So it seems that once again, New Year’s Eve has come and gone. As tradition demands, we have attended the parties, drunk the cheap champagne that no one really likes, hugged a roomful of people at midnight, failed to remember the words of Auld Lang Syne, made predictions for the year ahead and yes, you guessed it, made the inevitable list of New Year’s Resolutions.
Unless I am much mistaken (and Wednesday night’s pub quiz answers inform me that I am not), the nation’s most popular resolutions are along the lines of: lose weight, go to the gym, quit smoking, drink less, get organised, pay off debts and be more in control of finances. Honourable intentions, and truly commendable if kept to. I know that my own resolutions are rather ambitious. I plan to eat more healthily and say a sad farewell to Galaxy chocolate bars after a bad day, drink more water, go to the gym, get fit, stay in control of my finances, get some work experience, get a summer job, be horrendously organised, write more, blog more, moan less, listen more and spend more time with God. And somewhere in amongst my being such a virtual supergirl, somehow make time for myself and you know, perhaps sleep?
Yes, I am well aware of the fact that such resolves will require an unreasonable amount of willpower and in all likelihood, I will fail miserably. Many of my friends are keen to point out what they see as the fruitlessness of making New Year’s Resolutions, as they claim that such noble intents have unrealistic and hence unattainable ends. Not to mention the fact that we make these resolutions every year, and somehow, come December 31st, we’re in a largely similar position to that in which we found ourselves twelve months earlier. Does this then make the whole concept of making resolutions pointless and obsolete? Against the above evidence, I would argue not. There is something beautiful about the hope that we can mend our rotten ways and resist the temptation of a chocolate bar on our way home at the end of the day, and that we will be able to find a positive prognosis for that chronic disorganisation disorder. And if there are aspects of our lives that we are keen to change, why shouldn’t we have a day, easily set aside as a turning point? In the middle of the year, there seems little urgency to do so, and the words ‘tomorrow’ or ‘next week’ seem to feature heavily in our vows to sort our lives out. Come January 1st though, it seems there is little excuse, and even if all this is purely metaphorical, when did having such good intentions become a crime? Maybe this year, our collective resolution should be to drop the pessimism, and dare to hope that this could be the year we change our lives. Here’s hoping.