New Year, New You and All That Bollocks

It’s the new year. Woo hoo. My excitement is palpable, yes? It’s not that there is anything inherently wrong with the ending of the old year and the starting of the next, it’s just, well it’s just… meh. In a previous life, Before Children, the time between Christmas and December 31st was spent in a blurry, drunken / hungover fog, planning and re-planning outfits and make up and hair, who to meet, where to meet, making sure we would have the Best Night Ever. Year on year, NYE was a whole load of planning and arranging for a massively disappointing and expensive load of rubbish. Any night that takes that much organising is always going to be a let down. The queues for anywhere are 3 miles long, even the local dive charges £10 just to get in, and once you are finally through the doors you then get to queue for a further 5 hours at the bar, meaning it’s more economical to buy as many drinks as you can carry once you do eventually get served, but then you don’t want to stand and hold them all night so you down 2 of them in 5 minutes, and by the time you have finished them all and visited the bar once more, you’re half way to shit-faced, and will probably spend counting down to midnight with your head stuck down a toilet bowl. Also someone always ends up in tears, someone gets their heart broken, friends end up arguing and going home, and that’s all normally in the queue to get into whichever over-priced bar you’ve chosen to start the night in. It took many years of totally crap New Year’s Eves for me to realise that all the planning and prepping was just not worth it.

Nowadays I can’t even be bothered to see midnight. It’s just too much effort and I know I will pay for it the next day as my crazy kids leap out of bed pre-6am most mornings, but particularly on those mornings when a lie-in would be most appreciated. NYE post-motherhood involves no preparation, no planning and most enjoyably of all, no getting ready. PJs and chocolate, a glass of fizz and bed at 10pm is pretty much my night, and I love it.

It’s not just the anticipation of a really great New Year’s Eve and the inevitable disappointment of it not happening that leaves me unable to barely raise a smile about the whole thing, it’s also the resolutions. The idea that this New Year will bring New Opportunities, New Actions, New Thoughts and New Ideas. Bollocks. It’s not the year changing that brings these things about, it’s you changing that makes them happen. A new perspective, a different mind set, a change in the way you view yourself, your life, your world, that’s what is needed, and that can happen any day, any time. Go searching for the new opportunities and actions and thoughts and ideas if they are what you want. On top of that, it’s the notion that we are expected to change because the year has changed, the idea that the Old You is now meaningless and worthless and you have to reveal and more sparkly, thinner, more amazing New You in order to still feel relevant. It’s this expectation of New Year’s resolutions being set to make you better and newer, society’s (or is it just the media?) expectation that you now need to lose weight after all the over-indulgence at Christmas so join a slimming club for just a small fee, that you need to quit drinking alcohol and quit smoking TODAY, and you need to redecorate your house with a new sofa and armchairs and a huge TV and a dining table and a whole new kitchen and they can all be yours for a really, really cheap price in the January sales and you must do it all because it will make you a Better Person!! It’s that nonsense that leaves me feeling so meh about it all.

Because, no. No it won’t make you a better person. It will make you a miserable person if your heart and mind aren’t really in it. If you want to do these things and you know they will all make you feel better, and you’re doing them for you, fantastic. Carry on. If you’re doing them because you feel you should, or because you feel someone else feels you should, or worst of all because you think the magical media elves think you should, then’t don’t. Don’t even bother. Because you will try, you will fail, and you will feel a million times worse. Live your life according to you, not according to what you believe other people expect from you.

And there’s a lesson we can all learn from, every day of the year, and especially me. I am the absolute worst person in the world ever for thinking that I know what other people are thinking, and attempting to adapt my behaviour in order to please said people and their made-up thoughts. I should add that these “people” are also very often made-up. They are the perfect mums and dads, the ultra-successful entrepeneurs, beautifully quirkily-styled fashionistas and self-confident, non-apologetic women who all exist in my head to berate me and make me feel like a total failure. They are my gremlins. One day I shall beat them, but that day was not January 1st 2017, that day may not happen for many years to come, or it may happen sooner than I think, but the main thing is that I keep working on it.

I suppose that would be my new year’s resolution if I believed in them, but I don’t. So I’m off to eat cake and drink booze, dressed in PJs in my tiny budget kitchen, whilst fighting my gremlins, and I don’t apologise one little bit.

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