I always find December 31st and January 1st particularly odd times of the year– or rather, two years depending on how you look at it. This whole concept of a new year automatically brings with the a guise of hope, that everything will be better once the clock hits midnight.
A new year, a new you.
It’s kind of like not being able to start a diet on a Wednesday, it has to be a Monday because that’s the beginning of the week– a new week, a new diet. I remember two friends in high school who were always on and off new diets and eating fads, and they just could not (or would not) start a diet on any day other than a Monday. Ironically, this also allowed them plenty of leeway to forget about the new challenge after a few days had passed waiting for Monday to arrive.
Of course, I don’t think it’s a way of generally putting off a new commitment. Personally, I enjoy the tradition. Having a specific date gives people a target and, in many cases, some credibility. There’s always people who want to know– questions “go on, what’s your new year’s resolution?” or “so, made any resolutions?” are commonplace on January 1st.
I’d go as far too say in many cases they suppress the typical “how are you?”.
Last new years day I didn’t make any resolutions though apparently. I wrote on Facebook that I might make some drunken commitments at midnight– resolutions I mean, not one night stands!– but I don’t seem to have written about anything on here or elsewhere. Maybe I hoped that I would remember? Or maybe I purposely didn’t write them down to I didn’t have the regret on December 31st of not fufilling them.
Instead, I wrote a long, long list of things that I would like to do in 2013. Tasks, rather than resolutions. I called it The “2013: Let’s Do This” List. I ticked off 45 out of 114 tasks on that list– a pretty dismal attempt in all honesty. In fact, a lot of the things I ticked off I’d only put on there in the first place because I was already planning to do each of the things: everything I planned to do in America was essentially already booked and sorted by Christmas, and everything academic was almost certain. Things like watching films, reading books and buying certain things shouldn’t have been too difficult.
In fact, looking at the list now I should have a much higher percentage ticked off. But I didn’t go through the year watching the list, nor did I put any effort into ticking everything off. I never went out with the aim of completing it all, it was more of a lazy venture.
And yet I’m still slightly disappointed with myself.
I think that’s a big problem with all of this new year malarky– most people will be disappointed come December. But I don’t think it’s because we set our expectations too high, or we’re far too lazy to get anything done. In fact, with the amount (and length) of statuses that I saw on Facebook and Instagram last night I know many people had absolutely fantastic years despite many low points. To be honest, I think it’s because at the end of the day (or should I say year) we are different people.
There is not one single person who can tell you for certain the step by step route that their year is going to take. This time next year you could be married, divorced, seeing someone, pregnant, rich or poor. You could be one of those cringy couples who got engaged on Christmas Day, or you could be celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York City.
And what about the 364 days in between that?
“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book; make it a good one.”
So for my 2014? This year I did make some resolutions, of sorts. I made a far sorter list of tasks that I want to complete (which will most likely grow as the year goes on), and I’ve made some resolutions:
If you plan to do anything this year, plan to make it memorable. Take lots of photos, make new friends, visit new places and try new things. But this time next year, be able to look back on 2014 with a smile.