Death of the New Year’s resolution

I bet you all think I’ve gone and disappeared again! But I’m still here, and I really mean to not disappear again!

For at least a month!

That’s one of my New Year’s resolutions. And I’m rather impressed with myself for having one of those, seeing as I’ve been Cynical Cynthia (not having believed in resolutions) for the last, I don’t know, hundred years.

And why not?

Because I think New Year’s resolutions are an escape hatch.

Say you get tired of doing something, like yoga and eating rabbit food. So you tell yourself, oh never mind, the NEW YEAR is coming up; I will resolve to get back into yoga and rabbit food then, promise! (Never mind it’s only April.)

I didn’t want to be part of all that procrastination and denial. (Like I don’t already have enough of that in my life, haha.) Really, I thought, it’s do or do not. There is no faffing about waiting for the right time.

 

Do or do not?
Your subconscious knows best.

 

But some time last month, while not doing yoga, I had an epiphany. (Which goes to show you don’t need to be a yogi nor feed on cotton balls to have epiphanies.)

My epiphany was that not believing in NYRs was doing duck all for my goals.

People have a tendency to set their goals aside and, I don’t know, play a video game, instead.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked, lose focus, fall by the wayside, eat a whole pint of chocolate ice cream in one sitting.

 

Eating chocolate ice cream
Hey, let’s get some cookie dough ice cream next.

 

(If you’re one of those wack jobs who have earned a PhD, scaled Mount Everest twice, mastered five languages, invented a working time machine and published a hundred books by the time you’re 20 years old, go away. Just go away.)

I see now that NYRs, at least, remind us to refocus and get those bucket lists ticked off. It doesn’t matter if you keep getting sidetracked and have to keep renewing the same resolution every year. At least there’s a chance of succeeding one day.

(ADHD type people like me probably need a whole new strategy altogether, but I’m going to leave that problem for another time.)

By boycotting NYRs, I was basically allowing myself to be sidetracked for longer periods of time. I would enjoy the constant companionship of ennui while thinking, “I don’t need a new year to start doing that thing, I can just do it whenever, duh!”

But “whenever” comes rather infrequently, you’ll find.

 

Whenever - AKA why you never get anything done.
Whenever never comes.

 

Now, instead of thinking of NYRs as some dork invention, I’ve decided to think of them as a kind of parental discipline.

When you get to a certain age, you realise that parents are always right (the non-psycho ones, anyway). When they say DO YOUR HOMEWORK NOW, it is backed by all the wisdom of 14 billion years worth of universe. Meaning, disobey me and you will become a tramp, see if I care. (Actually, I do care, so go do your homework.)

Come 2016, I was determined to obey my figurative parents. My first resolution on the list was to be an early riser.

I’ve struggled my entire life to wake up early but have never quite succeeded. I have tried, honestly, about 3,482 times, despite being genetically predisposed to be an owl.

About 4 am to 12 pm would be my ideal sleeping time. But I want to be more in sync with the rest of the world (that is, pertaining to my familial and social circles).

 

Sync in progress. Do not disconnect.
Another way of saying behave like a normal human being, you crazy person.

 

So, on the first Monday of 2016, I made myself wake up at 7 am. I spent the whole day in a zombiefied state doing useful tasks I’d put off for years, such as opening mail that’s been sitting around since 2013 and filing them away neatly. It was a very successful day.

But my triumph wasn’t to last long. At 9 pm, my throat suddenly became quite sore.

At 10 pm, I started sneezing uncontrollably.

The next morning, I woke up with a bad cold and promptly went back to sleep. And that was the end of that resolution, may it rest in peace.

Well, there’s always next year.

 

 

Hobbies to drive your spouse crazy

There must be nothing more annoying than a friend or family member learning a new language (except maybe a friend or family member learning piano or violin or the trombone). These linguist-wannabes would go around all day saying asinine things like “I am eating an apple” (in whatever language) even if it’s blindingly obvious that they are not, in fact, eating anything at all.

They would tell you in earnest: “The cat is black and the orange is orange,” and you would wonder about ringing up their therapist.

And maybe you should because goodness knows everyone needs a therapist these days.

 

Comic - Learning a new language

 

I should know because, right now, I am spouting truisms such as “el vino y la manzana son rojos” on a daily basis. (For the Spanish-challenged, this means “the wine and the apple are red”.) I am diligent in practising my sentences because I’m sure they will come in handy when I next visit Spain.

“El vino y la manzana son rojos,” I will say to the nice lady ringing up my shopping at the supermarket while I point at the apple and the delectable bottle of Spanish wine in my basket.

And she will clap her hands in glee and give me a discount because I just said something very useful to her.

 

Comic - Learning a new language 2

 

All I need to do is make sure that I preserve my sanity long enough to even make the trip to Spain. One does tend to feel a bit crazy after one has kindly informed one’s family for the umpteenth time the colours of various objects in the household and the ways in which one can interact with said objects, only to be met with a blank stare.

For example, I would tell Piers, in Spanish, “The newspaper is black and white. I read the newspaper,” and he would give me either a blank stare or, more often, a “Shall I ring your therapist?” stare, slightly quizzical, slightly worried, but mostly what the fuck.

Perhaps it’s his sanity I should be worried about.

 

Comic - Learning a new language 3

 

Now, remember in the beginning I mentioned that someone learning a musical instrument would probably be more annoying than someone telling you dumb things in Spanish all day long?

Well, guess what, I’m buying a piano, too!

Or, rather, Piers has just agreed to buy me a piano!

Ooh. I just realised that he probably isn’t yet aware of the double whammy situation he’s gotten himself into.

Double insanity!

