Well it’s the New Year. Somehow it’s January 2020 and we’re rolling into a brand new decade. I’m quite excited.
It’s hard to believe it was 20 years ago when I was sat on a folding bed in my living room with Mum and Dad, sipping orange juice from a champagne glass, toasting the Millennium. (I was six, and they’d let me stay up, so Mum lay out a folding bed in case I fell asleep. I didn’t, I was far too excited about all the toasting, and the privilege of being allowed to stay up).
20 years on, not all that much has changed. Well, besides the six year old. This time round, I get the privilege of deciding when I go to bed and it’s my daughter Maia wondering what all the fuss is about. Why were we all staying up so late despite everyone looking so haggard? Why exactly was Grandma filming the TV with her phone? (BBC fireworks). And what was so special about the clock striking midnight?
I’m not sure whether it’s remembering that night back in 1999 or generally picking up on my Mother’s high spirits at every New Year’s during my childhood, but I always carry this feeling of hope and excitement as we begin another year.
It’s that magical childlike sense of wonder that surrounds the uncertainty of the year ahead. The not knowing what adventures might follow in the months to come. It’s a fresh start, the first blank page of a whole new book, its story yet to be written.
I like to reflect on the previous year, on what I’ve learnt and what I’m grateful for. So far I’ve learnt that most years I worry too much, and I really ought to try and cut back. I’ve also learnt to stay clear of resolutions, as they only make me feel inadequate when I inevitably give in and eat three Kit-Kats. (I’ve attempted this giving-up-sugar malarky numerous times, and it only goes to prove how little self-control I have. It never ends with me feeling particularly good. I don’t like the pressure, or the certainty I will at some point fail.)
So instead of giving myself the opportunity to fail, I simply don’t set rigid resolutions. I might jot down the odd list or two. Things I’d quite like to achieve, murky career related goals or little habits I hope to implement. (For instance meditation, I am convinced it would change my life if I ever found the strength to commit to it daily. I know this will never happen. Instead I just picture the calmer, less agitated version of myself and try and hold onto that mental image for a good few seconds, before proceeding to worry).
I make these lists, but I don’t berate myself for not ticking every box. I think I enjoy the process of actually making the list more than anything else. Some things will never change.