Here we are in 2012. Wow, who-da thunk it?! I remember when 2000 seemed like an age away and now it’s a distant memory! I was scrolling through my facebook today and noticed the amount of statuses that had something to do with the dawning of a new year and how this one means big changes for the people involved…over half of them. It seems that there’s nothing like January, the first month of a brand new year, to get people motivated and action oriented, no matter how brief those notions are. It’s interesting to me how it has a similar effect on almost everyone I know.
Is it that we are all determined to start afresh? To right the wrongs of yester-year and make amends for the catastrophic screw ups we’re responsible for? Or is our own quest for a New Year’s resolution just a copy of what others do and therefore merely a mirror image of the morally responsible members of society, reflected by those who actually don’t give a !£$% in some act of social etiquette? Or, is it simply that some design of physiology that leads us to a new found sense of ‘get up and go’ at the onset of a new year? Like some kind of in built alarm clock that is in tune with the seasons and the calendar, that subconsciously alerts us when a prescribed measure of ‘time’ has passed and we are now able to scratch that period of our lives off and ‘give it another go’?
As if one moment of clarity, one brief encounter with our conscience makes up for the hideous failings we have been guilty of for 12 whole months. Briefly redeemed by random acts of kindness and sound judgement along the way (I’m not a complete cynic), but as an average, 365 days of nonsensical nonsense has been orchestrated in our lives and at midnight on December 31st, we suddenly feel some need to remedy the situation. A pubic display of remorse and remembrance along with the vow ‘not to do that again’ like a five year old who’s just been caught with fingers in the cookie jar hardly seems to make up for all that we lack. That being said, whatever the cause of this phenomenon, it has to be given some credit. It happens all over the world, it is not limited by race, colour, sex or religion. The need to feel the end of one thing and dawn of a new beginning seems to be innately human, intrinsically connected to our intellect and emotions.
As annoyingly false and ridiculous as I find New Year’s resolutions, they go some way to restoring my faith in human kind. They mean that although we carry on blissfully unaware for most (by ‘most’ I mean 99.96%) of the year, for one short time, we are faced with our failings and feel moved to going some distance to ameliorating them. Our powers of recollection and the boundaries between right and wrong, may…WILL, inevitably become skewed and distorted in our disgustingly hectic lives, but there is always chance for reprieve at the end of any calendar…..right?
There is, of course, a need to feel like we CAN make things better and atone for some of the appalling things that have escaped our mouths before the mind could quash them or the ignorant, selfish acts levied against those closest to us. But realistically, a resolution made in (usually drunken) stupor is probably not the best way to make things better. If we can’t learn from our mistakes at the time they’re made then what use is it indulging in reminiscence over what may have been, had we not been so repulsive? Don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for being able to have a ‘re-do’ session and would campaign fiercely for a rewind button in life should the opportunity arise, but honestly, what’s done is done and me promising vehemently not to screw up again is at best a lie, at worst blatant denial.
I can tell you, if my fingers are in the proverbial cookie jar, they are there because I purposely and purposefully thrust them in there! Whether it’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ this is me and I can’t make excuses or allowances for the person I am. Mistakes have brought me to this point in my life and I daren’t pretend there won’t be more where they came from! I will screw this year up at some point, I will make probably hideous mistakes with my life and family, I am after all human. But I also will endeavour to take things as they come and change what I can when I can…the rest (including you worst case scenario curse) can neither be avoided for the most part nor apologized for effectively enough to make it right after it has happened.
So, 2012, here I am…game on!!!!