Andy Richardson: Living for the day means that every day is like New Year’s Eve
Have you broken your resolutions yet? Oh come, come now. You must have done. Surely you’ve already thought about cancelling your gym membership, taking up smoking (again) and not bothering to remain in contact with those distant relatives who you don’t really like but promised to keep in touch with for the sake of maintaining appearances while sitting down to turkey and goose fat potatoes.
For my money, autists have it right – they never tell Bald Uncle Eric they’re a fan of his weird taste in music when what they want to say is: ‘Eric, I hate it. And I hate you too’.
Perhaps, like most of us, you’ve also abandoned the savings plan that would have helped you clear your Venezuelan-sized overdraft?
And if you have, who can blame you?
The Next sale doesn’t last forever and those trousers will be gone unless you find them wardrobe space.
Clear your credit card when Venezuela clears its $140 billion debt.
And if the bank calls you unexpectedly, just give them the number of your Latin American financial advisor. He’ll sort them out.
I’ve started the New Year the way I mean to go on, namely by changing nothing, making no New Year’s Resolutions and skewering faux good intentions as I live for the day and try to have the best time possible.
I find that by adopting that philosophy – carpe diem, by any other phrase – every day is like New Year’s Eve. Except that I don’t get to watch TV images of fireworks at Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is a shame.
Oh yes, and by the end of January I can no longer feast each evening on really cool snack foods because M&S have sold out of all those neat party-sized cheese balls. Damn.
In truth, New Year’s Resolutions would be a waste of time. In my case, there’s no point telling myself not to work too hard (I will – I was up at 4am today to start work simply because I love it), give up crisps (I won’t, especially not now that Tyrrells does black truffle and sea salt flavour) or accept that 4,000 CDs will probably see me through the rest of my life and I ought not to give more money to Amazon or HMV (they will, but I won’t).
So I’ll plough on merrily like a middle-aged Dylan Thomas, making sure I get in early with my raging against the dying of the light as I enjoy another 40 years of streaming sun and blazing bonfires.
I get that we all need to turn over a new leaf every now and then, or shed another skin. But it’s beyond me why New Year should serve as the catalyst to change. Change comes when change is good and ready.
Pretending otherwise is like imagining everyone will unite over Brexit.
They won’t. Not when there are an infinite number of alternatives available and a French law that states it is illegal to call your pig Napoleon. Comrade George Orwell must have missed that memo.
In my case, I work on a three-year cycle rather than one lasting 365 days.
And towards the end of last year, I cut the ties with a tricksy phase of life that has been consigned to an unmarked grave in an untended part of my memory.
Bye bye unhappiness.
Have fun in the infinite vortex.
Cutting the ties had come a long time before that, though processing extreme nonsense took a little longer.
I resolved to mend my ways – or, more accurately, refrain from marrying anytime soon.
Though Frank Sinatra is my hero, I’m planning not to follow him into the four-time club.
Instead, I’ll stick with another hero, John Steinbeck, and make my third one last. That, however, can wait until another day. Or, more accurately, I’ll observe the self-imposed, 10-year matrimonial ban I placed on myself after drawing to a close that tricksy phase I mentioned.
Besides, new eras bring new opportunities and new possibilities. There’s the chance to learn from past mistakes (and then impose 10-year marriage moratoriums), find a better path and acquire a little wisdom. There’s the chance to refocus on what’s really important, like getting a new high score on the computer game Spillz or perfecting the ability to cook squid without turning it to rubber.
Not that such thoughts are high on the list at this time of year. Credit card bills fall like confetti on on doormats, belts are extended by another notch to accommodate festive over-indulgence and sore heads wonder whether someone might sensibly invent a brand of Prosecco that doesn’t contain mini morning-after-the-night-before hammers in all of those bubbles.
New Year is another way of saying enjoy another day. And in this glass half full life, that’s a bonus. Bring it on.