THERE are many rubbish things about the first few weeks of January. The weather. The return to work. The lack of money. The fact your body recoils if it doesn’t detect alcohol and dry roasted peanuts in your system before midday.
With all that going on I don’t know why anyone would choose to make it any more traumatic by deciding that this is the ideal moment to start changing everything about them.
You see, the trouble with new year’s resolutions is that this is no time to be making big decisions. Your judgement is clouded by the post-Christmas comedown (along with the residual impact of all that previously mentioned alcohol).
It’s why I don’t do resolutions. I refuse to be pushed into any knee-jerk reactions. Yes, I may well have stuffed myself full of chocolate over the last two weeks – but that doesn’t mean I won’t be hankering after some by next Monday or, more likely, this afternoon.
The solution to this is not to make any resolutions whatsoever for yourself but instead make them for other people. People who do annoying things you don’t really want to spend another 12 months being annoyed by. Of course, I don’t exactly phrase it that way when I suggest it to the Missus, who responds very positively to the idea of ironing out a few of my faults – a little too positively if I’m being honest.
“You should eat healthier,” she tells me. “And stop driving so aggressively. And don’t leave receipts and spare change on the chest of drawers in the bedroom.”
“We haven’t started yet,” I tell her. “I’m going first.”
I detail my annoyances. The fact she leaves her clothes on the floor of the bedroom. Her lack of patience. The strange aversion to opening household bills. But my main gripe is that the Missus hates it when we go to her parents and her mum converses with her by shouting from another room. So when we come back home she proceeds to do just that.
“So we’re going to stick with them?” she says when we’ve finished listing the new year’s resolutions we’ve set for each other and I’ve solemnly promised to eat more apples and less chocolate. “Prize for the winner?”
“Absolutely!” I answer enthusiastically. “In fact, I feel like munnching on a nice healthy apple. Right now!” She smiles and gets up. As soon as she is out of the door I quickly delve my hand into the kids’ selection box.
I rummage round until I find a chocolate Freddo, unwrap it in one fluid motion, snap half of it off and stuff it in my mouth.
At this point the Missus shouts something unintelligible from the kitchen, thereby already breaking one of her new year’s resolutions. I’m officially the winner!
But then she repeats it, and it sounds suspiciously like “Are you eating chocolate again?”