Friday 18 October 2019

Bairbre Power: 'Resolutions are there to be broken, but did I have to go do it on January 1?'

Mid Life

Bairbre Power
Bairbre Power
Bairbre Power
A visit to Seattle is on the list of resolutions
Bairbre Power

Bairbre Power

Was it just me or was the first day of 2019 particularly bleak, wet and uninspiring? All that manufactured 'bonhomie' on New Year's Eve telly and then you wake up to grey skies and rain, so that there's no option but to stay indoors, clean the house and tear down the Christmas decorations.

I think I got sick of the whole tinsel palaver faster this year because of how December 25 fell. We had two weekends bookending a full week off so by January 1, I was truly fed up of flashing lights, candles and bingeing on Netflix. It was a sociable enough Christmas done on my terms and under my own roof, but I was all talked out so for the closing hours of 2018, I declined invites to go out and parked myself on the couch for some telly.

Graham Norton, who I love, had a reasonably good line-up but then Keira Knightley let slip how she was off to the palace next day to collect her OBE so it was clear it had all been filmed on December 12.

When I switched over to Keith Barry on RTÉ, there was Roz Purcell and I knew this was another pre-record because she was away. Sure hadn't I been glued to her instagramming about her mosquito bites and cellulite all through her holidays in Bali?

By the time RTÉ was about to switch to the live coverage in town, I'd had my fill of tellyworld and took my glass of bubbly off to make some calls to family. After so many late nights in a row, this early night in meant I was in brilliant form the next morning. I was thrilled to see the local coffee shop open as Romy and I headed off on the first of what I hope will be daily walks in 2019 to decompress and de-stress. It was so early, there was only one table occupied. I was only grabbing a takeaway but I just couldn't do it to them all the same. I couldn't be their second customer of the New Year and produce my stamped loyalty card to claim a free mocha so I pulled a €10 out of my pocket and started a new card.

How long will that take to get filled up because, 'oh wait Bairbre, aren't you supposed to be easing off on the dairy and wasn't that the second item you put on your resolutions list last night followed by (3) Go to bed earlier, (4) Get out of biography section and read more fiction and (5) Travel more in 2019.

I've already started into number 3 with gusto and on the night of January 1, I did something that I haven't done for decades. I filled a hot water bottle bought for the impending cold snap.

There's absolutely no doubt that tricks learned in childhood are hot-wired into our brains forever - my hands instinctively went into autodrive, like I'd seen my granny do it nightly in Cork.

I flattened out the body of the hot water bottle and turned up its gaping neck at a 45° angle to make sure that no unwanted air got in because there is nothing as unsatisfying as a bulbous bellied hot water bottle between sheets.

They need to be flat, just like my stomach will be when I go on my diet but that can't start just yet, for two reasons. Let me explain.

Firstly, I'm going away with pals this month on a birthday celebration and there will be cake, and boldness in equal proportions so I'm not going to put myself through the pain of having to explain stepping on the scales why I weigh more than I did the previous week while I'm supposed to be shedding pounds.

Secondly, I know my capacity to break resolutions with ease. I can throw myself off the New Year resolutions wagon with aplomb, just like I did with ordering my mocha on day one, only hours after deciding they would have to go. But my approach this year is baby steps. I'm setting myself small, attainable goals, rather than overwhelming myself with a list of aspirations running from weight to work to growing my own veg to travelling to Seattle to visit my bestie in the spring.

I can only get the best out of this year if I'm content in myself. Last night, after boxing up the Christmas decorations, I emptied the fridge of cream, binned the Marie Rose sauce and polished off the last of the cheese - with a glass of rather nice Port, I might add. In 2019, there will be no punishing myself and I'm definitely not doing guilt. And if you see me with a mocha on a Saturday, don't scold me. That's my cheat day.

Irish Independent

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