Let's manifest together a marginally less noxious year, shall we?

On a park bench, a sculpture of a snowman is chilling happily and watching the snow fall.
Time to manifest some snow! C'mon, every one: daydream about snow storms!!! I have skiing to do!!!

I meant to have this post out around the actual New Years because by this point every one and their grandmother is probably bored to tears with posts à la: "Let's crush 2023! Read all the things! Go to the gym every day! Productivity! No more fast food! Rah rah rah!!!!" Hopefully, most of you will bear with my lateness and participation in this little collective ritual.

→ Pour lire le billet en français

I don't really feel like wrapping up 2022 with a proper "year in review." In 5 words: I feel very little satisfaction. If you feel like all you did in 2022 was wake up, get through the day, and then go back to sleep, don't worry, dear reader. I'm right there with you, and I hope this year will be kinder to all of us.

I do have a few New Year's resolutions for 2023. As usual, these are soft resolutions, which means:

  • if I forget about them for a while — which absolutely will happen, I have the attention span of a hyperactive gnat — it's never too late to try at them again; and
  • I am absolutely not allowed to use "failing" at my New Year's resolutions as fuel to beat myself up mentally.

For a while now, I've been calling my yearly goals soft resolutions. The only way to fail at my resolutions is when I use them as an excuse for self-flagellation. Like many, when I was younger (and not-so-younger), I usually ended up using "personal challenges" as vectors or excuses for psychological and physical self-harm. But, as I'm very task-oriented, I didn't want to abandon the framework of goal-setting completely. Hence, the soft resolutions.

Drink tea every day

Drinking tea (or herbal teas) every day continues to be an important ritual. In the mornings, I mostly drink green teas: a lot of oolong, kukicha, genmaicha, gyokuro, and matcha. In the evenings, I brew infusions of herbs — my favourites at the moment are oatstraw and flowering oats, holy basil, and nettle.

🍵
In the last few days of 2022, I created a digital garden (personal wiki) for tea drinking, which is available here: gersande.com/tea/

Reading 14 books in 2023

I read 55 books in 2021, but in 2022 I only managed to read 26 books. My goal was to read 24 books in 2022, which I barely managed. I did not finish a lot of books this year, mostly because of real life getting in the way. As such, I'm lowering my reading goal for 2023 to 14, just to take some pressure off. But there is a mini-goal here: I'd like to read at least 7 books in English and 7 in French. (Translations okay! I've been in a big Olga Tokarczuk mood lately, who I've read exclusively in French.) It's a little too easy, in North America, to get hypnotized by the veritable avalanche of books pouring out of the various cultural anglospheres. I need to actively work against it.

On a sofa, my soft grey cat is fast asleep next to my copy of Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer.
One of my absolute favourite reads from 2022: Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer.cc

Write every day

I'm often up around 5 am because of chronic pain and insomnia. While it has been very hard to motivate myself to do things in the early hours of the morning when my body still hurts and the brain fog is often not great, I'm going to try a little harder this year to use my early mornings for writing on my own projects. I need to write more, and should take advantage of the early hours before the day job grinds my creativity and discipline into mush.

Ballet every week

When I went through my ballet journal from 2022, I counted all the classes of private lessons and technique lessons and realized I did over 104 hours of ballet in 2022. That's really cool, and averages to 2 hours per week. It would be fun to try and get another ~100 hours in for 2023, but this is going to be an even softer goal than the other points on this list. Even if I just manage an hour of ballet a week, I'll still be extremely satisfied.


Yep, so those are my goals. Drink tea every day, read 14 books, write every day, and at least an hour of ballet a week.

What do you want to focus on this year? If you set any reading or writing goals (or other artistic and creative goals) for 2022, did you manage them or learn anything from them? How do you find our collective ritual of adopting New Year's resolutions?

Take good care of yourself, and I wish you a kind and happy new year.

Gersande La Flèche

Gersande La Flèche they/them/their

I am an independent language worker, writing coach & English-French translator. When not working, I can be found drinking lots of tea and scribbling away in one of my notebooks.
MTL // Tiohtià:ke