For a better part of this month, “Happy New Year!” is the greeting that will replace the regular “Hi” or “How are you?” And more often than not, it will be followed by the question, “So, what New Year Resolutions did you make?”
New Year’s eve has always been a time to look back to the past and, more importantly, to look forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want [or need] to make and to resolve to follow through on those changes.
A New Year’s resolution is a pledge that a person makes to start a new project, habit or often a lifestyle. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year’s Day and remain until the intended aim has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set.
Never having made any ever, I used to be at a loss for an answer when questioned about my resolutions for the year. So, last year found me enthusiastically chalking up my list of resolutions, with all due intentions of following them.
I started with taking to drinking – water. No fan of the colourless, tasteless, though very-essential to-life liquid, I had survived a better part of my life by just sipping the required amounts when necessary. Following my resolution, I religiously hit the bottle, downing at least a couple of litres of water everyday. The result was a glowing, advertisement-model complexion, a no-longer sluggish digestive system and most of my time spent either looking for a bathroom or inside one.
My other resolution was to stop smoking – at the ears. Encouraged by serene-looking and beatifically-smiling Gurus propagating peace, forgiveness, positivity and love, all over the media, I decided to rein in my bad-tempered outbursts and took to smiling each time I felt my temper rising. The result was great for me. Can’t say the same for the others though, for in the middle of a squabble [because that’s mostly when I remembered to] my sudden benign smile not only managed to infuriate my fellow squabbler but made me feel and look quite insensitive.
I decided to amend this by keeping my mouth shut. The decision to keep my mouth shut had another incentive too: I was pretty tired of only opening mouth to change feet. But I realised that silence is not always golden. Keeping mum wasn’t a very good choice, because I got labelled with everything ranging from hard of hearing to callous, selfish and all expressions similar.
My next resolution: clearing up junk and no more shopping. After surveying the contents of my wardrobe, I realised that, in spite of often complaining that I never had anything to wear, I had enough to clothe a small village. My ambition to be the Imelda Marcos of India was costing me an arm and a shoe.err.leg and my love for shiny trinkets was just blinding me from the reality that I didn’t really require so many.
I didn’t need any more shoes, after all I had just two feet, I reasoned. No more clothes either, I swore. Till I spotted a gorgeous, got-to-have-them pair in a store window, with an eye-catching, must-have tunic right next to it.
My resolutions this year? When asked, I think I’ll just quote author Anais Nin, “I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of criticising, sanctioning and moulding my life, is too much of a daily event for me.”