Ah, a new year is almost here. Hello 2018!
Quotes relating to New Year’s Resolutions offer an abundance of deep and meaningful messages relating to enriching a ‘new beginning’ and so forth. There are also references to casting off bad habits as well as many generally quite wonderful (?) words to inspire.
As for me, I have decided to be a little practical.
Here are My New Year’s Resolutions: (Try not to doze off with boredom as you read through them. Realistic they may be but inspiring they are not).
Here we go…
It will be interesting to see if I manage to achieve anything on this meagre list.
You’ll notice that I haven’t included ‘climb Mount Everest’ or ‘learn to fly a plane’ or ‘try skateboard riding’. Nor have I mentioned ‘learn to not be afraid of spiders’ or ‘tidy my desk’. No use listing the impossible.
Minor as it may seem, my aim ‘to use public transport more often’ is possibly my most genuine and serious resolution. Petrol is expensive. Driving on our roads is scary and you can’t read a book when driving (see No 4). Our city has buses, trams and trains that can safely deliver travellers anywhere, so I plan to use them.
Resolution No 5 is ‘to finish writing my memoir’. This is certainly the most ambitious AND, unfortunately, the same aim I had for 2017 - and failed. So, perhaps second-time-lucky – (although luck has little to do with it) but I’m a year older and a year lazier. (See No 3) so it may be hard.
Now…I had thought of aiming to stop using cash when shopping, but (see No 2) I prefer to deal (and chat) with a human being.
As for visiting the beach more often – well I had to include something pleasant to counteract the awful aim of (No 7) painting the skirting boards. Such a horrible job but the need of a coat of paint on them is starting to annoy me. (Of course, I could simply avoid looking down at skirting boards when I clean the floor. Or maybe stop cleaning the floor?). But visiting the beach more often is do-able.
I will write these eight simple aims for 2018 somewhere noticeable and see how I go.
Yes, I know it doesn’t seem much to do, with a whole year in which to fit it all, but when I’m not achieving my resolutions I will be otherwise simply living…and living simply (Ooops, there’s another resolution I should have added).
There may even be a small holiday in the year somewhere…so, there’s and extra New Year’s resolution: to have a holiday.
Anyway, list done.
Happy New Year, everyone!
With amazement, but not surprise, I read the following: “The department store’s traditional tree is now called a “Grand Pine Tree”, the snow-coloured version a “White Forest Tree”, with other styles including the “Black Forest Tree”, “Mayfair Tree” and “Atlanta Tree”.”
Little by little, the word ‘Christmas’ is sliding out of view - and out of minds. Christmas is becoming ‘Holiday Time’ and ‘Seasonal’ whatever. The music playing in the malls and shops is mostly general noisy ‘pop’ stuff with the occasional Christmassy song - but hardly ever a carol. Well, that is, a carol that is recognisable as one of the (old?) stirring type of religious – and dare I say ‘worshipful’ - carols.
The shoppers in Westfield are intent on ‘getting’, which does indeed eventually turn into ‘giving’ I suppose, but there seems little evidence to inspire happiness, peace and love in the faces of people we see when we brave the hordes of shoppers intent on hauling those piles of glittery junk that now symbolise Christmas.
The other evening I saw a ‘holiday tree’ advertised on tv. A ‘holiday tree’? Well, it certainly looked like a Christmas tree to me, but, there you have it – it was a ‘holiday tree’! That’s blatantly ridiculous!
Every year we hear stories (rumours?) of why it’s now called ‘holiday time’ and not Christmas time. It is, ‘they’ say, so as to be inclusive and not to upset people who would like to celebrate at this time of year and yet are not Christians.
Apart from the fact that I consider this notion to be an absolute fabrication, I also wonder how ANYONE nowadays considers Christmas to have much to do with actual Christianity.
Well, do you?
It seems a strange, even sad, state of affairs when whole communities are pursuing frantic endeavours to not only ‘shop till they drop’ and max out their credit cards but are being sucked into re-branding this festive season, thus removing its original premise.
‘Yeah, yeah’ people say, ‘we know the story of Baby Jesus and the shepherds and all that, but….’
But, wasn’t that what started all this hullaballoo?
That the baby born in a stable, because ‘there was no room in the inn’* (and, of course, the rest of the story) is the reason and substance behind ‘our’ Christmas?
Think about it. There was ‘no room in the inn’. There are currently hundreds of people in our towns for whom there is ‘no room in the inn’; no room anywhere. They are homeless.
They are probably even more poor and needy than the parents of Baby Jesus.
Perhaps that’s the angle that Christmas giving should be more generally aimed towards. Instead of the mass hysteria of shopping sprees, decorations, Santa Claus, over indulged children and excessive partying, eating and drinking, there should be more than just a tiny thought to that other approach; the approach of really giving to our neighbours.
Just a thought.
It certainly would be less stressful – and cheaper!
