01 January 2018

new year's resolutions

According to reliable sources, Seamus Heaney’s  final words just before his death in 2013, texted to his wife, were noli timere –  do not fear.

If I should have to try and spell out a new year's resolution, Looking forward to next year, I could do worse than to bear these words in mind.

Because the more we fear, the more they win. Right? But then another new year's resolution of mine is to always ask, who are they?

My dream resolutions, the ones I haven't yet properly examined but which the spirits and fairies and pixies of winter have been whispering into my ear: retireretireretire and see someone about that paralyzed right foot (as in get to walk properly again).

And while we're at it, the big one, the resolution of resolutions, is to only buy stuff we need, absolutely need. This is actually not  very difficult now with R starting on his meagre pension next month. And seriously, we have everything we need. Stuff wise.

Other than that, I will let shit happen. I am 60 now, no need to get too excited.

New Year's eve was exceptionally mild, a weird spring day. We sat outside with our mugs of tea. We cycled without gloves. Today, it is cold again and that poor Meyer lemon is probably going to react badly to us moving it in and out and in and out. Right now, it's flowering and downstairs smells like Spain.
This was a week ago:


  1. "Don't be afraid" has been one of my main mantras since I was with a friend when she died. Thank you for reminding me.

  2. I can smell it from here! Calvin and Hobbes are good guys to guide you. And we might as well 'Let shit happen.' What else can we do? I wish you good health and a generous sprinkling of happiness in the coming year....

  3. do not fear...yep can't do much better than that. a good one to keep in the forefront. as for Calvin, that's my go-to for life, winging it. as I told a friend you can go with the flow or fight the current but you are going downstream regardless. of course, there are some things you fight against until the very end. retire. do it. easy for me to say of course but I learned long ago how to be frugal and it has not impacted my life in a negative way. the only thing I would have done with more money is travel more.

  4. "They" are people who take pleasure in other people's fear. Denying "them" that pleasure by staying positive is one of the biggest joys in life.

  5. Best resolutions I've read anywhere. I particularly love "Do not fear." That's everything, the secret we keep forgetting we know. Thank you, Sabine.


  6. O, we've had bitter, bitter cold here. I hope the Meyer lemon takes the moving in and out in stride, as Calvin, as I strive to do ("same procedure as every year"). I've been feeling my age, but will not fight it as most Midwesterners here seem to be intent on doing. I'll roll with the punches.

    I raise a glass to you, dear Sabine, with a bolstering smile and a wish that 2018 will be the best it can be for us and our loved ones! Prost!

  7. I need that mantra, as I seem to live in fear lately. I hope you retire, and you and R get to go bike riding whenever you feel like it. Happy New Year to you, my friend.

  8. Happy New Year, Sabine - I hope you get the year you need.

  9. Noli timere - I think I'll have that carved and nail it on a wall, when I have a wall that I can put a nail into. And I'll try not to be afraid that I'll never have that wall.
    I've loved reading you this year and I'll love reading you all this new one. And I won't fear at all that we'll both have another and another.

    Happy New Year, Sabine. May it hold you tight with Love and keep you safe.

  10. I love the smell of citrus blossoms. I can only imagine how wonderful that must be!

    "Do not fear" sounds like good advice for all of us, really.

  11. I suppose you could say I took you at your word this PM and cleared the vanity in the en suite of all its superfluities. Much of it came in tubes and palliated maladies I'd forgotten I suffered from. Perhaps the various creams and unguents were based on the waters of the Lethe and this is the result.

    I was completely fascinated by your decision to buy only essentials. Some are obvious, others bestride the boundary between necessity and luxury and are to some extent a definition of who we are. I would love to know two or three items that worry you in this way. Or would I be practising remote psychotherapy?

  12. This requires a more in depth post but briefly:

    I should mention that I am a dreadful shopper and when I do go out into the world of consumerism, only at a push, mind you, I come home mostly empty handed. The same with online shopping.

    It helps that I have been off sick for longish periods in the last seven years during which I have come to enjoy the fact that I don't need much (else) as long as the internet works incl. the online access to the various local library catalogues.

    Also, we share with others: tools, transport, garden produce, left overs, stuff that has become superfluous, skills and so on.

    This is a loose network, started 20+ years ago, of maybe 50 people (not all friends) occasionally brilliant,often humdrum, always reliable.