Tag Archives: New Year

Not resolutions again!?!

I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. 

First of all, I think you can make changes at any point during the year.  I have a preference for making resolutions on my birthday or after I come back from my summer holidays, but everyone should find what works best for them and not succumb to an artificial pressure related to some random calendar New Year. 

Secondly, I have seen far too many people wish to start the year all squeaky-clean and virtuous, then fail at the first hurdle.  January is just too depressing and dark in this part of the world to keep the momentum going.  And then the snowfall which brought the UK to a standstill!  My running friends had made resolutions to stick to a rigorous schedule, but could not go out because of the snow and ice.  My weight-loss resolution friends found that they were raiding their freezers and cupboards for whatever was available, never mind the calories, as they couldn’t drive to the shops.  Meanwhile, I was stuck in the house with one lively chicken-poxed little boy and a slightly older, bored schoolboy, so instead of using my creativity for work, I used it to think up new games and art projects to keep the two amused and off each other’s throats.

Now that the snow is turning to slush and we all have time to breathe again until the next snowfall, I actually realise that I have learnt a valuable lesson about resolutions.  Namely:  There’s always next week.  Not in the sense of never getting started, always postponing what you know you should be doing.  Rather, it means that if you do get started and then things don’t go according to plan, you shouldn’t give up.  You shouldn’t think you have failed and stop doing things until the perfect circumstances come along.  Circumstances have an annoying habit of always being rather less than perfect.  Just go with the flow, and then get back to your resolution when you can.  And keep on doing it.  Small tracks in the snow where you went a bit adrift, but don’t sink in the deep snow.  Keep going back to the main path and you’ll get there eventually.

It may not sound like much, it may seem a really obvious lesson to some.  But you know what?  I knew it but I had never really felt it before.  So, resolutions, we are old mates now, not enemies to fear!  And there’s always Chinese New Year for setting some new ones….

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Lonely this Christmas?

With the recent snowfall in the UK, my children are getting more and more excited about Christmas.  It’s easy to get caught up in this seasonal cheer and just float along in a cloud of euphoria or else allow oneself to get caught up in stress and debt.  But at this time of year I always think of those who have no family and friends with whom to celebrate, for whom Christmas just reinforces their feelings of loneliness.

Recent research findings published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology show that loneliness is contagious.  In other words, lonely people tend to attract similarly lonely people.  Even if they join small groups, it is likely to be composed of introverted people who prefer to retreat within, so it ends up making them feel more lonely.  Lonely people act as a ‘downer’ on others, causing them in turn to behave in less affirming ways.  And everyone ends up being grumpy and hating this season, when they feel they have to make an effort and pretend to be friendly and loving to everybody.

What a set of Scrooges we’ve become! I think the message should be: even if it is an effort, make friends with an extrovert, with a person who does not feel lonely, with someone who has lots of friends.  It may be trying, it may be annoying, at this time of year it may feel like more of a hassle than it’s worth to attend all those repetitive Christmas parties… and you can feel lonely in a crowd.  Go through the motions and who knows….You may well meet a few special people and discover you are even enjoying yourself.  Heaven forbid, you may even start enjoying the festive season!

Merry Christmas everyone, happy Hannukah, Shinnen omedetoo and have a great start to the New Year!

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