1. I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions. To be truthful, I clean forgot but I also simply didn’t have the interest in making resolutions prior to the end of 2012. And then I saw a comment (and my apologies for not naming the writer, I’ve forgotten where I read it) that mid-winter is not really an appropriate time for new resolutions, it’s a time of hibernation, going within, having quiet times, allowing the new to come to fruition. This really had meaning for me, so I’ve decided to allow my inner voice to cook up new paths to follow, and old paths to bring to fruition or perhaps to leave if they’re leading me into thickets rather than clear spaces, and to birth these at the time of the Spring Solstice. Makes much more sense to me.
2. I’ve stopped moaning about the power cuts we often get here in North Cyprus. Whingeing doesn’t make the power come on any faster, and we still have gas to cook with, so I’ve chosen to see these blackouts, lasting only 30-60 minutes, as opportunities to sit quietly, go within and enjoy the peace and rest. I thoroughly enjoy not doing anything except sitting on my sofa with my puppies and cats when they’re asleep and cuddled up to me. Today I had my hand on Zoe, who is now too big for my lap, as she slept on the sofa. Ziggy has been cuddled up beside me with his paws resting on my leg; and my cat Sweetie stretched out on my lap and flaked out. I simply sat, enjoy the warmth and companionship of my pets and, get this, DIDN’T FEEL GUILTY!
3. I don’t own an iPad, iPhone or iPod nor have I used iTunes. And, in act of great daring and bravery, I have no intention of buying or using any of these. I’m amazed at how addictive and anti-social they are. I don’t like the way in which Apple has created a throwaway system to boost its profits, i.e., always updating products so you throw away one which is perfectly good because hype says your sense of self-esteem is only maintained by having the latest product. I am sad that what used to be an innovative company has now morphed into a monopoly giant intent on stifling competition to boost its profits at the expensive of innovation. And, better and better, I don’t feel a scrap of guilt about not owning an Apple product. I try to keep my life simple and use products like mobile phones and computers as long as I can because I have seen the rubbish dumps in Nigeria where poor people get sick by working on breaking up the toxic dross from our throwaway mentality.
4. I can get the staples of life – Milo and Vegemite – from my local supermarket. Yeah, how good is life! Yes, yes, I know they’re not super-healthy foods but I like them and I’m fed up with all the conflicting health recommendations which change from day to day, month to month and year to year. I aim to eat a varied diet but I don’t feel guilty if I throw in a few supposedly unhealthy items. I couldn’t care less about the food nazis, a little of what you really like does your heart and soul good and contributes far more to good health than nit-picking about what food goes in your mouth
5. I hardly ever watch TV. When we arrived in North Cyprus, we didn’t have a television for a long time and we found we survived very nicely without it. We got fed up with the dross that so often gets onto TV these days and found we did very well with the miserable, miserable news programmes. I do love reading and listening to music as they leave you feeling uplifted and
6. I am happy. We don’t have a lot of money, but we can pay our bills. I do have fibromyalgia and arthritis in the my spine which causes stiffness in my muscles and pain in my legs. But on balance, I have a regular, fixed income, the age pension, even though it’s not large; we own our home and car; we live simply and eat simply; I have my eyesight, sense of smell, a sense of hearing (although a bit run down now so I need hearing aids), my two arms and two legs; and my brain’s ticking over pretty well. I have managed to get 65 and when I see the misfortune that some suffer, often much younger than I am, I’m very, very happy to have got so far without any major mishaps.