Despite the grim news of more lockdowns – my town is now in ‘Stay at Home’ Tier 4 – I’m going to plough on with my new year resolutions assuming that eventually the world returns to normal. Yesterday, I looked at the key areas of health and purpose, today I’m focusing on everything else.
Despite the restrictions – or maybe because of them – I feel like I’ve made a few more friends this year. This has included getting to know the neighbours better thanks to the Thursday Clap for Carers. I’ve also connected with more with people because of my new involvement in politics and have got a bit closer to others I already know at the gym and tennis club. I also managed to rebuild relations with a few people when I started preparing for my 60th birthday. I want to keep this up in in the New Year by seeing a wider variety of people in different social settings. I’ll also do a bit more on social media – more posts, likes and friends on Facebook and developing more of a profile on Instagram, Twitter and other social media.
I want to play even more tennis next year now that after 15 coaching sessions I’ve at last made a modest improvement to one aspect of my game, my second serve. Finding more time to read is another goal. I had a couple of proper books for Christmas plus there’s a backlog of downloads on my Kindle to get through. I’ll also visit more National Trust properties, something I really only started doing this year. I enjoyed getting to know not only the properties and their grounds but also some previously undiscovered nearby towns and villages. Getting back to watching live sport will be a big moment. Everything from watching Coventry City play to big sporting events such as Wimbledon and Henley Regatta.
With travel restrictions set to be in place until Easter, we’ll have to fit a whole year of holidays into just nine months. That will involve making the most of our campervan for weekends away, our long late summer holiday to France and the already booked November fortnight in the Caribbean. I will particularly look forward to some of the special times that come with travel – from beach raves to foam parties, from cosy pubs to cool rooftop bars. There might be space to try somewhere new – maybe Greece or Croatia. It could also be time for a bit of train travel and to, at last, take out the Senior Citizens Eurail pass and start planning to work my way through my Travel Bucket List though that may have to wait until 2022. One thing is for sure, I will never again take for granted the freedom to travel.
I managed to tidy up my pensions and organise my savings somewhat this year. Next year’s focus will be on keeping costs as low as possible both at home and work. Things like using my new Smart Meter to save on energy costs and making sure all needless direct debits are cut or cancelled. Might have a bit more of a dabble in the stock market which has started to pay off at least over the last couple of months.
Last year saw the redecoration of all the worst rooms in the house plus some long-awaited window replacements so apart from a few tweaks here and there that’s job done for now. The main focus will be on the garden. The big initial project will be digging a pond, the creation of a new vegetable patch and the ongoing work involved in keeping the garden neat, tidy and weed-free.
I try to see my kids weekly and aim to carry this on the New Year and beyond. I’d like to try and vary what we do, not always something based around eating which often takes a lot of preparation. We’ve also got a weekend away planned, a gift for my 60th, that was cancelled because of Covid. I’ll keep up my weekly phone calls and at least monthly visits to my Dad plus try to see a bit more of the inlaws we are closest to. I will also continue in my lifetime quest of being the best husband possible and will closely follow Mrs Jones’ guidance on how best to do this.
That’s feeling like a full year already which is lifting my lockdown gloom and firing me up for an exciting 2021.