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Habituary

This Feb is the perfect month. Well, certainly for making/breaking habits. It starts on a Monday and ends on a Sunday, with exactly four weeks in between. After being sloths and generally relishing the remaining Christmas tidings (as a pacifier against the reality of ongoing lockdowns) we have decided its time to change the circumference of our waistlines and make other various lifestyle improvements.

Seeing that many habits can be made or broken in 28 days, we are setting about to do exactly that in February. Here is going to see at least a few more months of lockdowns, so we wanted to put a sort of levy in place to buttress against the boozing and overeating of Christmas/Winter/various other justifications, and start making positive progress in 2021.

We didn’t make joint plans/goals for this year, but I don’t think that means we have given up on the idea necessarily. I don’t know if I can speak for all of our Irish/European comrades when I say this, but certainly the last 12 months has forced us to be more stoic and pragmatic. The goalposts have moved, almost on a constant basis throughout this crisis, but that doesn’t mean Aoife and I won’t (or shouldn’t) attempt a field goal when we can. I see stoicism as an optimistic strategy at its heart, though some folks associate it with cynicism or austerity. I want to make the clarification here that even though we, like all of you reading this, have undoubtedly had ups and downs throughout this crisis, we are ultimately optimistic about what is to come. We’re not giving up the game, just making a change of play.

We have instead focused on habits, what we can do now with what we have in front of us (this really is stoicism 101). If we can implement these things every day for a month we are confident they will set us up better for what is to come. Sure, if things here open up in summer and I am back at work then we would love to aim for a trip somewhere, anywhere. It doesn’t have to be mediterranean. When you can’t travel more than 5kms from home for the most part of a year, Brighton will do. Brighton would do quite nicely actually. I digress…

So my daily Make habits are:
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Journalling
  • Some form of intellectual exercises (audiobook, Duolingo etc.)
  • Music or other creative outlet. Even if the creative juices aren’t flowing—because its basically like trying to force breeding in captivity—just to put arse in chair.
  • Going for walks and getting some fresh air
My daily Break habits are:
  • YouTube
  • News Media*
  • Reddit
  • Any other form of mindlessly sitting on a device for hours on end
  • Sugar / shit food

We would love to hear what yours are, if you have taken a similar approach, so please feel free to shoot them at us in the comments below.

Alternatively, if you’re a more fixed-goals oriented person and you feel comfortable sharing what your goals for 2021 are, we would love to hear about it in the comments section.

Also, with Chinese New Year around the corner, we want to wish y’all a happy new year! Regardless of your calendar of choice (ours happens to be a Taylor Swift calendar courtesy of Anika), the Chinese calendar seems like a good timestamp of the changing seasons (in the case of the Chinese, it is welcoming the coming Spring) and here, where the seasons have real and tangible effects of everyone’s lives, that is important and something to appreciate. So we wish health and happiness in the new year to you and yours, and bring on Spring!

* Trump is gone, but news media still appears to me to be in an existential death spiral. I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with separating the ought-to-know stuff from the parasitic, mentally harmful info. I’m not talking about fake news, the facts have been hard enough to swallow this last year—and in recent years. I noticed an uneasiness in myself when I have looked at the news, especially on weekends, and a spike in anxiety. I haven’t figured out entirely how I am going to manage this one going forward (weening-off-methadone approach perhaps), but if anyone has any success stories, suggestions or recommendations please let us know!

2 replies on “Habituary”

Sounds like a plan!! You could also help Aoife with her work? Housework and cooking obviously are fundamental too. All the best. You can do it 👍👍

Thanks A. I try to help more with the domestic stuff, I’d just get in the way if I tried to help with her work. We’ve found that both being productive encourages the other to do the same, so that’s a big plus while both still at home 24/7. Also she has to take some leave at the 1yr mark in March so that’s something to look forward to, and helps with productivity having rec time on the horizon. I think we’re starting to turn a corner here with this COVID winter 🙏

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