Yes I know, it’s already halfway through January, so why am I writing a post about New Year’s resolutions? Well the thing is, at first I’d resolved definitely NOT to make any resolutions this year, just for once, because I never stick to them anyway and they never work out and what’s the bloody point, I found myself musing. So why now, two weeks into January, have I ended up deciding that I will make some, after all? Just a few? You know, just in case this time they really do work out?
What is it with New Year’s resolutions? Why do we hunger for them, the whole idea of them? Is it because we honestly believe that New Year = Fresh Start? Or is it merely a form of addiction? A hopeless kind of fairytale longing? Blind optimism? Blind stubbornness? Blind determination? Determination to do better, be better? A better person. A more attractive person. A slimmer person. A healthier person. In everything you do. An all-round more successful human being who will at last be able to run your life properly, body and mind. New Year’s Resolutions, here I come! A chance to IMPROVE!
So who actually writes them? More to the point, who actually keeps them? If you do, anonymous reader, then can I officially label you a geek? No, don’t get me wrong – I don’t mean to offend anyone out there – but aren’t you in fact just a bit of odd if you really and truly manage to stick to all your New Year’s resolutions? To fulfil them? Lose that weight? Get that promotion? Stand up to that bully? Finish that project? Pass that test? Do that regular jogging? Find that true love? Make it last? Make it work? Be a better … let me see now … mother/wife/daughter/son/friend/colleague/employer/employee/dog owner/citizen of the world?
My God, but what a task! How many of us actually believe, every time another January swings round, that this time we’ll actually succeed in keeping our resolutions and improving ourselves and our lives? That’s what I meant about being a geek, if you do succeed. Or maybe an alchemist. Because anyone who has worked out the secret potion that combines the art of making and keeping into a successful chemical reaction that doesn’t explode upon impact, is a magic maker. And if that’s what you are, then I congratulate you. Seriously.
I won’t bother telling you about my New Year’s lists from years gone by – youthful outpourings that were in fact nothing more than impossible yearnings. Entreaties to an invisible God. Desperate supplications such as: please let my breasts grow bigger, please let Diego love me, please let my mum and dad stop fighting, please let me live in Dreamland … et cetera, et cetera. And now, x number of years down the road and very much older though not all that much wiser, my New Year’s list has evolved into pledges such as:
Be more patient with my children.
Be more patient with my husband.
Be more patient with my dog.
(There are a few others I could admit to, but I won’t because they’re too embarrassing.)
The trouble is, resolutions can very quickly become out of date. Regarding the above list, for instance, my children have flown the nest; so has my husband; and my dog has died. Resolutions redundant! However, I do have another dog now – an adopted Belgian Malinois who has proven to be just a bit mad (something I did not know when I took him on as a tiny, sickly puppy) – so at least patience is still a very active resolution.
But here’s the question: did that aforementioned batch of pledges stop me from making a new batch, the following year? And the next year? And this year?
No it most certainly did not!
Anyway, Whatever. I’ve made them now. For 2023. All fifteen of them. Earnest, heartfelt, well-meaning pledges/wishes/resolutions. Two weeks late, but never mind – they’re done. Written down in the front page of my brand new diary, all nice and neat, with a pretty picture and quote pasted in. I’m like a child at times like this. Full of hope. After all, New Year = new start = new chance to be better, right? Who doesn’t want that?
Is it the same with you? Are we all childish dreamers at heart?
And if so, then what’s wrong in that? Better to dream foolishly than not to dream at all.