girls and boys! You’re a shining beacon to those of us who have fallen by the wayside.

But please, stop telling us how well the new diet is going and how long it’s been since you had a drink. We more fallible folk don’t need our noses rubbed in our failures. It’s likely to make us reach for the Tim Tams.

So I’m being kinder to myself this year and, instead of new year’s resolutions, I’ve come up with some new year’s good ideas.

As in, “It would be a good idea to clean the shower more often than I do”, rather than an unlikely-to-happen “I will have a new house cleaning routine with strict daily duties”. Been there, tried that — didn’t work.

So here are my good ideas for 2020:

It would be a good idea: To eat an apple a day. Actually eat it, not just take it to work and sit it on my desk and ignore it until it can’t be eaten.

It would be a good idea: To wash the car. Sometimes.

It would be a good idea: To take the Christmas tree down before the end of January. And put the Christmas wrapping paper away before June.

It would be a good idea: To only eat one square of dark chocolate at a time. That whole “dark chocolate is good for you” theory doesn’t apply to eating an entire block in one sitting.

It would be a good idea: To do the ironing. Actually, no — it wouldn’t.

It would be a good idea: To change light bulbs as soon as they fail, not a month or two later when I can be bothered to get the step-ladder out.

It would be a good idea: To move the drum kit out of the living room. And the keyboard and the guitars left behind when my son moved into his Melbourne share house. Can I cram all of that into his vacated bedroom?

It would be a good idea: To go to bed a little bit earlier and get up roughly on time. Let’s not get too carried away.

It would be a good idea: To file the documents in the ‘to be filed’ pile. It’s not getting any smaller.

It would be a good idea: To exercise more often and eat less often. Oops, sounds like an old-fashioned new year’s resolution, doesn’t it? But take away the extreme pressures of unrealistic fitness and diet demands, and it’s simple common sense.

And surely that’s the best any of us can do all year round, not just in January — be sensible and look after ourselves and our loved ones and our community.

Wouldn’t that be a good idea.

I AM GRATEFUL...

For the amazing work done by volunteers in the bushfire crisis that has engulfed south-eastern Australia.

From the firefighters to the Red Cross, to the wildlife rescuers and the fodder truck drivers — and so many more — this country is blessed to have so many people willing to do so much to help others. In the next breath I can only cry “shame on you” to the vile people who are trying to gain financial advantage from the misery of others — the relief fund scammers and the looters.

I’d like to think that if hell does exist, there is a special corner of fiery torments reserved just for them.

I WAS SICK AND TIRED...

Of the mess and racket made by the flock of corellas that have moved into the Broken River bushland at the end of my court.

The noise only stops at night (except for New Year’s Eve, when some nearby backyard fireworks set them off at midnight) and it is so loud.

The street and river paths are covered in the leaves and twigs they’ve stripped off the trees in search of food — as if the trees aren’t suffering enough in the drought.

But after the devastation wreaked on native birds and animals in the bushfires, I am grateful that these birds at least are safe, and I will stop whingeing.

I AM WATCHING...

The new series of Doctor Who on ABC.

It was a long, dry year without any TARDIS action in 2019, so I was overjoyed when the new series dropped on January 2 (it was a New Year’s Day release in Britain).

And what a rip-snorter of a two-part first episode it was, complete with the return of the Doctor’s greatest enemy, the Master.

I’m loving the new incarnation of the Doctor (shame on the online trolls who can’t cope with the Time Lord being a woman) and her motley band of companions.

If you can’t wait for Thursday nights to see it on TV, jump on iview on Mondays.

I AM DEFYING...

The critics and the haters who have almost universally slammed the new movie of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats.

Yes, the CGI cat/human hybrids do look a little disturbing, there is very little plot and nearly all the lyrics come from T.S. Eliot poems that were written in 1939.

So what? Have you seen the stage musical? The humans in cat costumes look a little disturbing, there is very little plot and … well, you get the picture.

Cats the musical has always divided people into lovers and haters, from the day it premiered in 1981. But it’s still going strong, and I will always love it.