The New Year: Fresh Start or Old Disappointment

So it seems we’ve stumbled into a new year. Good for us I guess. Now we get a fresh start to change everything we dislike about ourselves, to mould ourselves into perfect human beings. Most of us have made lists of resolutions to implement such improvements, myself included. Don’t you find, though, that you make so many it’s impossible to keep them all – OK maybe not impossible but come on, how many of your New Year’s Resolutions from 2010 have you kept? Come to think of it, how many can you remember? I don’t even know where I wrote mine down to be honest, but maybe that’s just me.

Why is it we have to wait for the new year anyway? What does the date have to do with self-improvement? In a way the whole concept of New Year’s Resolutions is quite poisonous. I mean you make this massive list of all the changes you need to make, thus simultaneously pointing out all of your faults whilst heaping pressure on yourself, and who needs more criticism or stress? Not me, thanks.

Still, I’ve made mine.  I guess I’m a sucker for society’s expected cultural norms. Or maybe I just get conned by all the positivity of the whole ‘fresh start’ thing that gets projected onto the New Year. Either way, by the end of 2011 I will have transformed myself into: a daily writer; a punctual, if not early, bird; an efficient, organised house cleaner; an app-savy technology utilizer; a money-managing budget-er; an attentive girlfriend and a regular blogger and friday flasher. That’s right, I’m going to be Superwoman! (And there were more resolutions I cut because I didn’t want to aim for too many and fail at them all…) Perhaps if you use resolutions as more of a rough guide of stuff to aim for than a list of things you must achieve (or feel like a complete failure of a human being) they’re all right, and it’s probably a good idea to focus on one in particular (mine would be ‘write every day’). You’ve just got to bear in mind that you can’t do everything (but you can do anything – not that that’s true – I mean, I can’t hurdle, or even run fast for that matter, and Dan Brown can’t write, no matter how many books he produces in the attempt.)

But what about the start to the New Year, itself? Always a let down, isn’t it? There’s just too much pressure to have a good time. (I believe Peep Show pointed this out, but I’ve been a firm believer of this fact for many years now). That said, I did have a bit of an OC moment (you know the new year’s episode in the first series where Ryan runs through the hotel to get to Marissa in time for midnight?) See, I had the misfortune to be working New Year’s Eve (I got 5 days off around Christmas – you can’t have it all when you work for a well-known-cheap-pub-chain) and my wonderful manager, in his infinite wisdom, had put me on the close on my own (you always have at least 2 people closing the kitchen) which meant that, even though we stopped serving food at 8pm I was just finishing at almost midnight. I was part-way through the kitchen check when I realised it was probably about midnight and literally ran (slowly – if you recall I can’t run fast) out to my boyfriend who was sitting in the pub to kiss him at midnight. Had the usual real-life confusion over when, exactly, it is the new year and therefore time to kiss but hey, it was nice. Then I discovered I’d be spending the first few days of the new year working horrible shifts (midday til finish New Year’s Day, 12.30pm til finish the day after and 10am – finish the day after that – consequently I had a bit of a breakdown/ hissy fit and refused to come in at 10am, leaving a rather bitchy note about employment law and the legally required 11 hours between shifts, and going in at 11.30am instead.)

One good thing about these horrible shifts is if I can write every day despite them (and I have been) I can write every day no matter what. Also, my manager is being extra nice to me at the moment – even phoned up to see if I was OK yesterday (being the day I should have done a 10am – finish) despite being off sick with the flu (actual flu – not man flu – he was vomiting in the staff room earlier in the week.)



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