How are you getting on with your 2020? Have you managed to dust out the bad habits and budged away the negative thoughts that have been hovering you for the past few years? How’s your desktop looked like, by the way? Have you applied Marie Kondo’s advice to declutter and transformed your computer home page into an appearance that deserves, at least, a bit of respect? If none of these questions resonate to you, don’t panic. You are not messing with your life. You are just like my husband (yes, since my latest post in January 2019, I managed to convince myself and tie the knot with my 4 years-long partner), who thinks that making a new year’s resolution is cliche, or you are just like me, who prefers to start kicking from February on and treat the first month of this year as a period to soul searching. This way, I don’t feel the pressure of social expectations and rather enjoy the process of trying to become a better person.
The way I create my new year’s resolution is just as cliche as others, though. I will pin down several targets that I want to achieve this year or the years to come. Nevertheless, when it comes to figuring out what the targets are, I don’t do the usual. The sitting down next to a fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate thing. In my own terms, the targets will unfold accidentally throughout my days. It rather comes as a strike with the fist, whereby random conversation or social interaction will nudge me on the belly and have me noticed on something, which I want to change or improve. This is also why I give myself a month to make the list. I mean, that great conversation or meaningful experience doesn’t happen every day, right? Barney Stinson doesn’t exist in reality.
I started the process of soul searching with observation and recognise how I feel about it from the very first day. It means that I began to figure out my new year resolution when I was still on my honeymoon trip to Italy. As you can see from the pictures that I shared, I spent most of my time frolicking outdoor, in the crowd. I did this (with the accompany of my husband, of course) because, first, we want to see the famous landmarks of this country. Secondly, I want to test my people skills. This particular goal has been on my new year’s resolution for several years, and to this day, I still hardly manage to get it out of the journal! I had learnt the theory on how to improve my ability to communicate with a stranger, but the time to really apply the theory hasn’t come yet. Until one day, when we were waiting to get into St. Peter’s Basilica. The queue was immensely long and the sun shone brightly despite the winter.
We stood side by side when my husband got an idea, to kill the time by showing this long line and the surroundings to his consultant, who lives in one the Tibetan remote areas. As soon as he got on the video call. I started to shoot pictures with my camera. I managed to get a few good shots but quickly discontinued the mission as I just found the right moment! A tall guy standing next to his wife (later I knew from our conversation) was also on the line to get into the biggest Cathedral in the world.
He was holding a very advanced-looking camera. In comparison to his cool gadget, my iPhone 5s built-in camera is nothing. The feeling of “This guy will take much better pictures and thus convey a more beautiful story than me”, devalued my self-esteem, at least, until the fighter side in me told me the other thing. The idea of practising my people skills kicked in. So, I gathered my gut, called back all the theories that I learnt from “Do Talk With Strangers” and did it. Taking my sight from his camera, I looked at his face, searching for signals. Once that signal appeared in the form of a smile, I addressed him (based on the theory that I have learnt, a smile is a sign of welcome).
What I encountered was too precious to be missed. From our conversation, I knew that his wife is pregnant. We had a nice conversation about pregnancy and she shared a few tips I wanted to know about dealing with a bloated tummy for nine months! (You got it right, I want to have my own child in the future). Also from the conversation, I knew that they are Swedish! citizens of a neighbouring country to Finland (where we came from). As though the conversation didn’t reveal enough surprise to me, they told us (my husband has finally finished the talk and joined us) about their excursion to Colosseum and how it turned out to be a bit disappointing. We planned to visit the grand theatre in the next day! and the information they gave us, helped us to be more prepared with our own journey. Given all the surprise that turned out to be a valuable conversation, I was assured that in 2020, becoming more open to human connection is one of the main targets of my new year’s resolution. To complement that big goal, here’s the list of what I aim to achieve in 2020:
– I choose love than fear
– Eat healthier
– More exercise
– Learn to speak Finnish!
And there they are.. that’s how I plan ahead with the 2020 in my own way. What about you?