It is that time of year where we complete Chapter 12 of 2010, and begin afresh with 2011, eager to fill the blank pages with rediscovered dreams, new hopes and fervent aspirations. It is also a time when we reflect upon the year that has passed, willing to right the wrongs and change our lives for the better. This is when New Year Resolutions are formed, where people make (sometimes impossible) pledges of self-improvement and commit to accomplish (often unreachable) goals.
I don't do New Year's Resolutions. Simply because it's pretty hard to stick to. It's no wonder people make the exact same resolutions at the beginning of every single year. January goes as well as planned, you're still motivated in February, March is when you begin to slip, you start to neglect them in April and May is when you wonder why you made such unrealistic resolutions in the first place. You completely forget about it for the rest of year, until December, when you pledge that you will fulfill all those unresolved resolutions that you couldn’t attain within the year. It's a vicious circle.
These are some of the most popular new year resolutions that people make:
- Lose Weight and exercise more
- Quite smoking
- Get out of debt and save money
- Find a better job
- Improve on their education
- Go away on a long holiday
- Find their soulmate
- Volunteer to help others
- Buy a house or move to a better place
- Become more organised and less stressed
I bet that 3 or more of these were on your list for 2011. Instead, why don't you try some of these funny new year resolutions that I stumbled upon:
- I will no longer waste my time reliving the past, instead I will spend it worrying about the future.
- I will not bore my boss with the same excuse for taking leave. I will think up other innovative excuses.
- I will not spend every weekend in my PJ's, lazying in the living room. I will move the TV to my bedroom instead.
- I will give up chocolates totally. Completely. Honestly...Ok maybe just the white ones.
- I will stop sending e-mails, BBM's, SMS's and be on the phone at the same time with the same person.
- I will not bribe any more traffic cops, but only because I need the money for petrol. I'll try to drive closer to the speed limit.
- I will learn to make decisions...
- I will cut my hair. I will grow my hair. Okay, maybe just a trim?
- I will stop worrying about things that don't worry about me.
- I will keep my opinions to myself. Yeah right.
Here are some resolutions that anyone would be tempted to keep:
- I will aim for the world record for number of hours spent watching TV.
- I will read something other than the newspaper. Like fashion magazines.
- I will chat more over phone.
- I will get more credit cards and max them out shopping.
- I will gain 15kg. Putting on weight is much easier and more fun than losing it.
- I will stop exercising, because it's such a waste of time.
- I will procrastinate more. Think I'll start sometime next year.
- I will spend less time at work.
- I will eat more junk food.
- I will take up a new habit. Maybe smoking, it helps keep tobacco workers employed.
Wouldn't it be easy to keep these resolutions for more than a week?
Okay, onto the serious stuff...My New Year gift to you is the wise and wonderful words of Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen (which I modified slightly). It's a timeless and insightful piece of modern poetry which will alter your view of life in some way or the other.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 2010,
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas, the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….
You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing everyday that scares you.
Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…What ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.
Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in Johannesburg once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Cape Town once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths; prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders.
Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen…
Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Looking forward to sharing more Frills and Thrills with you in 2011.