New year. New start? Not for me.
Every new years eve, a slowly growing feeling of dread fills me, starting on Boxing Day, right up to NYE itself.
The build up to midnight. The noise and hubub of everyone around you, clamouring to be near someone they’d like to kiss. The anticlimax once Big Ben finishes chiming and the immense smoke of the fireworks display, definitely costing more than my yearly pay packet, fades away on the television screen and you are once more shown the comparitive displays of neighbouring countries. The moment for us has passed, now let us relive it, twenty-gazillion times.
This year for me was different. For one thing, I wasn’t working behind the bar. This year marked the first year in my five year relationship where my partner and I were free to go where we wanted, with whom we wanted, without having to make sure the Christmas tree in the corner didn’t get stripped and drunks didn’t crush one another in the throws of new year joy. There was also a lack of frustration, waiting for patrons to leave the building before we could truly celebrate ourselves- this was always one of the greatest challenges to my lack of patience.
Secondly, my feeling of dread was less so, spending the new year with my partners mother and two of his brothers and their other halves meant it was less mad and pressured than the usual new year affair.
Thirdly, there were no mechanical disasters (I will never forget the fateful year I wrote off my car going to the rescue of my stranded, and drunk, sister on an icey night- don’t worry, she got a taxi whilst I waited for the pick up truck!), nor did I wake the next morning with a horrendous hangover (a rarity these days anyway, but I’m still glad it didn’t occur for New Years Day)
Now I do love a celebration, and the happiness and excitement of others often catches me before the final bong of aforementioned Big Ben. For me, New Years Eve is exciting as it marks a brand new year with my significant other, soppy as it sounds. But that is as far as it goes for me.
For others, it marks a brand new start. I’m not sure why. For me, January 1st is just another day. It’s still winter, the sun still rises and sets, and people stay the same. You could just as easily turn around and say tomorrow’s Monday, it’s a brand new start! Or each new month brings a brand new start. Or each new day.
Although not a believer in resolutions, it gives me hope some people may change for the better, but on ther whole, they don’t. This said, this only applies to those that I feel need to improve as people, but who am I to judge? If I don’t like someone, I don’t tend to interact with them much anyway.
My own resolutions, which flashed into my mind as we began the countdown, were fairly simple, and fairly easy to break too:
1) Buy less Costa coffee. Every day I waste £2 on a Costa express on the way to work, hoping it will perk me up before a busy/mad/unpredicatble day at school. It does, for about an hour. I also worked out it means I spend £10 a week, £40 a month, just on coffee. That’s a pair of Converse. Or a posh dress. Or a pair of jeans! This resolution is easy to keep, particularly as Kirsty brought me in a special coffee machine that takes magic coffee pods at work. Easy to keep, that is, until we near the first half term break of the year; pressure is suddenly high again, assessments to mark, reports to write, remembering to buy the magic coffee pods and just generally getting enough sleep all make buying that Costa much more appealing. Sorry Converse. Sorry dress. Sorry jeans. Sorry coffee machine.
2) Be happier. Again, this post probably makes me sound cynical and grumpy, which I often can be, but I honestly try to be as happy as possible as much of the time as possible. One of my best friends is insanely happy, all the time, to the point one of her students asked if she was on happy pills. Just talking to her for 10 minutes can perk me up, she’s like a drug or a happy virus, her mood is catching, and this I am very envious of. Sadly, I cannot keep that level of personal joy up consistently, I’m like the drumming gorilla on the duracell advert, sometimes I need a recharge, particuarly as I avergae about 5-6 hours of sleep a night during the week. I love my life, I love My Boy, I love my family and friends, but still, I need to turn into a grump to stay sane. Besides, being grumpy often means people are less likely to mess with me, so perhaps it is more courageous to not achieve this one, particularly when dealing with hormonal teenagers or raging drunks.
3) STOP BUYING SO MANY DVDS ON AMAZON. This will never happen. They’ve made it too easy to order things, the site remembering my payment details means it takes just one click for me to get a little rush of purchasing excitement. Besides, my love of film means I can pay back to Kirsty what she gives to me in good books, recommendations for the wierd and wonderful 🙂 I just need to make sure no one looks in the cupboard under the stairs, my not-so-secret DVD stash is hidden there and it’s getting a little bit ridiculous…
4) Stay out of debt with the dinner ladies. Our school is brilliant, a cashless system of fingerprint scans, very futuristic, and allows teachers, who are often in a rush or waiting for pay day, to go into a mini-overdraft until they can ‘top up’. This has led to a running joke amongst a few of my students, who take great pleasure in asking how much I owe the dinner ladies. Perhaps just bringing a little amusement to moody teenagers is enough reason to remain in debt, annoying the less accomodating of canteen staff (fortunately for me, 99% of them are lovely and know me by name now due to my consistent debt!) Still, an additional aim to take some soup to school could potentially help with this resolution. Until I forget to buy the soup.
5) Tolerate my neighbours. This isn’t a religious aim, just an actual my-neighbours-annoy-the-hell-out-of-me-but-I-must-live-with-it type of thing. There are hundreds of tweets on my part, lamenting the constant screaming of my neighbours non-toddler and new born. The new born I could tolerate, it can’t help it, but the spoilt brat, not so much. Where is Super Nanny when needed? Perhaps it would be braver to just confront them, but there is a social rule that one not tell parents what to do, particularly when one has limited experience with young children oneself. In this case, tolerance may be limited to not talking to them much. Damn terrace housing.
So, yes, my small and breakable resolutions really just apply to some of my quirks or daily trials, some more costly to my bank balance than others, but aren’t those quirks what make us stand out? Is it really neccessary to make such resolutions, when they’re so easily broken? This just leads to a feeling of failure when one does break them. Besides, accepting you’ll break them is much less stressful than trying to maintain the impossible. We are all creatures of comfort and reaction after all.
I think my aim for being happier is the best one, as the amazing people in my life always bring me out of my grumps repeatedly, sometimes without even realising it. For this, I am thankful, and consider myself insanely lucky to have such people in my life.
I am taking the plunge, being brave and accepting few of these resolutions will really last. The brave part being, I’m accepting how flawed I am, and am quite happy that way. And I haven’t even bothered with the rejoining of the gym. Last year the receptionists amusement at my return on January 3rd made me defiantly decide if I rejoin, it will be because I am motivated and it will not be in January. keep ’em guessing I say.
At the end of all of this, my long-running stream of thought, I genuinely wish anyone who has made them the best of luck with their resolutions, as I am sure their willpower and determination is far greater than mine. And a happy, healthy and prosperous new year is my annual wish to all too, for what is there to look forward to without these three things?