As we approach the end of January, its the time many peoples New Year Resolutions like their NYE celebrations become a vague memory. This year I decided to make positive resolutions and resolutions for other people, not the usual resolutions such as go to the gym/be healthy/loose weight/eat more veggies/drink less wine...blah blah blah. Exactly the kind that people around me make on NYE and break by the end of January. Hopefully I will get to December and look back on a year of good deeds and nice memories. So here is what I am trying to do this year....
My first resolution is to appreciate where I am. This doesn't have to be just where I live but where I travel to. I have a lot of free time when I am at home in Switzerland so I am going to make a big effort to get out and about and explore Switzerland. Also there must still be hundreds of things I haven't seen or done in London, New York and Tokyo for example, and so I am going to explore new bits of those cities this year too.
My second resolution is really for my friends and family. I am going to aim to send everyone a birthday card. A real, made from paper, in an envelope and delivered by the postman birthday card.
Last year I got a total of 4 birthday cards and I was a little sad. I love birthday cards. I got loads of emails and texts but they just aren't the same. And then I thought about how nice it is to get a card with a message from someone who cares about you and so decided that was one thing I would aim for.
Lastly, I resolved to help out any 'lost' tourists I could when I am in London.
I have always been a city girl and love the chaos of London, but I appreciate that it can be quite daunting for people from small towns especially those who don't speak English. I see tourists all the time, struggling with a map, looking lost, whilst people push past them in a hurry.
Everyday this week I've taken a minute out to stop and help a random stranger. Some of them look startled, after all, Londoners are not known for their friendliness. Mostly I have had a good reaction.
I helped people find Tower Bridge, when they thought they wanted to go to London Bridge, get to Oxford Street from Leicester Square, Selfridges from Bond Street and Buckingham Palace from Green Park. Hopefully they will all go away with a better impression of this fabulous city. They certainly all looked a bit happier. So you see resolutions don't have to be about yourself, nor do they have to be sacrifices. They can just be small things that make someones day a little happier.
What resolutions did you make ? Have you kept to them ? Maybe make some new ones for the start of February. Make ones that will make you happy. They will be easier to keep.
Recently I've been thinking more and more about how important the quality of friendship is.
I've also been making more effort to spend quality time with the friends I don't normally get to see on a regular basis.
Of course its great to host parties and large dinners so you can get all your friends together at the same time, especially when you are not around often and find yourself constantly juggling your diary. Sadly this does mean you don't get to spend good quality time with any single person.
Being an expat, this time spent with good friends, is one of the things that I really miss.
Hours spend doing nothing but walking along the river, or through a park, chatting, is something most people take for granted, but when you can no longer do it as a spur of the moment thing, you realise how much you enjoyed it.
This year I managed a few good dates with friends. I spent a weekend in Rye with one of my oldest girlfriends, 3 days travelling on the Swiss Train network with a friend from Asia and quite a few days out in London with UK based friends. I really enjoy visiting an exhibition, gallery or event (Taste London, Ideal Home Show or Chelsea Flower show) or even just having a long lunch with one friend instead of a group is so much more rewarding than a group date, and it certainly makes up for months of absence punctuated by short Facebook interactions.
I really enjoy these moments and so one of my resolutions for 2015 is to make more time to do this. As much as I'd like it to be in person I have to accept that this may also be a SKYPE moment, but sometimes you have to take what you can get !!
So my message to all of you reading this is to treasure the moments you have with family and friends, don't rush through them, the way so many people do with their busy lives.
Set aside time to really enjoy your friends and the times you are able to be together.
These are the times you will remember and with fondness when NYE 2016 comes around.
Want to subscribe to my site and receive notifications of new posts... fill in your email address just below..