How old will you be in 2023? About to turn 63 as I’m writing this column, I’ve always been grateful for being born at the start of a decade and in the first month of the year. Being a child of the Sixties sounds far more exciting than a child of the Fifties, and it’s very easy to calculate my age at any time.
A Life Less Resolute
“2011 will be the year in which I ….”
Can you complete that sentence yet? Chances are, you can neatly slot in an answer inspired by your New Year’s resolutions.
Not me. It’s not that I don’t have ideas for resolutions. I’m certainly eligible for all the usual suspects: eat less, drink less alcohol, go to bed earlier, exercise more. But last year I didn’t actively make any resolutions, yet 2010 turned out to be one of the best years of my life. It’s a formula I’m happy to repeat.
How did it happen? Well, a radical resolution actually came at me from out of the blue, several days into the new year. It was as sudden and unplanned as Newton’s apple falling on his head and, in my small sphere, about as revolutionary. I was in the first meeting of the year with my boss when I suddenly heard myself calmly tendering my resignation. It was unprovoked by her: we hadn’t had a row or a punch-up. But in a light-bulb moment, I suddenly realised what I really wanted the new year to bring: a better and less stressful work-life balance. Amidst the sturm and drang of the Christmas break, spent caring for a very poorly daughter, this idea must have been churning away in my subconscious, but I simply hadn’t noticed. I’m not sure which of us was the most surprised at my resignation – me or my boss. But both of us recognised, several months down the line, that I was a happier, healthier person for this impulsive decision, and I’ve not had a single regret since.
So this year, I’m going to take the same approach. Though I love the new beginnings and the promise that a new calendar brings, I don’t think New Year’s Day is the best time to make resolutions. In any case, for most people in the UK, the word “RESOLVE” is inextricably associated with the commercial hangover cure of the same name – and probably quite a lot of them have consumed it today. This doesn’t exactly create the most positive vibes. Far better to let the freshness of the new year permeate the subconscious and see what surfaces at its leisure.
So watch this space. Anything could happen in the next 365 days…
Happy New Year!