So here we are in January, almost halfway through, in fact, and I can proudly say that I have not broken a single New Year’s Resolution. Not one. Not even slightly.
I have not sneaked* to the fridge, guiltily unwrapping a succulent cold sausage, struggling not to make any tell-tale noises with its tin foil cocoon, furtively eating it, hoping that the delicious smell will not bring the dog leaping upstairs to the kitchen. I have not checked my ample frontage for clues of sausage consumption as I skulk back to the sitting room, nor tried to breathe away from anyone whose sense of smell might catch the treacherous scent of sausage.
There has been none of the usual Turrón trauma. Eating the luscious, rich, sweet, fantastic stuff is such a delicious experience, normally followed by feeling just ever so slightly queasy, as I realise that I should have stopped just a little sooner. (And I would have done, had it not been so incredibly, gorgeously tempting.)
I have not made up reasons why this particular G&T doesn’t count as drinking. Nor have I counted a large glass of wine as one of my five a day. Grapes may be fruit (and indeed they were last time I ate some) but I have not used that as an excuse for a postprandial tipple. We finished the last of the ginger wine over the Christmas period, so I haven’t been seduced by its warm and golden siren song from the drinks cabinet. Oh I am GOOD!
I have not waggled the plastic and bought another pair of shoes online. Nor have I watched far too much bad television, hastily switching it off and hiding the remote down the back of the sofa when I hear my beloved’s key turning in the front door.
I haven’t watched the ironing pile grow, berating myself for my inability to summon up the energy to attack the wrinkly, horrid, ever-increasing pile of bone dry washing.
My resolve to embark upon a serious fitness drive does not lie in tatters at my feet. There are no snow-white trainers accusing me, a beacon of dazzling light in the gloom of the shoe cupboard. I do not wince inwardly every time I pass the outdoor gym at the end of the village.
In previous years, like icebergs, my day-to-day decisions have had huge, underwater components of association with past failure and anticipation of future struggles. I would sink, a human Titanic, the main difference between me and the Titanic being that nobody was expecting the Titanic to come a cropper. On the rare occasions that I managed to decide well, I would get quite smug, and then realise I had fallen short in the humility department.
That was back then. Ignoring past failures and looking forward with optimism, I can exultantly declare that this year is going well! I have finally cracked the New Year’s Resolution problem, and I feel fantastic about it.
I will not pretend that I came upon this revolutionary scheme by research and endless work and refining of the original nugget of an idea. It was sprung upon me by the events of the end of 2012. The year went so well, on the whole, but then took a turn for the terrible in November, becoming just so uncontrollably awful that everything went out of the window, including this blog, as the observant among you will have noticed.
November was ghastly, December passed painfully and Christmas came and went in a bit of a fug, if I am totally honest. Somehow the decorations never quite got off the ground, and the new knitted llama in our Belén turned his nose up at our half-hearted efforts to make him, the tiny camel and the huge duck look less out of proportion. Captain Picard was slightly subdued, as he surveyed the sitting room from his perch on top of the Christmas tree. Even the Blu-Tack went on strike, and the cards kept falling off the wall until we gave up in disgust and stacked them next to the phone.
So how is this relevant to my fabulous new New Year’s Resolution scheme? What is the secret to my newfound magnificence? You are probably ahead of me here, but I will spell out the key feature of my New New Year Plan.
Quite simply, things were all so all over the place this year that I never got around to making any New Year’s resolutions at all. I have not broken any, because I have none to break.
Oh the freedom! The lack of self-recrimination and guilt! No need for mental contortions to justify yet another comprehensive failure! I had read about this before, but never experienced the liberation of not having any good intentions. The road to hell is not only unpaved, but it is completely irrelevant.
The funny thing is, I don’t feel the urge to snaffle sausages or glug the gin. I tackled a pile of ironing yesterday. Released from the tyranny of past and anticipated failure, I am finding decision-making on a case-by-case basis quite easy. I suppose another way of expressing it would be that I am living in the moment, not regretting bad decisions in the past and not worrying about whether I can maintain this exalted level of virtue. It’s great, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Happy New Year, everyone!
*Nor have I not snuck. Americans have not snuck. I am English, and I have, therefore, not sneaked.
P.S. Thank you to those who have been kind enough to ask me about where El Perro has been, and for your kind understanding. As I come out of the other end of the dark patch, I am hoping that today’s post is the first of this year’s outpourings and musings about life, the dog, creative projects, my rooftop garden, and whatever being in our lovely home in Andalucia brings.