I’m usually not a fan of new year’s resolutions, I don’t like the idea of unnecessarily putting on oneself, especially since the time between Christmas and NYE already can be stressful enough. So far, I’ve always had my goals for a new year to come some time during fall. This year, I decided to do a shopping (for clothes and accessories) detox for three months, and even though I had to push the date from when I begin, I’m not less committed to it. Until today, my other resolutions were pretty basic, the stuff you hear all the time: exercise more (which I keep telling myself throughout the year – but I went on a run yesterday and even today) and eat healthy (not so easy, because it’s still hard for me to find a balance). But these two were mostly it. At least up to this day.
As you may know, I just recently moved to Cologne. It was such a hassle to find a place at first, then I suddenly had two appartments (I was a catsitter in the second), which meant that I constantly had to go back and forth the places I lived. In addition to that, I’m currently working two jobs, neither of them in Cologne, and so on an average day, I spend at least 3 hours in public transportation. At the moment, the catsitting part has been sorted out. And by the end of January, one of my temporary work contracts will also come to an end. Things will become easier eventually.
Now that you know the story, my first resolution for the new year probably won’t come as a surprise. Spending an insane amount of time on trains has made me realize that getting a driver’s license isn’t that much of an option as I once thought. I used to think that having a car is a luxury I don’t need. But that was when I lived in Paris. Now, it’s very different, it even makes more sense to have a car than having to go by train all the time. Sure, it’s not great for the environment, but having to spend 3 hrs vs 40 min just to get to and from work, it’s a no brainer. And that’s coming from me, who hates driving, gets easily distracted and immediately feels the need of taking a nap as soon as the car starts moving. But passing my driver’s license would definitely be an achievement. And I would only drive automatic or hopefully one of these robot cars that do everything for you.
My second resolution also has to do with my current living situation. Right now, I’m sharing an appartment with 3 other people. (3 seems to be the magic number in this post.) We get along well, at least so far (I think one month is hardly enough to assess that). But of course, it can also be challenging, especially because we only have a tiny kitchen and also just one typically German bathroom, meaning that the toilet is not separated. So you better don’t come home totally shit-faced – there’s always a risk of someone taking a long, relaxing bubble bath while you, destroyed from what was supposed to be just one drink after work, are frantically trying to find a bucket or anything to contain all the drinks you ingurgitated, and which are just about to make a second appearance. (Of course, wine country France has the toilet/bathroom situation figured out.)
I’ve also learned that living in a shared appartment with just one bathroom is not the moment for latent food intolerances to become apparant.
But it’s not just a question of practicality and comfort. Having to live with other people means adapting to their mentalities. I just found out that my roommates and I seem to have a different understanding of cleaning, which is funny, because I always thought to be the complicated one. It’s not new to me that cleanliness in a shared household becomes at least a tiny issue, sooner or later. What’s new is that I’m the one being told to clean better. And though I’ve never been an obsessive cleaner, I do like to keep my place nice and tidy. But my theory is that the 7 years I’ve spent in France as well as the years I worked in food service (which can be really gross) have changed my attitude towards cleaning and what is acceptable or not. In France, life is oriented to the outside. You go meet your friends in a café, go have a picnic, go out, most social activity happens outside of your home. In Germany, people tend to spend much more time at home. They invite people over, but they would never do so without having cleaned the entire appartment first. I remember that my parents would announce on a Wednesday that my grnad-parents would come over on the weekend. Just so that I had my room tidy and presentable. And my mom would go nuts vacuuming and dusting.
I’m much more relaxed than that. I don’t care if there’s still a dust particle in some corner. I don’t mind when people don’t take off their shoes when they enter my room. (I only would if I had a carpet.) And I definitely don’t want to spend hours cleaning. So I do small chunks throughout the week, whenever it’s necessary. On the contrary my roommates prefer to sacrifice an entire day to clean, no matter if things got disgusting two days before cleaning day. And so my second goal for 2019 is: Get a place on my own!
The third resolution is an old one. I still want to finish my studies, even though I find it really hard to make it a priority. It’s just more appealing to have job where I get paid. Of course I know that a degree can be useful for getting better positions with higher paychecks, but I have to provide for myself right now, too. And so far, working and studying at the same time hasn’t worked that well for me, and it’s not just an issue with time managment. I hope that’ll change this year.
Last but not least, I’d like to start a podcast with a friend. I have no idea what that’ll be like, but I’m sure it’ll be fun, even if no one will listen.
And that concludes my list. What are your resolutions? Also, happy new year!