It has become a little tradition for me, to revive myself and this blog during Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas. And because I record my resolutions yearly, it makes me want to become better at keeping them. But also be better at making them. So I’m starting ‘early’ this year (before Christmas!!).

I recently had a conversation with a good friend about the concept of a bucket list. The main reason we had this conversation was because bucket-lists don’t really work out that great in day to day life. It’s a bit of a ‘someday’ thing. And we all know that ‘someday’ is not a day in the week. Someday hardly ever happens. We’ve got to actively pursue the things we want to do, and convert our somedays to everydays.

Ok, so maybe not every day. But day-to-day life can do with a little more ‘someday’. And I figured: what better way to start out then with resolutions. And maybe we can start out changing our habits a little bit – and that’s where we go full circle (it’s not big of a circle) again for the everyday resolutions.

Bottom-line/tl;dr: in my opinion resolutions are still not bullshit and we can still better ourselves in our daily lives to become better persons with more fun lives.

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2015 has been a year of some pretty good highs in a general state of low, if I may be so blunt. While staying on the grind I visited my friend in Copenhagen at the beginning of the year, went to Paris for a weekend in spring for the Studio Ghibli exhibit, worked on some pretty nice exhibitions when I was interning, visited the beach numerous times spontaneously, finished my thesis and graduated, saw Sufjan Stevens perform live (and dozed off for a couple of magical seconds there), had a wonderful trip to Vilnius…and pretty much stayed employed throughout the year. I know I can feel proud, but I sort of don’t really?

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what I’d like to change in the coming year. 2015 just wasn’t really my year I guess. Here are my three resolutions to make 2016 more my kind of year.

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split vilnius 2

My best travelbuddy/friend and I decided over the summer that we should go somewhere again. I haven’t really been sticking to my resolutions, so a little break wouldn’t do any harm. This time we embraced the truly unknown and got our asses over to Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Hello February! This year my resolutions were small in size but kind of big in impact. On #1 it said read more. And while January is now officially over I still hadn’t quite figured out what my goals for this resolution were. So here I am, sharing a little list of books (only 4, for now) that I want to have read in this first half of 2015. So that I can maybe finish eight books (or more) in total this year and up my reading game again.

In no particular order, here are the books I’m planning to have read before July 1st:

Goodbye Tsugumi, Banana Yoshimoto
This book was recommended to me by a friend of mine, well actually the author was recommended and I just happened to like this synopsis most (and I had a Waterstones giftcard!?). “An elegiac story of two young cousins coming of age at the Japanese seaside, Goodybe Tsugumi is an enchanting novel from one of Japan’s finest writers” – It’s about Maria and Tsugumi. Maria chooses to go to Tokyo for university and Tsugumi invites her to spend a last summer by the sea. And then there’s something on the back about finding the true meaning of home and your inner self… but anyway, I’ll let you know if I think it’s worth your time. And if you’ve read it, or anything from this author: let me know!

Is Everyone Haning Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Mindy Kaling
Well, it’s a bit obvious why I wanted to read this I guess. I’m a big fan of the woman and I love her show where she’s playing the role of Mindy Lahiri. Getting this book as a present for myself was kind of unquestionable. It’s a bit of a memoir, how Mindy put it herself in her (witty) introduction: “In this book I write a lot about romance, female friendships, unfair situations that now seem funny in retrospect, unfair situations that I still fon’t think are funny, Hollywood, heartache, and my childhood. Just that really hard-core, masculine stuff men love to read about.

Oorlog en Terpentijn, Stefan Hertmans
This is a book from a Belgian author who won the AKO-Literatuurprijs, it’s a literature prize in the Netherlands and Belgium. And while I’m usually not that into Dutch (or Flemish) literature, I was really into this book and what I heard about it. I got a free copy from the place I work, so obviously it’s added to my list. The book is based on some old notebooks Hertmans got from his grandfather just before his death. Hertmans never dared to open them, until the moment he did. And this book covers the story of his grandfather. A life that was proven to be scarred by poor childhood in Ghent from 1900 through the horrific experiences as a frontline soldier in the First World War and the death of his great love. I’m not sure if this book is available in English, but I’ll let you know what I think when I’m finished.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Haruki Murakami
Oh Murakami. I dare say that he is my favourite author. While I haven’t gotten through the second book of 1Q84, I still absolutely love his work. I’m trying to collect all the stories I want to read that he’s written, as I have been doing over the past couple of years. This book is no exception. I’ve heard a lot of things about this book, that it might be depressing… but I still love the ways of Murakami. “Tsukuru Tazaki always saw his four best friends from high school as colorful, lively people who made him more than the colorless person he felt he was. Therefore, Tsukuru became depressed following his sophomore year in college when his friends told him that they did not want to be friends anymore without explaining why. He spent five months contemplating suicide.

So I think I’ll start with a not so big book first, and then hopefully slowly and steadily finish them all. My graduation takes place within this period: my thesis needs to be finished and I need to complete my internship and write another report on that. But I try not to find excuses to not do this (but I also don’t want to use these books as procrastination), so we’ll see how this goes.

How are your resolutions panning out? If you guys have any recommendations, reading tips (like, when do you guys like to read?) or just well, anything book-related I’d love to know. Happy February! x