Normally I’m in bed by 10 on New Year’s Eve and woken by the thud of the fireworks down on the beach at Mooloolaba. Last night though we had dinner out with friends visiting from Sydney and watched the fireworks from the beach at Cottontree and at midnight did the hugging, kissing, happy new year thing.
Still lying awake at 3am, overtired but unable to sleep, I got to thinking about what I want from this year and how to tie that into one word. I’d decided on my resolutions and goals (call them what you will) for 2023 earlier in December, but the word?
While a heap of c words had been floating through my brain, none of them seemed right. Words like commitment, consistency, challenge, courage. Words that describe qualities I need this year, but words that don’t fit well with me.
Then on Friday, I read that Vivienne Westwood had died.
You see, back in the 80s I was fascinated by art and fashion – and fashion as art. I sat in art galleries and just looked at paintings – really looked at them, and aside from music spent my money on Australian Vogue and English Vogue. I knew I’d never have the shape (or height) that could wear the clothes in the mags – and that didn’t worry me – it was the design and the colour and fabrics that interested me. The way a collection could tell a story. And Vivienne Westwood with the way she used textures and tartan and tweed – with an irreverent nod to historical influences – was an inspiration. It wasn’t just the design, but what she stood for and didn’t stand for.
You’ve got to invest in the world, you’ve got to read, you’ve got to go to art galleries, you’ve got to find out the names of plants. You’ve got to start to love the world and know about the whole genius of the human race. We’re amazing people.Vivienne westwood
Years later I went to an exhibition of Westwood’s clothes – it must have been in the early 2000s – and was inspired all over again.
Westwood was a disruptor, and I don’t mean in terms of putting a finger up to society (something she certainly did), but in terms of her creativity, and as a teenager in suburban Sydney in the 1980s I secretly wanted to do the same but knew deep down I never would and would instead conform in all the ways I should.
It’s strange, but until reading about Westwood’s passing, I’d forgotten all of that, but just like that, at 3am this morning, it all came back. It also clarified my words for 2023:
It’s these three words that I want, no need, in my life this year.
I know it’s fashionable these days not to make resolutions or set goals, but I’ve always been one that needs to. Even if I don’t achieve everything, it’s more than what I would have done if left to my own devices. This year though, instead of thinking big, I’m thinking small… Inspired by Dr. Michael Mosley’s Just One Thing I’ll be making big life changes through a series of small changes.
How will that work? Each month I’ll be tackling one part of life and trying a new “just one thing” each week. Some changes might stick, some might not, but the whole point of this is to strip back the layers and complexity, simplify my life, tweak my habits, let colour back in, and manifest the change I want to be.
First up in January I’ll be challenging the biggie – my diet, my weight. The habits that have got me back here to be within 300g of the heaviest I’ve ever been, and the mindset that is keeping me there.
Naturally I’ll keep you posted…