I’ve binned my 2018 New Year’s resolutions. Unopened. They were past their use-by date. Somehow, they ended up being kicked under the bed or falling behind bookcases, where dust grows in tumbleweed form, buried under dictionaries on my desk, or accidentally stepped on and crushed.
No matter. They’ve served their purpose. They’ve made me aware of my true intentions. Of where my focus truly lay and of where it was lacking.
As I threw them all into the recycling bin, I wondered if I should form new resolutions for 2019. Where would I put them, so they wouldn’t get lost again? On top of the tower of books I hope to read, ever-growing and neglected in favour of all the books I feel I have to read for my work? This novel won a prize. I’d better read it in case I can pitch a translation proposal to a publisher. Next to the address book with the contact details of all the friends I’ve lost touch with? I must call or write to them. I haven’t seen them for ages. But first I must finish this translation. And then I have this other book deadline. I haven’t got time to see them right now, anyway. I can only take one day off this month and I have to go and see my mother. That reminds me, I promised to buy her those Italian biscuits. Or in my writing folder? I must definitely write tomorrow. Or possibly over the weekend. My own stuff. I’m too tired now. I can’t think straight. It’s past 9 o’clock and I’ve been translating since early morning. But I really must write. I know I’ve been saying this for months. Oh, and I must remember to buy some more potatoes. And do we have any yoghurt left? I’d better check the fridge… When did I start writing this book…? Oh, I had no idea it’s been this long. How about sticking a list of resolutions to the mirror? When did I last look at myself in the mirror? I mean really look at myself? I look so haggard, so tired, so grey. Or perhaps I can add it to my list of travel plans? Yes, I’d love to go there but not this weekend. This weekend I really need to work. I’m so behind already. Besides, can I afford to spend the money? What if publishers don’t offer me another translation project after this?
I once saw a cartoon on Twitter. A woman approaching an aged writer sitting at a café table. “I’m a huge fan of your intentions,” she says, shaking hands with him. I’ve printed it and stuck it on my wall, where I can see it.
For 2019, no New Year’s resolutions. No more living in the future. As Mame sings in Jerry Hermann’s fabulous musical, “It’s Today!” The time is now.
No more planning. But doing.
Take a deep breath. Focus on my intention. Direct it… Now.
I wish all my readers a happy, healthy, prosperous, creative and fulfilling 2019!