1. Trust the force.
‘That woman was talking about me,’ I said to P as we took our seats in a restaurant a couple of nights ago.
‘How do you know?’ he asked.
‘Because when I looked up I saw her stare at me, say something to her husband and then he turned around and stared too.’
‘Well, they saw me looking at them and stopped.’
‘It was probably nothing, babe.’
‘It was probably my wonky tits, more like.’
‘Of course it wasn’t. I can’t even notice that.’
‘Then it was probably my massive arse.’
‘For crying out loud, woman!’
‘Bloody hell, Lis, you are a one, aren’t you?’
‘Yes, a one. Your looks, your personality, your writing… you’re continually worrying about what other people think.’
He’s right, of course; I am. And I always have been; it’s innate. But I suspect the time has come to stop blaming said insecurity on my genes. See, Mum’s just the same; as was my Nan – she even used to get paranoid when I’d call her from my bus ride home from work.
‘What must people think of me?’ she’d ask.
‘But Nan, nobody can hear you!’ I’d say.
‘They must all be thinking what a daft old woman I am,’ she’d say, regardless of any comfort I could offer (or, indeed, the truth that she couldn’t have been further from a daft old woman.)
My 1993 school report read: ‘Lisa occasionally takes diligence to extremes, but is often puzzlingly unsure and in need of reassurance,’ and it’s fair to say that little has changed since. Hence, having more confidence in myself is a resolution I could make any year – and probably do, on the sly – but lately (translation: since getting a bit of a telling-off about it from Dad and P) I’ve suspected that it might be getting in the way of the things I’m trying to achieve. My new book, for one. Given that it’s not a story borne out of a blog through which I’m getting immediate feedback from readers, it’s as different to writing The C-Word (y’know, that book I said I’d stop mentioning this year) as chalk is to cheese. And so frightened am I of people thinking that it’s a bunch of toss (read: that I am a bunch of toss) that I’m using my fear as a reason to write on go-slow, when there’s absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t be powering ahead with it at bugger-the-consequences speed.
I’m hoping that having said that out loud will give me the momentum I need to stop putting fretting before typing. Because, I suppose, nobody but me can administer this kick up the arse. (The same arse that I still maintain that the woman in the restaurant thought was massive.)
2. Operation Legs ’11.
I can’t help but think that the above resolution will be greatly remedied by losing a stone. Nor can I help but think that my previous sentence makes me a predictable, vapid bore of a dullard. But be that as it may, this is something I must do. Not that I believe losing a stone will help with my next book, mind. (Actually, that’s a massive fib. In my mind, losing a stone will give me all manner of superpowers, not least the diligence to fire out four novels a year, the ability to tan beautifully at the merest hint of sun and the gift of being able to wear skinny jeans without looking like I’ve been fed through a sausage machine.) It’s more that, pre-Bullshit, I was exactly a stone lighter than I am right now. And very happy I was about it too. And yes, the gain in the meantime is more down to steroids and menopause and Tamoxifen than sweets and muffins and Tunnock’s Teacakes (sort of) but, if I’m to do my soon-to-be-reconstructed bust the justice it deserves, it’s time to get back to Fat Club and into some low-cut tops. *backs away from caramel macchiato*
3. Avoid asterisk abuse.
*gets a kick out of putting things in between asterisks to denote action*
*appreciates it can be rather annoying*
*resolves not to do it so often*
4. State the obvious.
Lisa Lynch… is going to stop beginning her Facebook statuses with auxiliary verbs. Which is a relief, as she’s sick of referring to herself in the third person. After all, she’s not a football manager. Or Robbie Williams.
5. Admit defeat.
Stop trying so hard to maintain a friendship I’ve laboured over for far too long. And that, in the words of Forrest Gump, is all I have to say about that.
6. Travel like a mofo.
Stick to last year’s pledge to never go six months without a holiday (and thus write more blog posts from hotels with views as incredible as this).
7. Keep out of hospital.
2010 saw a lot of hospital action: the BRCA stuff, the back stuff, the continued check-ups... So I don’t think it’s an altogether unfair request of the universe that I remain out of the place as much as possible in 2011. I say ‘as much as possible’, given that I’m scheduled for reconstructive surgery two weeks today for the reconstruction on my right’un – and, more importantly, that I’ll be visiting Mum when she heads in for her prophylactic surgery a few days afterwards – but even without those instances I’d be making an ‘as much as possible’ request rather than an ‘altogether’ one. I mean, come on, this is me we’re talking about. I fully expect that there’ll be a shark bite or a chopped-off finger or temporary amnaesia to deal with at some point, or that I’ll wake up one day to find that the tooth fairy has extracted each of my teeth in return for a fifty-pound note, or that my left ear has somehow been replaced with my right buttock… but, dear universe, to simply remain away from hospital more than I managed last year would be, well, exquisite.
9. Own up.
Whatever happens – even if I end up an increasingly paranoid, asterisk-obsessed, third-person-referring, friend-starved, one-book-wonder of a fatarse, unable to travel further than London thanks to a broken neck sustained after being crushed by a piano – the least I can promise is that I’ll blog about it.