New Year’s Resolutions aka Ode to Concreteness

That inner child of mine was always excited about changes. Changing seasons, an opening of a new school year and the specific smell of fresh textbooks, the 18th birthday and last but not least, the end and the beginning of the year. Despite I always used to write things down, I have never really kept a track of New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I creeped out on the midnight street with fireworks popping up above my head, and on the threshold of meditation, I looked back upon what I gained and lost throughout the last  12 months and how the New Year will be different again. 

I still haven’t got rid of that bad habit of re-imagining the hypothetical scenarios of how my life could have been, if…But what always was my biggest problem? Focusing on CONCRETE changes. I knew I wanna more movement in my life, but how? By joining a gym, riding horses or ice-skating? Oh that old but gold “New Year’s gonna be revolutionary”! But how? Will I adopt a dog? Write a book? Get a driving license?

Ok, I admit. Ever since being a kid I was quite skilled in exhaustive blathering discourses, instead of just doing something simple and specific. Three quarters of me just go with the tide of daily circumstances, desperately convincing myself I’m gonna find more time to do what I only imagine doing. But you’re right – I usually lapse into some serious procrastination that looks like daily chores. What would happen if I read a book instead of cleaning the floors? I have no kids, yet I already struggle to find a balance between the me-time and work, partner, household, dog, family and friends. Despite I am extremely organized and neat, I lack self-discipline and time-management from time to time. But let’s experiment this year! I am going to share my New Year’s resolutions here, publicly, which, under the best conditions, will keep me motivated to make them come true.

My New Year’s resolutions are not a big deal on a global scale. My effort to be the environmentally-friendly by reducing waste, recycling, separating, no impulse shopping and traveling by means of public transport is entirely checked. My lifestyle is all about embracing the minimum amount of things possible, long before the concepts of capsule wardrobe and minimalism became cool.

My carnal pleasures are usually connected to food, which makes me, humbly speaking, a fantastic girlfriend. I don’t care about jewelry, new shoes or big logos on the handbags. So, let’s be concrete. New Year’s resolutions mentioned below are my personal summits of success for 2018. So insignificant for society, yet Black holes for my inner terrorizing fears I desire to overcome. Here we go. 

#1 Blog. Not pulling one’s punches but not diving into swampland of pessimism. No one wants to read that. Nor do I. But at the same time it was the main reason for my writing block in 2017 when my life in Italy was more of a tragicomedy than peaches and cream. Despite having been tempted to share all the frustrating downsides of living my Italian dream, I learned to smile instead. Hardly, but smile.

#2 To put my Italian agenda together. Anyone who has ever lived here would understand why I had stayed away from the Italian offices for so long.

#3 Spoiler alert: hackneyed phrase. To exercise more. I adore water and snow. But having Italian friends who hate snow as much as Dracula hated garlic, I’m more probable to keep water activities. I would looooove to learn how to swim correctly. It’s not that I can’t. I just want my body make the most of this beautiful activity.

I can barely even write the word GYM. 

I am the anti-gym type of person. I have the jitters from setting my foot in any place that resembles gym. It’s some sort of my personal mania, something inflated in my head that no one else really cares about, but for me, it’s the ultimate mental obstacle. Living in Italy doesn’t help me, really. Here, a gym is in an everyday routine of everyone – my 70 yo neighbors, my 15 yo students, my gynecologist and probably even his mother-in-law. I tried, believe me, but doesn’t work for me, yet I discovered I am more into group activities. Ever since we bought a smart tv, I can shamelessly adore Yoga with Adriene on a big screen in the comfort of our living room (I’ve been following her long before every second blogger shared her exercise sequences in their instastories…). I also firmly believe that presence of a dog in the family changes every couch potato to a healthier being.

#4 To translate. Publishing a book is nothing new under the blogging sun. Actually, it’s funny how shallow my desires may seem, but I seriously yearn for publishing my Slovak translations of some Italian book titles. I can’t say more than these books deal with the sense of humor. In the end, humor in the foreign literature was my area of research back in university days and I loved it. Just being present in this beautiful area of languages and translation would be the triumph of my life.

#5 To drink more water and eat more veggies. So I definitely can’t eat as much as I once used to. As if my stomach shrunk or something, I came to the point of knowing when to stop. But it’s so difficult to stop at a regular Italian dinner when your stomach says “stop” after having finished an antipasto. Italians are crazy when it comes to eating habits. They eat too late (8 pm and later) and too much (antipasto, primo, secondo, dolce, liquors, coffee). Now, who knows me personally, must be laughing loud as I am that “lucky bitch” who eats like an elephant but stays skinny all the time. I always used to have an excessive appetite and maybe it’s still the last Christmas speaking up for me (where we shamelessly performed food orgies with the Italian tortellini and Slovak sauerkraut soup), but eating more veggies means also more home cooking. Maybe some cooking course would appear spontaneously. Man, I live in Bologna, the Disneyland of food. Where, if not here? 

#6 More theatre, books, live music, cinema. My past belongs to the backstage of the theatre and I would be lying if I claimed I am not attracted to this world anymore. I will do my best to bring more food for the soul to the random days. People need art to grow! If only the Italian prices for the theatre were a little bit cheaper…

#7 To land a dream job. Those, who live in Italy, know how science-fiction this resolution is. If not seemingly out of my direct control. Even though I don’t know precisely (concreteness, here we go again) what it should be and I am aware that according to all those laws of attraction this might be a serious problem, but hey, who would ever consider youtube a full-time job 10 years ago? I quite got used to the role of a high-school teacher but as in many other jobs, here we talk about the high-frequency burnout occupation. Let’s face it, in spite of having such a socially virtuous job like teaching is, I would swap immediately being a multitasking cop for something where I don’t have responsibility for unpredictable pubescent hormones of teen students. Here’s the description: let it be a creative job with a solid salary in a dog-friendly environment. Sounds like I’d rather become a freelancer :D. I prefer English as a language of communication, positive impact on society and/or environment. Industries: publishing, fashion, education, arts. Howgh. Now let the stars work!

#8 To drive more. To start really driving, in fact. 3 months have passed since I got my driving license. Nevertheless, I tend to see driving as a supernatural ability, I got constantly paralyzed when I think of driving. Maybe it’s because I live in Italy, where the life literally TAKES PLACE on the wheels. Those who don’t drive, are the black sheep of the family. Almost like when your Italian son doesn’t like soccer. I tend to find excuses such as not contributing to already disastrous pollution, or verbalizing figments of my imagination about driverless cars of the future. One or the other, I must have died in a car crash in a previous life, otherwise, I can’t explain this phobia of driving. Why all this fear? Well, since I’m an extreme rules-follower, driving in Italy seems signing the contract with the devil. Fingers and windshield wipers crossed!

I haven’t fallen over myself to create the manifesto of concreteness neither this time. But you know what? It needs more of zen. Recent years were too thundery, hectic, fast and intense and less inclined towards carefreeness. I graduated from the university, fell violently in and out of love, survived the parents’ divorce after 20 years of marriage, multiple cancers in the family out of which not all were cured, moved abroad, went through the crazy working experience and even crazier reconstruction of my new home. This year, I long for slow and MINDFUL pace. To tighten up slowing down. Because it’s so much easier to get gobbled up by the social whirlpool, thinking we actually help someone. The opposite is true. Reflect, explore and be happy. And don’t forget to drink coffee (*turmeric latte/ matcha/fill in the blank).


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