New year resolutions. A concept, surely, that came out of the very pits of hell itself.
Here’s the scenario. You’re bloated, hung-over, broke and sleep-deprived after the two-week binge of excess food, drink and pointless social gatherings that is Christmas.
So here’s a way of cheering yourself up. Pinpoint a bunch of stuff that’s bad about yourself, publicly declare you’re going to change, then fail miserably. Cue much pointing and laughing.
Here’s some of my recent resolutions and the actions (for want of a better word) I’ve taken to, erm, resolve them.
A favourite from way back in 2006. I’ve never been to Turkey, had no plan to visit the country, nor do I know any Turkish folk. Yet one cold January I determinedly marched down to my local library, looked briefly at a Turkish language CD before leaving empty-handed after deciding the £1.50 per week rental charge was way too much.
Take flying lessons
I think I may have been reading something about Douglas Bader before this particular ill-fated resolution which, predictably, got no closer to take-off than a cursory Google search.
Give up coffee
Never gonna happen but it makes an appearance almost every New Year.
I suppose this quick glance through my unresolved resolutions shows I’m not anti-resolutions, rather it is the timing I have a problem with.
My solution is simple. Keep resolutions for January 1 but move all the two-week orgy of drinking, gluttony and bone-idleness which precedes it to a more suitable time.
It’s a tradition dating back to olden times when we spent all winter days toiling in sodden fields and all night freezing around a single piece of coal in candle-lit hovels. Christmas was the one little spot of brightness on the otherwise grey and miserable winter months. That’s no longer the case. Most of us don’t toil in sodden fields, and thankfully most of us don’t reside in candle-lit hovels. So why do we need the secular guff that now surrounds Christmas?
I’m not saying get rid of the two-week booze-fest. Far from it. But let’s shift it to another date, say June, when it is usually sunny and we can drink and be merry sat on the patio.
Keep Christmas in December but as a more sober affair. Then come January we’ll all be in a better frame of mind to start those Turkish lessons.