January 1st was a rotten time to make New Year Resolutions. The excitement of Christmas was over, the decorations were losing their charm, and the mornings and evenings seemed darker than ever. Relentless advertising for the post-Christmas sales rubbed in the fact that it was an awfully long time till payday. It’s no wonder that January 24th was officially designated the most depressing day of the year. This January had only two highlights for me: the opportunity to write cheques dated 1/1/11 or 11/1/11 and, a week later, my birthday – though, goodness knows, the novelty of birthdays wore off for me a very long time ago. So this year I decided to be realistic about New Year’s Resolutions: I resolved not to make any.
But then, a few weeks into the New Year, something wonderful happened: I looked up into the sky at 5pm and realised it was not entirely dark. A tiny tinge of blue was still hovering behind the impending night sky, a promise of the spring to come. It was enough to make my personal sap begin to rise. Then I spotted in my diary the fact that we’re on the brink of Chinese New Year. We’re entering the Year of the Rabbit. It wasn’t too late to make those New Year Resolutions after all! Before I knew it, I found myself signing up to run the Bristol 10K. A leaner, faster, fitter new me is just around the corner of 2011…
But it won’t only be me that benefits. I’ll be fundraising for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Every £60 I raise will pay for an hour of research to find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. This horrible disease has blighted the life of my husband and my small daughter, through no fault of their own. (Type 1 diabetes is not related to lifestyle choices). 100 years ago, their diagnosis would have been shortly followed by their death. Decades of research has made it possible to live with diabetes, provided you submit to constant and costly medical intervention, including multiple daily injections or the use of an infusion pump 24/7, plus half a dozen or more blood tests every single day. The next ambition of researchers is to make it possible for Gordon and Laura and millions like them to live without it. At present, there is no cure.
So, with my resolve strengthening as the daylight hours are lengthening, I’ve signed on the dotted line for the 10K charity run. I just wish I had a Chinese bank account. Because then, when I write the deposit cheque, I could take enormous pleasure in dating it for the first day of the Chinese New Year: Rabbits Rabbits Rabbits / Rabbit.
(This post was originally written for the February edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News.)