I hate Marmite. I hate gherkins. I hate most adverts. I hate stubbing my toe on the same piece of furniture that hasn’t been moved in seven years so I should fucking know where it fucking is by fucking now, shouldn’t I.
I do not hate New Years. Nor do I love it. It is simply an excuse for a final blow out party of the year for some, and an annual dose of Jools Holland or a normal night in for the rest of us. The annual scramble post-Christmas to find a party, thanks to all attention being focussed on Christmas Day, is more than I can be bothered with really.
New Years often generates two extremes of responses; those who decide that they are going to change everything about themselves, and those who decide to tell the world to go do one, as they are simply fabulous enough as it is. I know sitting on the fence is crap as you end up with splinters in your bum, but that’s where I’m at, and if most people are truthful that’s probably where they’re at too.
I’m not perfect, despite what my mum tells me, but nor am I a total prick, despite what my brother tells me. I’m doing alright. I wish I had a few more things to look forward to and exciting plans ahead, but other than a potential holiday for two I’ve won (on which I’m yet to find someone to take with me) and the finishing of clearing off almost all of my marriage debt (loan repayments finish this year), 2019 is looking a little empty.
Truth be told, I’m okay with that. A few more plans would be great, but most of the things that happen to me are last minute things anyway, so as long as I keep saying yes to them the weeks will fill themselves. Too few people grasp these opportunities for my liking and end up missing out. Opportunities for fun, for growth, and for change.
There will be things that most of us want to change about ourselves, even if we dare not speak them aloud or admit them to ourselves. We may want to change weight, get fitter, save more money, travel more, stop being dependent upon others for our happiness, date more/less and read more books. New Years gives us the chance to think about that and make some plans, even if those plans are usually forgotten before the last leftover mince pie goes out of date.
It’s also the time of year when people look back over the year just past and announce whether it was a Good Year or a very, very Bad Year. If Twitter is anything to go by, almost everyone has had some form of the latter, yet is convinced that this next year will somehow be different. Sometimes this is dependent on the aforementioned plans to change, so a month in and they’re back in their rut and hoping that the same activities will somehow yield different results.
Most of us don’t need to make wholesale changes. Most of us don’t need to beat ourselves up for the past. Most of what happens to us is, to a greater or lesser degree, random. How we deal with and react to events can be improved, but so many of the big things in life are outside of our control that it’s pointless trying to control them.
Think about the things that really affected your life last year. No, not that haircut that you stupidly thought was a good idea; the things that really made a difference. I’d wager that half of these were out of the blue. At least half, in fact, probably more. There’s no way you could’ve accurately predicted or prepared for them. So what makes you so convinced that you’ll be able to control anything any better this year? Just get better at controlling your reactions and you’ll go a lot further this year than last.
In terms of dating, we never know who we’re going to meet. We might make a firm decision to only swipe right on higher quality people, or only approach those who don’t look like fuckboys, but realistically speaking it’s tough to remember that fact when you’re at the bottom of a bottle of red, curled up under a blanket on your sofa on yet another Friday night alone while everyone else is having fun nights out in couples and you’ve got Tinder/Bumble/Hinge/Ok Cupid/POF/whatever other dating apps you use at your fingertips.
You never know who you’re going to meet in real life. You don’t know who will turn up to your friend’s wedding, or be staying at the same hotel as you, or will spill soup on your shoes and insist on swapping numbers so they can make it up to you somehow. All you can control is how you react to those situations.
Control everything you can control. Influence whatever you can’t control. Accept what you can’t influence.
I can’t control who I meet in real life, so I’m not going to. I can’t (yet) control the fact that I turn into a simpleton who would make a great friend but nothing more around those I really fancy, but I can try. I can control how good my body looks, but it’s going to take some accountability to make sure I do it. I can control who I swipe right on (and how often), so I will.
None of these are new things. None have been prompted by New Years Resolutions demands, though it was an opportunity to remind myself of what’s important.
And you know what really is important? Ridding the world of bloody gherkins. That’s a resolution I can get behind every day of the year.