The new year had us in misty embrace. J, Django, Kiki and I had fled the city because fuck the city, for one, and because Django's afraid of the shooting and bombing that New Year's Eve traditionally entails. Now: fireworks obviously happen outside the city as well, but because of the lack of anonymity, that's my guess at least, the people who just can't seem to get over trying to blow off their own hands try so only on the day itself, whereas the fuckheads in Urbe start their unsuccessful attempts to outbomb ISIS with Halloween and never seem to run out of firecrackers until March. When people we met asked us what brought us to this one place that might not have forsaken God yet and we replied that we were here to escape the suicidal festivities, and they told us that Oh No, people here would also crack and work fires and gunpowder, we tried our best to bite our tongues to not say "you have no idea what you are talking about."
We had thought about getting out of the city since summer at least, maybe even longer, but when summer came we couldn't get the days off we would have needed, and instead spent many days hiking day trips, going by train to point A to return on foot, et cetera. I enjoyed these trips so much that I am still looking forward to my dream of "just walking" a for a longer while, maybe cross country, but this wasn't in store for us just now. While saddened that we couldn't do more than a couple of hikes in summer, these circumstances allowed for us to save up enough to blow it out for a nice winter vacation home in the midst of nowhere. The last bus stop was an hour on foot away, as were the closest grocery stores. Also this would be Kiki's first trip, and Django's first vacation.
I still tend to travel lightly, and this time was no different. Still both our backpacks were full with all the stuff the dogs and we ourselves were going to eat, and redundant layers of clothes just in case. I forgot to bring my monoscope, but the few clear nights we had overwhelmed with a short wave from the Milky Way - I am not sure I could have handled any more stars anyways. (I could have.)
So I had a great vacation and returned great moodedly to the city. Big deal. What is a big deal though is that I had a lot of time to not only relax and watch stars and drink Styrian wine, I also had time to reflect on what happened, as is customary at the end and or beginning of a year. And I do have a couple of resolutions for the year ahead. First and foremost:
· ditch that fucking word.
There isn't anything to resolve. There's stuff I hate about me, there's stuff I accepted; but the stuff that I simply want to change needs no resolution: it needs work, and, in some cases, direction. This is what this is for me: a list of goals for the coming months. Why now, with the New Year? Well, few things are as much of a reoccurring memento mori to me as my birthday, Christmas, and New Year's Eve. While I spend my birthdays mostly sober(ish), Christmases are well on their way to become more healthy and stable, New Year's Eve never fails to give me a kick in the aura. It's the change of the date more than anything else. There is real life evidence of time passing. Noticable evidence. Of course, when my age changes that's evidence as well, but for the better part of the last 1.5 decades I haven't really considered my age to be a thing of everyday reflection. I don't really talk about my age that much from day to day. It comes up occasionally, but I rarely lose focus about how old I am, and being asked about it never startles me or catches me off guard. With each new year, this is different.
In the midst of these pleasant circumstances I found myself less writing and more thinking, and just as my conscious started to gave way I read the touching - yet too prostrative, for my taste - post by GRRM. If this guy can't get his act together, or at least perceives to be in this state from time to time, who am I to bitch around. All things will work out fine. And S05 had finally put me off the show anyways. I will wait for the book, thank you very much.
For weeks I write the date wrong. Or, if I don't, I notice how I didn't write the date wrong. My mind would still hang at these old, now useless numerals and forget about the a+1 again and again until my motoric skills adapt and, around February, I am able to fill out forms without striking out any fields like an eight-year-old still used to write exclusively with pencils.
So, while the New Year by itself rarely means a lot to me, it is the thing that impacts my day-to-day life the most, at least for a little while. So why not use this occasion to reevaluate directions and formulate some goals.
Here they are.
· A couple of cardgames.
I never learned Schnapsen. Nobody ever managed to teach me, many of those who tried being too bewildered that I didn't know it genetically. Just as they all always think I sound German, they all assume Schnapsen is something inherited. No longer. This year, I wanna learn to play card games - besides Poker and Uno.
· Play ukulele.
I started playing the piano four years ago, and I love that. But I wanna be able to play another instrument. What would go better with my small toy piano than a ukulele.
· Using a sewing machine.
Going with the next theme, I want to be able to fix my own clothes. I don't really care about sewing them from scratch, but I wanna be able to fix up, shorten and tighten clothes I own or bought second hand.
· Regional staple foods.
For some years I've made it a point to buy regional produce: skip the strawberries in the winter months, skip the bananas altogether, learn what beets and roots are produced in and around Austria. This is, as you might guess, more about the fuel than the patriotism. The goal for 2016: I want my staples not to be imported from other countries. For example, there's awesome spelt rice produced en mass no one hundred miles from where I live. It's ridiculous and absurd to rely on basmati rice that had to travel thousands of miles as a staple.
· No products from disgusting companies.
Going with the fuel thing from the last point: Fuck Nestlé. Fuck Unilever. Fuck Coca-Cola. Fuck all of these disgusting parasitic anti-human cancerous gangrenes of producer and consumer terrorism. I read a good rule of thumb once for healthy nutrition: don't eat things that have advertisements. I want to take this one step further and not give into buying this just one Coke at the train station, or similar. This shit has got to go. This is also true for non-food items, clothes being the one I fear the most. But supporting disgusting companies that are only not criminal because they lobby to have laws changed in their favor, human rights violators like H&M have got to get out of my life as well. For now, I feel okay with buying some of these items second hand though. Maybe, if the sewing machine thing catches on, I won't need to any longer.
And last but maybe most importantly there is the stuff that I want to focus my energy on. Mostly this is:
· Write every single day:
I have this goal of hitting at least 1000 words a day. This is nice, but I made to many excuses for too many days in the last year. I'll change this to a 500 word minimum, but it has to happen every. single. day.
· Read every single day:
this was a goal for last year, and I'll stick with it. It's awesome.
· Blog twice a week:
going with the first, writing every day, I want to make a promise that should affect this blog fundamentally: on December 31st 2016, I want there to be 104 new blog posts on deus ex macchiato, including this one.
This is how 2015 ended, and 2016 started. It can only get better, right? What are your plans for this year?