I’m old and wise enough to know that no matter how much I work out and how little I eat, I won’t ever have Gisele Bundchen’s backside. So what is the point of resolutions, if not to get a Bundchenian posterior? I already have a very healthy eating regime. I don’t see the point of going alcohol-free for a month. I do fasts throughout the year when I feel like I need them. I’m mostly vegetarian. Basically, I don’t feel a huge urge for further self-improvement. What for? I’m pretty happy with the way things are really, despite being far from perfect. I could make more of an effort on my ‘general maintenance’ I suppose, but I just don’t have the patience to sit in a spa or salon having facials, pedicures, manicures, massages, and blow-dries. I genuinely don’t enjoy spending my time that way. I usually spend the entire appointment anxious, wishing they’d stop chatting and hurry up so I can get to the 1000 other errands I need to get done! I prefer to spend the few child-free hours I have per week either at the gym, writing, or spending time with my husband.
But it is New Year’s, and I’m meant to have some kind of resolution, as everyone is conspiring to tell me, so here are my half-assed resolutions. I’m going to start as I mean to go on in 2015:
First, something selfish. Back when I turned 30, and I thought that 30 sounded horribly old and sad, I bought myself 18 facials (enough for a monthly facial for a year and a half, I figured) with a very famous and hideously expensive London facialist. After that year and a half, I had good skin, but not AMAZING skin. I didn’t wake up looking 18 at the end or anything. Now I can buy such good facial products to use at home that there is no point in wasting my precious free time having someone faff over my pores in a salon. So, my resolution is that at least weekly, if not more frequently, I am going to treat my skin to something special. My current favourite is ReVive’s Glycolic Renewal Peel, which has the same effect as a professional microdermabrasion or very light chemical peel. I also like Dennis Gross’ Alpha Beta pads, which I’ve been using for years, but the ReVive one is a much stronger (and more stinging!) version. My favourite nourishing (i.e. not stripping a layer of dead cells off like the previous two) mask at the moment is the Fresh Honey Face Mask, because my skin gets plumped up and nicely hydrated after this. I leave it on for a good half hour, unlike the 10 minutes suggested on the instructions. I figure if some is good, more is better. If I ever have an event to go to where I need my skin to look amazing, I use (sadly, now discontinued) Wei Ginko Leaf Repairing Face Treatment pads. I have given this as a Christmas present to friends, and everyone is a shocked as I am by the effectiveness. They are expensive but they are worth every single penny. I’m almost convinced there is something illegal in there; they are that good.
Second, something selfless. Isn’t it warming and lovely to get a compliment from a perfect stranger? That they love your shoes? Or your hair? Or your earrings? Of COURSE it is! So my resolve is to find at least one person every single day to give a genuine compliment to. I used to do this regularly, but I got slack and stopped. I’m going to re-kindle this in 2015 though, because I think it makes the world a nicer place. It goes beyond good manners and being polite; it takes a little something of you to go out of your way to break the ice with a total stranger and tell them something nice. If you live in a big city like I do where everyone mostly ignores everyone else, it is a little uncomfortable to offer random compliments. Whether it is an older lady whose handbag I like, or a young teenage girl whose coat I admire, I am going to make a point of giving someone a heartfelt compliment, served with a side of smile, every single day. As a rule, I try to choose someone who looks like they could use the compliment (a shy girl on the bus, a lady who looks a little sad) but anyone will do. I’d encourage you to try this out; it really can make someone’s day, including yours. It is so simple and costs you absolutely zip.
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with this, the best New Year’s wish I’ve ever seen, from the writer Neil Gaiman:
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
So, Go Surprise Yourself in 2015. And tell me about it when you do!