It’s that time of the year again where we all try to make resolutions that will ultimately better ourselves, so we change something. That’s us, if we’re not in destruction mode we’re in construction mode, no in-between. Learn French, take up photography, go on a diet, vow to exercise more, start juicing, take the juicer out of the box, bla bla bla, tried it all before and every year life throws a different curveball, usually something that puts the importance of learning a new language right into perspective (except the year when the curveball was moving to Indonesia and you needed to learn Bahasa to buy the makings of a dinner).
For me at least, every year is started with a bright shiny enthusiasm that is either the greatest fete of optimism over realism or finest display of denial this side of the equator. In years gone by I have started work on my new year’s resolution, with gusto on the first day of January, almost as if the online ‘grow your own herb’ course was going to fill some gaping void of dissatisfaction in my life and pivot me into a state of complete contentment…but that was 2009 and a lot has changed since then.
Namely 2010, the year that saw me move from the dissolution of post boom Ireland to the illusion of a fast buck in Qatar. 2011/2 saw the move from the illusion of a soft landing in Qatar to the more rounded family expat destination of Abu Dhabi. 2013 stuck two fingers to all that was familiar and family orientated and saw the unexpected and unappreciated move to Indonesia, teaching us that life can continue midst hookers, rats and poverty even if it does not remotely resemble any life lived before. 2014 arrived and just as I’m clapping myself on the back for my resilience and ability to accept change, things changed again and 2014 finished where the journey started in 2010, back in Qatar. Of course I fail to mention that motherhood, marriage and general mayhem happened somewhere along the journey too making the past five years even more of a rollercoaster than the previous five, 2005 to 2010. That journey started with a Fiat Punto and ended with an Avant Garde (silver, leather interior).
January, 2009, I spent worrying over the décor in the games room. January 2010, I spent in dread of my imminent emigration to Qatar, I should have spent more time with friends in Ireland. January, 2011, I spent worrying about whether to get a Quinny or a bugaboo, I should have enjoyed getting a full night’s sleep. January, 2012, I spent worrying about moving to Abu Dhabi, I should have enjoyed the adventure. January, 2013, I spent writing down how many biscuits I ate and worrying about my weight. January, 2014, I spent worrying about a career and doing an online course, I should have spent more time learning about Jakarta. January 2015, I’m worrying about a loved one’s health and the games room, emigration, the buggy, biscuits and the online weaving course are forgotten.
Year on year, as there is change of circumstance or situation, there comes also a change in perspective and before you know it, all the changes you invited in the January’s gone by are now insignificant. I’m starting to pray that nothing changes this year and I plan to stop tweaking and tampering with the details of life and hope for the space just to enjoy it. I hope that 2015 is the year that nothing happens, nothing outside of a new niece or nephew and a cousins wedding in July and hoping at least, to get to open the Christmas decorations in the same country with the same people that I am putting them away with next week.
So this year I’m making a resolution to be grateful. Grateful for health. Grateful for haves rather than the have-nots. Grateful to be in Qatar with no plan to move. Grateful for all that stays the same and grateful for the smidgens of time that pass simply without surprise, trepidation or despair. Although it’s only the 4th January but I’d like to say, thanks god, thanks so far, for nothing.