It’s that time of year, the end of the year, my favourite time of the year.
As a child I always enjoyed moving bedrooms. I can’t remember why we did, but we seemed to do it with some regularity. Not mum and dad, they didn’t, but me and my brother did. It was a 3-bedroomed semi so the choice was simple – he took mine and I took his. The reason I liked it, is that the reasons underlying my motivation to switch rooms, are the same reasons I enjoyed starting a new exercise book at school, the same reasons I like the beginning of the new year – it’s a chance for a new beginning.
I got bored of staring at the walls of my bedroom, bored of the view out of my window, sick of the clutter I had amassed. My old school exercise book was messy, full of untidy scribbles, ink stained, error strewn.
A new bedroom meant starting again, a new exercise book was an opportunity to get it right this time. In hindsight it never worked. My new bedroom became, over time, just like my old bedroom – messy, cluttered, boring. My new exercise book just like the old one – still smudging the ink with my clumsy right fist, still getting answers wrong, still crossing out.
Now I am older, and a parent/adult rather than a child, I tend not to switch bedroom unless we move house, and I don’t use exercise books that much, and so the new year is my outlet, my way of serving this in-built desire for a fresh, clean start.
And yet what is strange, is that the pattern is alarmingly predictable. Every year I make plans, and every Jan 1st my head is buzzing, awash with new goals, targets and objectives for the coming 12 months. The resolutions do vary, a little, but are largely centred around health, family, work and personal development. And every single year I fail, often spectacularly, occasionally moderately, but almost always never reach any of my preset targets.
So why bother? People often ask me that, bemused why I haven’t grown up and out of this silly practice dictated and driven by the turn of a page on a calendar. Such nonsense.
And yet, as I get older, it seems to become even more important. Maybe as time becomes a scarce commodity, which means the future does too, I feel the need more than ever to plan my time properly. I wish I didn’t. I look admiringly at people who seemingly live life with gay abandon, meeting new challenges head on, as and when they occur.
It’s a double edged sword as this annual exercise includes a fair degree of reflection as I look back on the year that was, listing my faults, my mistakes, my failings along the way. That’s not a very uplifting experience and can be quite depressing, but that’s counterbalanced and wiped away by the thought of the new year – when I can start again and put right all those wrongs!!
It’s Dec 31st as I write this, and I am starting to realise I have so much to do in 2014, I just don’t know where to start. I have no list of New Years resolutions prepared and I feel sightly panicked. Tomorrow means I move into my new bedroom, start my new exercise book and start all over again.
But what will the view be out of my new bedroom window? What should I write in my new book?
Happy new year.