I do not generally do resolutions, and if I did I certainly wouldn't write about them here. I do not generally do a word of the year, or goals, or in fact anything that might in any way be construed as inspirational. This is not that kind of blog, people! You know that by now, right? If I'm honest, I think it's probably because I've always thought that goals = something that might not be achieved = one more chance to fail = more than my poor, frail psyche can handle.
That's probably really stupid. Failure is part of life. Failure is fine. Failure is better than not trying. Also, opening myself up to the possibility of failing also gives me the option of succeeding, right? (I'm sorry if that sounds inspirational. I didn't do it on purpose, and I promise not to do it again).
I didn't give 2011 a word when it started, but as it ends I'm going to award it one in retrospect - survival. I'm really glad that I did survive it, but I want 2012 to be better than that. So, here goes. I'm setting some goals for the coming year. I'm only doing two, because
the secret to success is low standards I'd rather finish two things than start six. (These are non-spiritual things. I want to set some God-focused goals too, but I need to do more thinking about that first and I'm not sure that this blog is the right place to seek accountability in that area of my life). So, my two goals. First:
In 2012, I am going to finish my book.
That's kind of a predictable goal for me. I've been working on it for ages (more than a year now, which sort of kills me to think about) and with lots more steady work, I can get this done. It needs to happen. Barring major illnesses or accidents, I think it will happen. In fact, it's kind of a cop-out because I would be doing this whether or not I called it a goal.
And here's where I wish that we knew each other in real life - not just because you are awesome (which you are) and incredibly good-looking (also true) but because I would like to see you crease up with laughter when I tell you my second goal:
In 2012, I am going to run 5km.
I told my sister in law this today, and she screeched with amusement and said you? and I wasn't offended at all, I just said I know, isn't it crazy? and she said crazy? It's insane! and then we had a good chortle about it. I've never been particularly big, but I was always the slowest kid in my class at school, until I moved schools and met a girl called Anna and then for a while I was the second slowest. And these days, I have the kind of carefully honed body that comes from spending all my spare time writing a book. Oh, and also eating a lot of carbohydrates and butter.
I sort of feel like I can't do it. And then I think why not? I've got two legs and two lungs, just like everybody else. (Well, you know, most people). There's no reason I shouldn't be able to do this. I'm doing a couch to 5K programme (although I've done a four runs now, starting in placebo week, and I would argue that couch is a bit of a misnomer) and there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to achieve this. I just have to do it. Sure, there is a 0.00001% chance of me being attacked by a serial killer on the river path, or a 0.0000001% chance of me having a serious asthmatic episode (you know, because I had a really bad one when I was FOUR) but I think there's about a 100% chance that I'm going to die of heart disease in my fifties if I don't start taking better care of my body. I have always had lots of reasons why I couldn't do something like this, and now I'm sick of it. I'm going to do it.
I guess it's just that running - or any kind of concerted exercise - is an intensely un-Claudia-like thing to be doing. It's hard work, and I'm not good at it, so where's the fun? I run like a toddler, arms and legs swinging wildly in all directions. When I went to buy running shoes, I was wearing a denim miniskirt and bright pink tights and I didn't realise it was the kind of place where they videotape you running on a treadmill in order to sell you the
most expensive right shoes. Oh, the shame. I suspect they put me on youtube as soon as I left - the videoed rear view of my denim-clad self jogging while my skirt flapped above my neon thighs was nearly enough to make me quit before I started. I am not a Running Person.
But the weird thing is that sometimes I dream about running. In my dreams, I run like I am flying. I spring off the ball of my foot and leap into the air, effortless momentum carrying me forward and up and forward and up until I am airborne, almost floating, before I arc downwards and land on my other foot and spring up again, feeling the wind on my face and the joy of forward motion. In my dreams, I run like I was born to do it. I want to feel like that in real life, even if only a little bit, even if me running never looks like that to anybody else. Even if it's not what I think of as me.
So that's my goals. One goal that is me being me, and another one that is me being not-me. In some ways, I'm much more excited about the second. And since - I'll admit it - the combination of new year and new brain medicine is making me feel inspired, I'm going to pass it on, unapologetically and totally without cynicism (for once) and ask you - what would you do in 2012 that would be like the you that you already are? What could you do in 2012 that would be a surprising, unnatural version of you?