If you are in any way a regular reader of blogs then by now your brain is probably saturated with the new year’s resolutions of people you’ve never met. You will have been given a healthy dose of PMA and guided through the many ways to approach 2015 with all of the vigour and enthusiasm of newly discovered super hero. Congrats.
Now I ain’t no hater, I know these kind of posts are often well-written, helpful and even funny, but what if you are not happy this new year? I’m just putting it out there.
A year ago today I was about 4 days away from walking into A&E and telling them I was afraid of my own mind. Not chirpy, but true. I don’t even remember NYE 2013. I think we went to bed way before midnight, though I was probably up again by the time Big Ben chimed us into the new year, breast-feeding or having some such fun. Bleurgh.
Who the hell came up with dry January anyway? Since Stoptober and Movember started every month seems to have to need a ‘thing’. Well, if that is the case then how about reduced-working-hours-January? I feel this would be a popular move. I mean, come on, it’s dark a FOUR O’CLOCK and no one’s saving up for Christmas any more, just let us go home at 3pm. We’ll all be more productive. Promise. (quick, someone start a petition). In fact, I’m with the bears, January is not a month that we should have to be awake for. At all.
Then we have New Year’s Eve itself. Or, as I like to call it, the night of a million disappointments. I’m not saying that I am disappointed in a million different ways each year, you understand. I may exaggerate for a comic effect but I’m not a melodramatic 17-year-old. I am pretty sure, though, that a million people in Britain this very night will endure an evening that does not live up to their inflated expectations. It’s your local pub, just because they charge you £25 to get in and provide sausage rolls doesn’t mean it will suddenly become an arena of exhilaration and delight.
The first NYE I ventured out on the town was 1999. I do not feel we lived up the the promise of Prince’s lyrics in seeing in the Millennium, however. My night largely consisted of dragging my heels around the chilly South London streets looking for a party, whilst counselling a lovely boy who was completely besotted with my best friend. Meanwhile, she strolled 5 paces ahead at the centre of a group of lads to whom I was pretty much invisible. Sigh. My only fond memory of that night is the dark purple feather boa I rocked. Aw yeah.
I accept that it is likely my attitude towards NYE was slightly coloured by this early experience (not that I’m bitter), but I have found since I stopped giving a shit about New Years Eve and started refusing to spend any money on entry fees or extortionate taxi fares, it has been a much more enjoyable occasion. Top tip.
So perhaps you are full of cheer and optimism as 2015 approaches. But you may also feel a bit like you are staring into a sleep-deprived abyss. Or, somewhere in the middle, just not particularly enthused by another year of the same. Maybe you’re a bit sick of things but don’t feel like writing a, frankly unrealistic, list of the ways you are going to change in the next 12 months. You just can’t be arsed.
If I’m honest, I’m probably dangling on the more positive side of my moody pendulum at the moment. I’m thinking I’ll give this writing lark a bit of a try and, unlike this time last year, I’m mostly enjoying parenthood (you, know when it’s not stressful and/or boring). So huzzah for me! But I’d like to think if I didn’t feel like this that would okay too. Because at the end of the day there is no ancient magical curse put on 31st December in which anyone lacking a genuine smile at midnight is doomed to a year of failure. There just isn’t. Many very interesting, attractive and generally nice people will not enjoy new years eve at least 5 times during their lives. Fact.*
So, have a drink, or don’t. Go out or stay in. Stay up or go to bed at 9pm with a good book. Make 12 resolutions (one for each month) and laminate them; or don’t make any. Who bloody cares? It’s your life, I hope it’s a happy one at some point, in fact at most points, this year.
*Yes, I know reducing your alcohol intake is very good for your mental health, but, you know, gin.
* This fact is 100% made up. Fact.