I’m not being a ‘party pooper’, nor am I a Scrooge or a religious ‘nut’. I enjoy giving gifts as much as anyone, but I’m also pointing out how far we have come as a society from the first meaning - and the first idea of celebrating Christmas…(a time that may soon be just known as the end of year ‘Holiday Time’ celebration with no mention of Christmas).
Just remember we are supposedly celebrating at this time of year because, over 2000 years ago, there was a baby born in a stable when ‘there was no room in the inn’.......
What’s that got to do with glitter and excessive consumerism?
Anyway, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
And would you like a “Grand Pine Tree”, with that?
*(Luke 2:7) ‘And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.’
It’s 1 am, I’ve been in bed for about 2 hours and I can’t sleep. All through my head a song is spinning, over and over: ‘South of the border, down Mexico way…’
On and on it goes: ‘…That's where I fell in love, where the stars above came out to play..’
And, then (I think there’s a bit missing here, but, who cares?) ‘…The mission bells told me that I mustn't stay - south of the border down Mexico way..’
And then something like ‘..I, yi, yi yiiii., I yii, yii yii….’ But I have no idea if that’s part of the song – probably not – but that’s what’s playing in my head.
Why THIS song?
I didn’t even realise that I knew it!
I certainly don’t like it! I have never purposely played it – either on CD, on-line, from a cassette tape (remember those?) and never on the piano. Nor have I any recollection of hearing it recently on the radio.
Where the hell did it come from?
Any WHY (and HOW?) do I remember the words – and the tune?
And why, oh why is it playing non-stop in my head?
And at 1 am?
I’d heard that this phenomenon is called an ‘earworm’, so I Googled ‘earworm’ and found that it can also be called "involuntary musical imagery", and "stuck song syndrome".
‘Stuck song syndrome’ describes it well - and that is surely what I had.
Thank goodness ‘South of the border’ is gone from my brain now. I am very grateful - and hope it never returns.
But, but…if I can remember words and music from a song I have never cared about, how is it that sometimes I can’t remember a person’s name, or the name of a place I visited and loved, or a flower I love - or even just a word?
How come I often can’t remember where I put my specs? Or what’s the number plate on my car?
Memory, you are indeed a strange thing!
Yes, yes, yes….we all know that December is well & truly here and, although we have been bombarded with Christmas themes for well over a month, it is now getting serious - only two weeks till Christmas Day, with promoting, selling and buying reaching a fever pitch!
Sometimes you just have to be brave enough – or desperate enough – to visit to a large shopping complex and be confronted with the horrendous scene that greets you:
Different (& appalling) music blasting forth from each shop, flustered women (yes, mainly women), a few grumpy men, excited and squabbling kids, with trolleys laden with crappy stuff – no doubt destined to be part of the escalating land-fill awfulness by mid next year.
So, this is Christmas (so someone once said - and sang).
And here is what’s being said in the newspaper about children this Christmas:
“RMIT marketing expert Con Stavros suspects pester power is worse at this time of year. But he says parents may also welcome it.”
WHAT? Parents WELCOME their kids pestering them about presents?
It gets worse:
"I often think parents feel uncomfortable not knowing what to buy for their children,"
Parents ‘FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE’ not knowing what to buy?
What parents are so unfamiliar with their own kids that they have no idea what to buy them for a Christmas gift and thus 'FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE’?
Okay, okay, so some parents are unaware of the preferences of their own children. That may be true. Seems strange, but it may be true.
And, yes, I do remember a Christmas eons ago, when, as a small child, I received a gift that wasn’t quite what I had been hoping for. Perhaps some disappointment popped into my psyche and perhaps lingered for a day. But, from a long distance of time, I realise that it was not an earth-shattering experience and was more likely to have been part of good life education. As in:
it’s never a good learning experience to always get exactly what you want.
Back to the expert:
"Finding a gift that has some meaning, has some impact, can be challenging."
Challenging? Intelligence, anyone? How challenging can it be to find an appropriate gift for your own kid/s? And how much of an ‘impact’ and ‘meaning’ does a gift have to have?
If you really don’t know what activity your kids enjoy, ask them! But, oh, that’s right – they’re already ‘pestering’!
But, please don’t forget that it’s also bloody important for them to understand if their wish list is out of your range as far as spending ability goes.
Yet another first world problem methinks!
A woman was being interviewed about a new product that made stainless steel fridge doors fingerprint free. With this wonderful new invention you could now open and close the refrigerator door and not leave marks.
“It’s life-changing!” exclaimed the woman.
No, it’s not.
If you lose a limb – that can be life-changing.
If a close family member or partner dies – that can be life- changing.
A divorce can be life-changing.
Moving to live in a foreign country can be life-changing.
Having a baby can be life-changing.
Lots of things can be life-changing but having a fridge door that doesn’t show finger marks is not, in my opinion, a life-changing situation.
I may be wrong…but if it is, then I do wonder what sorts of lives some people are living.
But, what would I know? My fridge is so old-fashioned, it’s white.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.