New New Year’s Resolutions

No, the title isn’t a typo. New Year is traditionally the time to make changes, and the first things I want to change are my New Year’s resolutions. The most popular resolutions seem to involve losing weight, giving up a habit, getting a better job, making more money. They all seem to imply you are not good enough just the way you are. They are filled with superlatives – bigger, better, faster, louder, smaller, lighter, healthier, smarter, richer. They pile inordinate amounts of stress on you, causing you to deprive yourself of something – food, leisure time, booze – and you are inexorably doomed to fail and in failing feel like a failure. BORING. I’ve been there, I’ve got the t-shirt – and it doesn’t fit any more. Maybe I should lose a few pounds…. no, I’m stopping myself right there.

Calvin and Hobbes sound off about resolutions

In 2012 I am distilling my New Year’s Resolutions into one single, actionable (ooh, corporate buzzword alert) item. It is as follows:

See the Northern Lights.

There, I’ve said it. And written it. And published it. So now all I need to do is figure out how to achieve it sometime in 2012. How much fun is that? And when was the last time you were truly excited about trying to keep your New Year’s resolutions?

Aurora borealis over Norway. Photo by Ole Christian Salomonsen, runner-up in National Geographic astronomy photos of 2011.

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About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - wheresmybackpack.com - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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17 Responses to New New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Gillian says:

    Well put. I have never bothered with pointless new years resolutions. You have inspired me to make a similar aspirational resolution. I hereby resolve to do at least one cycling tour this summer that involves cycling at least 200 miles. I will keep you posted on my progress towards keeping that resolution on my blog,
    I cant wait to see your Aurora borealis photographs here.

    • ailsapm says:

      Love it, Gillian, sounds like a fantastic resolution to me. Take lots of photos on your cycling tour and post them on your blog!

      • Gillian says:

        Your enthusiasm is infectious! I’m going to get out my map of Ireland and start planning! I think it should include county Offally, I remember some good flat bits there!

  2. xinapray says:

    Bravo for you! I think that being content with oneself is the key to a happy life. Having gotten that out of the way, I think that seeing the Northern Lights is indeed a most worthy goal! I look forward to your images.

    • ailsapm says:

      I’ve been wanting to see the Northern Lights for as long as I can remember, so I can’t think of a better resolution for 2012 than to make it happen. I can’t remember a January 1st when I’ve been more excited. 🙂

  3. Susie C. says:

    Outstanding resolution! (And I love Calvin and Hobbes, so, well done there as well!) Like Gillian and xinapray, I’m looking forward to your photos.

  4. thelaurapenn says:

    let me know if you want some company!

    • ailsapm says:

      Haha, excellent, roadtrip!!

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Hi Ailsa, Just dropped in from The Naturalist’s Miscellany. I think you’ve hit it square on the head about New Year’s resolutions. Going for life’s positives sure beats the hell out of the “same old, same old” negative crap…

        So, how far north are you planning to go: via the shortest route, as the crow flies (; ) straight up to James Bay? LOVE the photo BTW. Aren’t they just magical? Sometimes I swear that you can almost touch them. Good luck on your quest!

        • ailsapm says:

          Hey there, Happy New Year. I haven’t any solid plans yet, so if you have any suggestions about where best to view the lights, I’d love to hear. I was thinking of going more towards western Canada, possibly the Yukon, Northern Territories or Alaska, sometime from late September to December – to get a good chance of seeing them at their most intense. 🙂

  5. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    You got me thinking so I went looking and, when I came across this, “Weather permitting, northern lights displays will be visible directly overhead from Dawson City to Watson Lake and visible to the north from Whitehorse.” ( courtesy of http://www.auroraborealisyukon.com/auroracast/ ) , I thought, “What if you followed the gold rush trail on your quest for the Aurora? Cool eh, throw in some great history while you’re at it?

    There are strange things done in the midnight sun
          By the men who moil for gold;
    The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
          But the queerest they ever did see
    Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
          I cremated Sam McGee… Robert Service

  6. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Hi again! Figured there HAD to be something better on this from a government website. Your Aurora Buffs just have to check this out: a live web cam from the Canada Space Agency.
    http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/index.asp
    Cheers from the (not so – sadly it was a very green Christmas in our part of Ontario this year): Great White North, Deb

  7. TL says:

    Thanks for reading my blog! Hopefully I can live up to mine as well. 🙂 http://tliou.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/my-late-new-years-resolution/

    See the northern lights!

    • ailsapm says:

      Love it, and what a great photo. I think New Year’s Resolutions should be inspirational, just like yours, and it doesn’t matter what time of year they’re made.

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