2016: Things could be worse


January 1 is always too soon for New Year resolutions, but now, back from a (very rainy) beach holiday, I’m almost ready. Besides, my Calamityware mug just arrived and really what better resolution than to remind yourself that things could be worse.


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I am fond of creating timetables in the hope that the perfect routine will somehow create the perfect life. Alas, so far, no. Brain Pickings, of course, has some inspiration via the thoughts of Pablo Casals on creative vitality and mindful ritual. Pablo Casals’ morning routine of a walk along the beach followed by some piano playing (two Bach preludes and fugues)  would be a wonderful start to the day, although unlikely to be accepted well by the other, hideously demanding, members of my household.  Small steps. And as for the interior life,  Cheryl Strayed has wise things to say about fear and courage and the importance of words when telling yourself the story of your life. Stayed believes that a new course requires changes to your inner voice, not just to your actions.

So I’m going to start 2016 with an attempt at more mindfulness, more intentional ritual.  And if I have a goal for this year, it’s for a creative life, an observant life, a kind and thoughtful life. And, secretly, fingers crossed, a wish for a  little bit of luck.

Let’s see what the new year brings. After all, things could be worse.




2014 was a strange year for my family. An underground kind of year for me, though one in which some writing matters crystallised. I’ve been braver in some ways, less brave in others. Marooned, for a while, by the vagaries of misfortune. If you’re in need of some writerly insight/shoring up (and who isn’t from time to time) try The Atlantic’s 2014 roundup of advice. But for everyone, no matter your passion, Chuck Wendig’s post on being both big and small may resonate. Big in intent and purpose. Small in humility and graciousness. (Be warned, Wendig is fond of a swear word or two) Courage, then, for 2015. Courage, hope, and determination. May 2015 be the year you sing your own song, one of your choosing and creation.

PS The beautiful photo at the top is Landscape through Dragonfly Wings by Emili Godes from the website of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya of Barcelona, http://www.museunacional.cat And because we have dragonflies everywhere at the moment, I’ll add a humbler, more domestic version: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA