Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone !
I hope that you have all had a nice Christmas / New Year break.
For those of you in the chilly north, I hope your brass balls are all still in tact.
For those of you in the burning south, I hope your 100+ sunscreen and air conditioners have been working.

I stand here before you, gazing out into the second decade of the second millenium.  Or maybe not quite, depending on how you choose to count these things – do you really start the count at 0 or at 1?  Anyway, I digress.

I notice from blog reading over the break that there is an anti-resolution movement going on.  Instead folk are looking forward to the new year in all sorts of other ways.  I particularly liked the idea of choosing a word by which you will live, and blog, during the coming year.  I think that has potential to keep me focused on the good things in life rather than the transient bad stuff.  However, I’m unsure about taking on such a thematic “resolution”, as I have had a hard enough time keeping to those few existing blogging commitments that I have in place.  The most obvious one of these being the gaping holes where there should have been book reviews.

It would be too easy to say that more changes in lifestyle are the cause of my hit and miss blogging, but what was my excuse before?  Ah yes, the old chestnut – busyness.

Still, if I were to choose a theme for life and blogging this year, it would be Simplicity.

One of the blogs I have started to browse through is called Study Hacks. It is written by an MIT post-doc and author.  I can’t recall how I ended up here, but I’ve stuck around and have been inspired to read through some of his posts.  What I like about his attitude to education and getting a degree is that you should have, in essence, a simple life and simple approach.  Yet you should still be impressive.  I particularly like his pithy little motto for this:

Do Less. Live More. Get Ahead.

You can’t say fairer than that, now can you?  I think that this would make a great motto for my life in 2010.  For those who know me well, you will know that I have what may in other cultures be called “a monkey mind”.  I seem to be the sort of personality who can’t just do one thing at a time and do it really well.  Need an example of the monkey mind in action?

The Library.
My Achilles heel.  As Mr Oh can readily attest to, I find it almost impossible to walk into a library and come out without a book.  That wouldn’t really be so bad, if I could restrict myself to one or two.  As it happens I have a tendency to borrow as many books as I can carry, on as many and varied a topic as you’d see anywhere.  I haven’t, to my knowledge, ever maxed out my borrowing – 35 books is a lot for one person to carry – but one day I’m sure I’ll have to give it a go.  Do you think it is possible for a non-speed reader to manage to get through even 15 books over a maximum loan period of 42 days?  For those who like to know these sorts of things – that would be one book read every 2.8 days !   Currently there are 12 library books in our house, so that’s all right then – I get a huge 3.5 days to read each book.  Hah !  I could barely turn all of the pages in 42 days, never mind read them all.

I won’t regale you with the many, many, many other examples of my need to “Do Less. Live More. Get Ahead.” because that wouldn’t be doing less, now would it?

So, you see my point.  I feel that I could do with a bit of simplification in a number of areas of life, excluded here for brevity’s sake and as a tiny stab at simplifying-in-action.

Yes.  I think I will do it.  I think 2010 will be my year of Simplicity.  No more convoluted ways of doing things.  No more piles of library books waiting on my table (that’ll be the hardest one).  Pare down and remove the unnecessary drivel from Oh Waily posts… I know, I know, how on earth am I going to manage not to witter on aimlessly.  No more endless task lists.  Oops, hang on, that one might have to stay – kids, work, self, significant other, family, friends, uggh – housework?

I can’t reduce absolutely everything down to the nub, can I?

Hmm.  Let this be the end of complexity and the beginning of The Year of Simplicity.


I can heartily recommend Study Hacks if you are a student, or wish to take a proactive role in your work.  I’m certain a lot of his ideas would translate to many types of jobs.

If a thematic approach to the Year ahead sounds like a good idea to you, let me know if you plan to do it too.  Misery loves company. Many a little makes a mickle, as the proverb goes.

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