I’ll take the last question first, I believe in them as long as they are realistic and not that life changing. I’m not sure people change too much over their lives and although we can start new hobbies and set new targets our overall disposition in my view tends to remain fairly constant over our lifetimes. This is of course unless we suffer some sort of traumatic events that completely throw us. I suppose I can only really cite one of those in my lifetime and that was 16 years ago when I first visited this country, a brake adjuster off a truck smashed through the windscreen of the car I was travelling in, flew between the front seats, hit the middle of the back seat and re-smashed the windscreen on the inside. Nothing like an event like that to remind you of your mortality. Prior to that I suppose I had quite an anxious disposition and I tended to worry about a variety of things. Since that point, I’ve learnt to let go of many of my worries and just enjoy where I’m at.
Whenever I think of this my mind turns to lyrics from ‘The Sunscreen Song’, there is a verse in there that goes:
“Don’t worry about the future or worry that know that worrying
Is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation
By chewing bubble gum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
That never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday”
I suppose I really try to rationalise most of my worries away by working out what are the real odds of some of these things actually happening. And anyway most of the big events in my life have been the kind that blindside me at 4pm on an idle Tuesday and not the ones I ever worried about in the first place.
Well that was a huge digression, anyway back on topic.
Yes I do have things I aspire to this year. More happiness is always a general aspiration but that’s an incredibly macro aspiration hey, and the devil would be indeed in the detail.
Firstly I’d like to get my lower back pain finally sorted. I’ve come to the conclusion over the last few months, that it maybe something I always have to live with from now on. It’s not particularly disabling but it does restrict me in a few ways and is particularly frustrating at the moment where I have to rely on Claire to do most of the heavyish lifting around the house in case I manage to aggravate my back again. Its only happened once since it started playing up but it is always a concern. Having never experienced back pain before I’ve found it particularly galling and find it hard to comprehend that in three months it hasn’t resolved completely. I continue to work with my physio week after week to build it back up. At times it seems like we’re getting nowhere and other times I notice the progression. I’m religious with the exercises I’m given and I hope I can get it back to a state where I’m advised I’m able to run again.
To run again would be my second aspiration for the year. It’s something from the last few years which has provided me some of my greatest achievements and given me some of the best relief in stressful times. I have indulged swimming and cycling a bit more, but in my view they are poor replacements for something I’ve come to truly love. Indications are currently I might be able to jog by the end of January, my challenge will be to ensure I don’t overdo it.
Thirdly, some stability. In the 11 years I’ve now been in Melbourne I’ve moved 7 times. Whilst it’s been nice to explore so many suburbs and parts of Melbourne, I’m not sure anywhere has really felt like home. As much as anybody ever can, I’d like to think about the future, to be in some part assured that I could plot the next few years out and build towards the things I want to achieve without having to deal with unexpected events. I sometimes sit there and think how I envy the lives of people who seem to be on a clear path forward but then maybe those people sit there and envy my chaotic path of the last few years. The uncertain shouldn’t always been seen as bad though. For me its cemented a lot of my friendships and made me realise how much people actually care for me and are there when I need them.
I’d like to brew more beer. It’s something I let go of last year but in the final couple of months I got off to a good start. I want to progress with this, I now have the perfect space for this and the only thing that can stop me really is my laziness. On paper the four/five hours of brewing can seem a daunting use of time but the results lately have been good and it would be a dream of mine to actually get to a point where I’m basically self-sufficient.
I need to be kinder to myself. I’ve heard this from a few people now and it’s something I’d like to try. I’m not completely sure I’m capable of this one, that in itself may already be a bit of defeatist attitude and it may relate back to my point about dispositions. When things go wrong, I tend to blame myself and I tend to be very hard on myself. I certainly relate to the statement that no one can be as hard on me as me. I’m unsure how I go about sorting this one out, but that in itself sounds like a challenge and a challenge has certainly been something that I’ve always been up for.
Lastly to appreciate those around me more. I have a lovely partner in Claire and it’s always so easy in life to not appreciate what you have and not show appreciation for it. It’s all too easy to take you eye off the ball to take things for granted to think that relationships will just be without any work. But in my view that’s a myth. Relationships take work to build and flourish. And that is a lifelong job.
That’s quite a list. I’ll keep you updated with how it goes.