So, I’ve been 41 for a month now. And, I have to say that I hate it.
41 is a prime number and although I like prime numbers, I don’t want to be one. I don’t subscribe to the prime number age theory.
Prime numbers are awkward numbers. Nothing fits in to a prime number and that’s how I feel right now. I’m not fitting in.
I’m really fed up, if I’m honest. Things aren’t going too well and life is getting to me. Financially things are really hard. Work is hectic and I can’t switch off from it and I can’t keep on top of everything that I need to do. There are not enough hours in the day. I’m not seeing enough of my friends because I can’t afford to. I cannot keep the house tidy. I need to do some improvement work to the house but can’t afford it right now. I can’t eat properly as food seems to make me ill. My car needs replacing.
I love my job but it is really tough right now. The only thing that gets me through each day is my gorgeous family.
Things have got to improve this year and I’ve got to sort my life out as I can’t go on. I’ve heard that people feel unhappiest in their forties so I have got to get a change of mindset soon.
I am rubbish at keeping to new year’s resolutions. Lots of the promises I make to myself are immediately hard to keep for two reasons. Firstly, because it’s my birthday so early in the year, so I almost immediately break the routines I am keen to get in to. Secondly, because I have no willpower. At all.
But I am going to try to keep to these during 2020, so I am sharing them so I can remind myself about what I’m trying to do.
In no particular order:
Spend less money – a big one. A HUGE one. I need to do this. 2020 is about spending less money wherever possible. The things I buy need to be essentials.
Find out what is wrong with my stomach or at least what foods make me poorly – in the last few years I seem to have developed intolerance to certain foods – bread in particular. I can’t go on making guesses and feeling poorly. I need to get this sorted.
Collect stamps and coins – see, I have no willpower. I am trying to get into buying first day covers of stamps and coins (specifically 50p coins). But this is such an expensive hobby, I will need to see how it goes. If they announce, let’s say Lego stamps – I will get them. If they announce stamps with caterpillars on, I will not. Same with coins – if I’m interested, I might take the plunge. I will write about this potential hobby at some point. This will be the one treat this year. Although I will hopefully buy the Friends Lego set at some point.
Keep the house tidy – I can see clutter, even as I write this. But I can’t carry on having an untidy house. I need to get everywhere as straight as I can get it.
Use my phone for less crap and be more productive with it – I waste so much time reading social media. I want to limit this and use it for more productive things, like keeping a diary, maybe.
Create more social media content than I consume – I want to use social media to build a platform for this blog and for a professional blog. I also want to develop my wife’s online presence for her little craft business.
Go to bed earlier one night in the week – I am beginning to feel my age. I need more sleep.
Read more – I have found it hard to keep up with reading in 2019 for various reasons. Back on to it in 2020.
Regularly spend time sorting the garden – I say regularly instead of weekly as I couldn’t commit to that. Spending any time doing this at all would be an improvement compared to last year.
Iron once a week – hate this.
Eat more fruit – looking forward to this, actually.
Clear the garage and loft – we have so much crap that needs getting rid of. And we have so many things we could sell and generate a bit of money.
At work I want to be relentless in our pursuit of high standards in the school, keep everyone focused on our school development plan and avoid making errors in administration which I have managed to do this year and last.
I’ve just finished reading Stuffocation by James Wallman. If I’m honest, I found it really hard going. Ironically, the book itself is now just ‘stuff’ that I’ve got left in the house that I don’t need.
It’s not that that I didn’t like the idea of the book. Living more with less is a powerful message that has really resonated with me. It’s more that this message could have been written in about two pages and not the 358 that this takes up.
The key message in the book is that stuff doesn’t bring happiness – experiences bring happiness. And there’s an important environmental message accompanying this too. These principles have really hit home with me and I’m going to do my best to follow them in future.
The most useful part of the book is the appendix: The 7 habits of Highly Effective Experientials. Here is my interpretation of these seven habits:
Know your stuff: Only buy stuff that makes a difference and adds value to your life. Do you really need it?
Find your ladder: Do something that you love. Life is about enjoying the journey, not reaching a destination.
Be here now: Don’t treat experiences as a tick list. Enjoy them – be in the flow and savour the moment.
Be your own audience: Do things for you, not so you can share your experiences on Instagram to make yourself look great and impress others.
Put people first: Put simply, connections are what makes life. Build them and enjoy them.
Spend well and feel good: Use your resources carefully, consciously and sustainably. Be mindful of the energy, time and money that you use so that using it makes you feel good.
Choose life, choose experience: Be less goal-oriented and worry a little less about achieving the future. Slow down and enjoy life and value experience. Memories live longer than dreams. Be happy.