So, it's that time of year again when we discuss resolutions. One year I asked the children about what resolutions they were making:
Child A: 'You should have blonde hair'
Child B: 'Yeah and clean the house more'
Me: 'Not for me, for you... FOR YOU!'
So, I won't be asking them again! Instead, I shall consult wiser oracles... first up Wilkos...
1. Do more of what makes you happy
As soon as I saw this mug I knew that I could make this a permanent resolution. The nice thing about this resolution is, it's not measurable. AT ALL. So, when I complete my positives journal (which I try to do daily but realistically do sporadically) I can congratulate myself on my small successes. As long as I do some things that make me happy ...a game of Carcassonne, a phonecall, sending a postcard, having a bath with nice bubblebath, refolding the towels in the airing cupboard... We don't have to achieve world peace in order to celebrate our happiness and our successes. The world is a stressful and messy place and often it is the smallest acts which make a difference to our mental state.
Parks and Recreation is a brilliantly uplifting comedy full of wisdom and kindness (apart from for poor Gerry); the black dog usually goes out for a walk while I watch it so where better to source Resolution Number 2
2. Treat Yoself
I am often incredibly hard on myself. I use words when I speak to myself that I would never say to anyone else because I know they are too cruel, too vindictive. I am locked in an endless battle of varying intensity with the part of myself that hates me and that can be incredibly tiring. So, for me concentrating on the feeling that I deserve to treat myself is a tricky one but worth chasing. I am not talking about investing in a deluxe batman costume for £300 (note the advised use of the word investing) nor am I saying I'm going to start buying every new game that comes out but I can afford to treat myself with time - a wander round an art gallery in the city centre for instance, time to sketch or paint. 2018 will be the year of the well deserved treat.
In 2012 Charlie Brooker made resolutions for other people. Comedy Gold - I have used this blog for non fiction analysis with many, many English classes. Click here to read it. And so, here is my resolution for the world.
3. Don't be a dick.
There are so many subsections of this I scarcely know where to start. Here's some top tips:
Listen to each other
Save giving advice for when you are asked for it
If someone doesn't want you to touch them, don't.
If someone is being friendly don't automatically assume they want to have sex with you.
Be aware of your privileges.
Go out of your way to be kind and inclusive.
If you have to preface something with a warning about it being offensive/ racist/ sexist.... then don't say it out loud. At all. Ever.
Don't send something in a private message that you wouldn't say to someone's face in public.
If in doubt, just be kind.
Of course, if this applies to you you're more than likely completely oblivious or didn't even read it, so rather than being informative or transformative information for dicks, this list is more of a celebration of how lovely all you awesome folk are.
The next wise oracle is Kickstarter. Lovely kickstarter allows me to back new games and then sends them to me long after I forget that (a) I backed them and (b) I paid for them already. It's like Father Christmas actually exists and past me has recommended games for him to buy me!
4. Play More Games
This sounds easy but I have played a lot of games this year. Fortunately, I have kept no record of how long I have whiled away playing board games nor how many excellent people I have encountered through gaming. This means of course that provided I play a lot, this is pretty much a nailed on success. I'm going to start with the ones I've got recently and not played at all or enough yet. So, you can look forward to reviews of Matchmaker, Blame, Banishment, and Diesel Demolition Derby.
And before Steven Schwarz says it, I'll say it - I also need to play Jaipur as he has recommended it to me at every possible juncture. Don't believe me? Look on Cards or Die's facebook page. He's a Jaipur evangelist.
Just as past me is awesome at recommending games so too past me has set some awesome resolutions which I achieve year on year and if it ain't broke...
Number 5, the same things I always resolve in order to guarantee success: swear more and more inventively; eat the bare minimum of fruit required to avoid malnutrition; eat plenty of chocolate. I've said it many times now but every time I eat a square of dairy milk it tastes identical to the last square of dairy milk I ate. This is never true of Satsumas. Fruit is unpredictable - so don't trust it! And, if you can eat delicious food and play games so much the better; visit Random Encounter to join me in this most challenging of resolutions.
The key to useful resolutions is to choose things you can definitely do, that you can chip away at day by day, especially when your mental health is not as resilient as you would like it to be. I hope that these can contribute to the higher aim of me being better and having a mentally healthier 2018.
And... Treat Yo Self folks!