To celebrate the beginning of a new year I bought a new diary. This proved an intimidating purchase: My life is never going to be interesting enough to fill all the blank appointments, there are more pages for addresses than I have friends and there is an inordinate amount of space for New Year Resolutions.
It’s always a bad idea to keep your resolutions in full view. The new diary makes it worse by putting them into categories. What maniac has enough resolutions for each of the following: Physical, mental, self development, money, career, family, social, spiritual, emotional and property?
I can probably come up with something for one or two. Physical? That’s straightforward. I resolve not to run the London marathon again this year. Money? I resolve to win the Lottery. Career? Yup, I plan to get one of those any day now.
But what on earth is a Mental Resolution? I resolve to double my IQ by February? Maybe it’s about will power and zen-like mental discipline. Okay, I can do that. I resolve not to think about Olga Kurylenko more than eighteen times a day. But in order to not think about her I’d have to think about not thinking about her, which means I’d be thinking about her. I’m not sure the average ape-evolved male brain can survive this sort of logic. It will be a lot easier to resolve to think about her more often.
The spiritual one sounds pretty tricky. In fact, as a fully paid-up member of the Richard Dawkins fan club I really haven’t a clue what a spiritual resolution entails. Drink more Glenfiddich? Read more Will Eisner? Remortgage my soul? (I’ve already sold it once.)
I’m also intrigued by the idea of an emotional resolution. Does this mean I should resolve to be more or less emotional? Mr Spock was a bad influence on my formative years so I should probably resolve to have more emotions. But which ones? It’s not very relaxing for those around you if you start generating emotions at random. Today I am going to be mostly angst-ridden. It’s Tuesday so it must be ennui. Friday night is slightly anxious night. The diary could be more helpful here by prescribing which emotions to have and what days to have them. That would be more use than telling me the date Anzac Day falls on, especially when I’ve always assumed an Anzac is an ancient dyslexic South American.
On the whole, the new year will probably get off to a better start if I take the diary back to the shop and ask for a refund. I can survive without having my resolutions micro-managed.
Just to prove it I’ve already made a New Resolution. Not to make any New Year Resolutions.
That’s the first one broken.
[revised version of a post made last year on my Westmorland Gazette blog]