Well, I am not exactly a totally virgin beginner pianist. I took piano lessons when I was 11 for a year or two and passed a few exams. However it HAS been a while, so I’m anticipating long months of banging out Yankee Doodle or whatever stupid songs they make you learn in piano these days.

I should probably put a therapist on our speed dial.

On the health front, I’ve decided to give yoga another try. (Went to a class a long time ago and hated it because it was so boring.) But I need to like it because of, well, health reasons, lol, so I’m going to try it at home first (using yoga apps on the iPad) and see how that works out before going to actual classes.

Perhaps Piers will be so distracted (and distraught) by the crazy poses that he won’t notice the other hobbies!

 

Comic - Yoga

 

There’s a plan, huh?

Probably not a very good one but we all gotta do what we all gotta do and spouses gotta put up with it. :D

Will keep you posted on outcomes!

 

Why I disappeared again

I’m back! Again! So, okay, that took a bit longer than planned, but it’s all normal. I just got side-tracked a little, as I’m wont to do. (I hate the phrase “wont to do” so I don’t know why I’m using it.)

Now, to pick up where I left off.

When Silly Wen left England in May, I was supposed to resume blogging (again). I didn’t, obviously, and I can’t use the alien abduction excuse twice so, this time, I’m going to place the entire blame on Game of Thrones Ascent, this stupid game I started playing early last year.

Well, okay, a bit of the blame goes to my weak will, that lousy piece of unpalatable word, but only a little bit.

 

(Comic) Running out of excuses

 

I shan’t go into boring detail so let’s just say that the game got updated with lots of new stuff around the end of April, demanding even more participation to fully reap all the benefits. It got so that playing it was a full-time job if you wanted to remain competitive.

Stupidly, I got sucked in.

I have played games full-time before. They were mostly MMORPGs such as EverQuest 2 and Star Wars Galaxies, from a long time ago, an era before evil IAPs. I never regretted those; they were fun and fulfilling, and even got me in the news.

 

Sheylara posing with a cheesy lightsaber toy.
An old archive photo (c. 2003) from my interview in The Straits Times
I’d probably regret digging out.

 

But I regret every minute spent playing Game of Thrones Ascent. It’s not even a proper game and the game mechanics and UI are so 20th century fail that I actually feel embarrassed admitting to playing it.

I also feel ashamed for having played it so long. But no more. I quit.

QUIT!

Suddenly, I feel free. Unencumbered. The world is my oyster again. Although, after quitting, I spent probably two weeks wallowing in that empty, lost feeling you get when you go cold turkey or end a destructive relationship.

But I’m now ready to rush headlong into my next addiction! Except I’m thinking I should take a break and be normal for a bit. You know, like, do normal people things, eat proper meals, get some exercise, water the dying herbs.

Also, blog.

So, there you go. Welcome me back! Or not, but I DO care, because I feel stupid blogging to air so the plan is for that to not happen. I like to keep a dialogue going (even if it’s mostly imagined) and I know you miss my ramblings.

Right?

 

So you think you’re indecisive

Do you know someone who is very indecisive, who changes their mind all the bloody time?

Of course you do. It’s me!

Maybe you were going to say: “Oh, yeah, Jack is like that” or “Hah, that’s Kate you’re talking about”.

Well, wrong. It’s all me. I’m the mind-changing undeciding fickle-minded champion.

You probably want some examples, so I’ve made a comic of myself.

Comic strip: Indecision
She does need some help, pronto.

 

But that’s rather tame. I’m sure I’m not the only one who suffers from indecision in the area of food selection, even when there’s a very narrow field of choices.

So, how about, I was planning to have a wedding ceremony last year but changed my mind just months before (by literally flipping a coin to decide). A year later, now, I’m still thinking about changing my mind.

Or how about I changed my name legally in 2003 and now I want to change it again.

Or how about when I was 17, I was about to enroll at a pre-university when they sent me home to get my GCE O-Level results slip because I’d forgotten it, but, on the way home, I decided that I’d rather be an actress. So, I didn’t return for the enrollment. Instead, I made an application to La Salle College of Drama. On the day of my audition for admittance, I skipped it and went to interview at a talent agency.

Or how about this blog post was inspired by the fact that I couldn’t for the longest time decide what to blog about after my big announcement on April 1st.

 

Indecisive cat is stuck
The world is her oyster. Or maybe just her window sill.

 

Well, I could go on and on but you’ll probably get bored.

Now, this post is kind of a long-winded way of explaining why I haven’t blogged for a year. I couldn’t decide whether to blog or not. I mean it’s not just that, but I’m not sure if I want to go into detail, so I’ve ended up making a whole post out of nothing.

Sorry LOL but I did make it up by drawing a comic. That must make up for everything, doesn’t it, in our perfect little world where people don’t circulate stupid hoaxes on Facebook or neighbours don’t steal your bar stools off stupid delivery men who don’t double check who they’re delivering to.

Yes, feeling good.

Now, your turn. Share your indecision stories, big or small! If they’re funny, maybe I’ll draw a comic of them. Or not.

 

Return of the Sheylara

Greetings, Earthlings.

We bring you news of the most trifling kind (in our opinion) which may potentially be of utmost importance to your species, although we can’t imagine why.

We announce the release of one piffling blogger, Sheylara, who has remained in our captivity care as of one year ago for the crime error of perpetuating an extremely garish pink blog, which hurt our eyes.

Sheylara has successfully completed a thorough treatment of brainwashing gentle counselling for the totality of one year, and been granted a probationary certification of sanity. She is hereby allowed to resume blogging on strict conditions of non-repeat.

Most sincerely but not yours,
Aliens (the most awesomest beings in the universe)

 

Comic Strip: Alien Abduction
Sheylara needs a hair cut very badly.