And now – The Year of Making Things Nice

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It’s lunchtime on New Year’s Day, and I haven’t showered yet.  At least the morning started productively in the vegie garden. That means the year started productively.

A breakfast with family, some gentle chats and eventually some keyboard work on this sadly-neglected blog rounded off the morning.

I’ll shower and then explain what I mean by “The Year of Making Things Nice”.

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“Nice” is a difficult word. I resorted to the dictionary. According to the Oxford, it started out as a negative term meaning “wantonness, extravagance, and ostentation, as well as cowardice and sloth”. Now I understand it’s ironic usage in Kath and Kim!

In the Middle Ages, to be nice was to be shy and reserved. In Victorian times, when shy and reserved was all the rage, being nice became a respectable virtue.

Today, it generally means something pleasant.

For me this year, it’s not about either extravagance or shyness. And it’s not about being pleasant. It looks like I’m making up my own definition.

I think”nice” will simply mean taking something that is not living up to its potential and making sure it does. If that’s making things pleasant, then I’ll re-define “pleasant” as needed.

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The Year Of Format

It’s been a successful format … most years.

The idea is to take some time at the end of the year to ponder one’s lot and think up a short catchphrase that will underpin and focus the next 12 months.

It began innocently enough with the Year of Music in 2010 when I made an effort to add more music to my life. The big win was coming to grips with an iPod Nano that had languished for years in my desk draw.

This was followed by the Year of Limited Purchases, to get my credit card under control; the Year of Efficient Eating, to improve my eating habits (and co-incidentally learn how to blog); and the Year of Sweat, to get some exercise.

The subsequent Year of Sweat Squared was not a success because it lacked novelty. Thankfully, the Year of Liveability saw the format back on track and 2015 proved to be a bumper year for getting a few things done.

But … then it all fell very flat with the Year of 30 Days. It seems that the format thrives when it is about action-based learning, not just learning for the sake of learning.

So for 2017, action it is … making things nice!

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References

Oxford Dictionary “What is the strangest change in a word’s meaning?” http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/10/change-in-word-meanings/

National Film and Sound Archive “Kath and Kim (2002 – 2007)” http://aso.gov.au/titles/series/kath-and-kim/

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