What did you learn from your partner in 2015?

I don’t have any resolutions for 2016, and my endless thanks go to my partner Elle – who is my inspiration and constant supporter in life – for that fact. Aside from some rough goals we like to recognise the ways of thinking worth taking forward and then see where the new year will take us. We can’t wait.

What would your list for 2015 look like? Yours might be very different, but here are some thoughts about the year we’ll be bringing into 2016:

– Plan not to plan: For us, the best laid plans are easily distracted (“squirrel!!!”), so we don’t bother any more. Spontaneity and an eye for something random tend to work better. 

– The best things in life really are free: A random adventure might turn out to be brilliant or a damp squib, but how many days spent in a shopping centre will you remember years from now? We almost never buy expensive presents or have any temptation to ‘upscale’ our lives (which is a way, in our humble view, of mortgaging ourselves against future changes). For us, shopping bags are for books and movies. After that we become bored.

– Nothing more valuable than time: We like to use money to create time for ourselves, not more money. One is more valuable than the other.

– No dress codes ever: Life’s too short.

– Look for the soulful: We live near Belfast, a stunning city. Not everyone sees the place this way but with a little looking the city has a great deal of heart and soul (and fun too). 

– Don’t say or imply ‘should’: To anyone.

– Don’t make me happy: Our happiness, we find, is our own responsibility to find, communicate and help each other with. It is down us to do these things. We can only make each other ‘happier’, not make each other happy in the first place. This approach really works for us.

– Do the things we’ve always wanted: The words, said in passing, “I always wanted to…” are a huge green light. Is it a bad idea? Maybe. Better to do it and know the outcome than spend ten times as long wondering. We can always laugh about it afterwards either way.

This was our 2015, the year of a lifetime. 

Here’s to your 2016.

*Dedicated, with love, to Elle

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