There’s a time to make lists: there’s a time to unwind. Paradoxically what’s most likely the year’s prime list making time, New Year’s day, is also a public holiday.
I gave up making New Year resolutions several years ago but I replaced the resolutions with a series of to-do list, each with a different heading e.g. personal; health and fitness; home etc. This year in the interest of a chilled New Year’s day there was no frenetic writing of multiple lists of things to do over the coming twelve months but instead I thought of stuff I would like to do over the next decade and as I seem to have difficulty breaking the list-making habit, I listed them. They are:
- Read Great Expectations.
- Learn to code.
- Go to a drawing class.
- Learn a couple of poems, off by heart, each year.
- Walk the Wicklow Way.
- Read Hamlet.
- Learn how to do the front crawl, as in properly with my head under the water.
- Make a patchwork quilt.
- Climb the Sugar Loaf mountain (if you don’t know it it’s more of a hill and a walk rather than a climb).
- Read The Mill on the Floss.
- See Mrs Delany’s flower collages in the British Museum.
- Re-visit Florence.
- While in Florence shop at the nearby outlets. #philistine
- Improve my posture.
- Do a ruthless decluttering of my wardrobe.
- Spend three months in Paris perfecting my French. Well, it’s a wish list!
- Read A Doll’s House and see it performed on stage.
- Visit Stockholm.
- Learn how to make sourdough bread.
- Take a trip to Donegal as it’s one of the few counties in Ireland I’ve never seen.
- Go on a yoga holiday.
- Read Mrs Dalloway.
- Be brave, and buy a round the world ticket. That’s a huge maybe!
- Do a TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) course.
- Eat in a vegan way for a month. Er, will I last four weeks!
- Attend one of the Guardian weekend writing classes in London.
- Try out a silent retreat.
- Read some history of art books: I am totally ignorant on the subject.
- Spend a few days in West Cork.
- Join a camera club. I’ve been thinking about it for an age and haven’t yet got around to singing up.
- Go to the Port Elliot festival.
- Keep a diary, I won’t aim to write in it every day, an every so often entry would be ok.
- Visit Northumberland.
- Do something that’s useful; it’s a nebulous notion and I am not sure what it might be.
Who knows how many of these I will have done by 2024, that’s partly in my control but also down to whatever imponderables the fates have in store for me. I hope the fates are kind.
I wish you, belatedly, a very happy 2014.