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Resolutions 2021

Manjula Padmanabhan | Updated on January 17, 2021

ILLUSTRATION: MANJULA PADMANABHAN

This year, on Facebook, I saw that someone had posted a list of EASY RESOLUTIONS. I didn’t copy them down but they were like: “In 2021, I resolve to (1) Eat Too Much (2) Sleep All Day (3) Take Hot Showers...” You get the idea, right? Cut yourself a break because — hey! No one else will.

So here are 21 of what I’m going to call Win-Win Resolutions

1. Wake up every morning. Or afternoon. Or whenever. The main point here is, Wake Up.

2. In order to help yourself wake up efficiently, set the alarm on your Smartphone to a gentle musical tone, so that your first moments are pleasant. My alarm, for instance, sounds like a very spaced-out butterfly wandering into a wind chime. It makes a calm, tinkly sound. Plus, I keep the volume of the alarm so low that, basically, I’m not alarmed at all.

3. Be sure to set the alarm on “Snooze”. This way, on those rare mornings when the alarm actually wakes you up, you can turn it off again for another four minutes. I used to have a totalitarian alarm clock that allowed me only one “Snooze” per morning. Baaaad idea! Omigosh. I spent that whole year falling out of bed, trying to silence the phone before it woke me up! The clock in my current phone is totally chill, rather like that butterfly which has been trained to fly into wind chimes. It (the clock, not the butterfly) will “Snooze” unlimitedly. So much so that sometimes I decide to wake up in mid-“Snooze” rather than wait for it to go off yet again.

4. Set the phone close enough that you can “Snooze” it efficiently. There’s nothing more stressful than having to search for a butterfly that’s flying into wind chimes while you’re still asleep. The reason that happens to me is that I usually go to bed around two in the morning. At that hour, my mind has separated itself from the rest of Me and is flapping excitedly about the room, rather like a butterfly that’s looking for wind chimes to fly into. So I have to entice it back into a restful state. One of the methods I’ve found in recent months is a series of SoundScapes, from the Audible app on Amazon. SoundScapes are collections of restful sounds such as the Ocean or a Waterfall or a Rainforest, playing continuously for a couple of hours. This is all very well, but the result is, if I do fall asleep, it’s with the phone buried inside my pillow. Whereupon I can no longer find it when the butterfly, etcetera.

5. Hmmm.

6. The way things are going, I may have to cancel the remaining 14 resolutions and steam on straight to the last one!

21. Here we are then! The final Resolution. It’s really the easiest one of all: Be Nice To Yourself. Have a wonderful year. Look after your butterflies. And keep your chimes snoozy.

Manjula Padmanabhan, author and artist, writes of her life in the fictional town of Elsewhere, US, in this weekly column

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Published on January 17, 2021
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