You may have noticed of late that I’m not blogging as often as I used to. That’s because life has been taking me places that aren’t really conducive to much real activism thinking or time to write. I don’t like this at all, it’s not a place I really want to be. Usually for me, my activism is like a second, unpaid, full-time job – one that has my passion and my commitment. Sadly over the past months I have found every day life to be far too stressful to be able to devote the time and energy to my activism that I would like to.
That said, it is a new year – Happy New Year everyone – and it’s time for me to reassess what is important to me and where I want my life to be going. When I look back on 2012, it is mostly with fondness. Many good things happened – from my involvement with the Stocky Bodies project, some really positive media participation, an amazing trip to New Zealand complete with Fat Studies conference, and some great personal happenings too. But the end of the year has left me physically and emotionally exhausted and with my stress levels far higher than I believe is healthy for me. I find myself dwelling too much on my day job and not enough on my actual life. So I thought it was time for me to sit down and put together a bit of a wish list for the new year, to help me focus on what is really important to me. Since I haven’t blogged much of late, I thought I could share it with all of you and invite you to share your wish list for 2013 too, plus it’s then here for us to look back on later.
At the beginning of 2012, I declared it to be the “Year of Living Fatly“. I think I pretty much met the goals I listed on that post. Looking back at them now I am sure I did them all. So there’s a tick in that box. This year, I think I want to make it the Year of Fat Creativity”. I don’t do resolutions but I like to aim for things from time to time, to redirect my life into the channels I want it to go, not those that I sort of drift into. With so much work stress on my shoulders of late, I feel like I’ve let go of all of the creativity that I have always had burbling away in me. I really feel the need to get back to doing the things that make me feel good, keep my stress levels at bay and matter to me.
What does that include? Let’s see…
1. I will try to concentrate on fat positivity. I will highlight people who are doing awesome things in fat activism, and talk about places, events, etc where fatness is celebrated and valued. Fat hate, fat shaming and fat stigma are not worthy of my attention other than to speak up and state clearly that it’s not acceptable. It’s time that the celebrations of our fat lives were placed front and centre.
2. Work needs to stay at work. When I walk out of the door of an afternoon, I do not want to be dwelling on the stresses of my work day. I don’t get paid for the hours I am not at work, so work does not get to encroach into that time.
3. It’s time I pursued my love of photography. This year I would like to get myself a decent SLR camera and perhaps take some photography classes. I’d like to start photographing fat women (and men sometimes) in a positive light, plus documenting the beautiful area that I live.
4. I will spend at least one hour per day, on at least 5 days per week, outside. I live in fucking paradise. I need to be outside, even if it’s just going for a walk, or taking a book out under a tree, or a bike ride, as many days per week as I can.
5. I will try to support as many independent businesses and artists as I can. I find the current state of commercial retail especially horrible at the moment. I need to stop giving those big companies my money as much as possible. Besides, as a very fat woman, so few mainstream businesses give a shit about me, it is stressful shopping in brick and mortar stores. I will shop online or at small businesses and markets as much as I can.
6. I will try to devote more time to writing. Not let work get in the way. Not just blogging but writing in general. And I need to write that book that I’ve been picking away at for the past couple of years.
7. I will continue to live my life fatly. No apologising for my body, my weight, my appearance, the space I take up. And I will encourage others to do so as well.
OK loves, what about you? What are your aims for 2013?