Surviving the crappy new year prequel
Go with the despondency of the days after Christmas by revisiting bad habits and making tear juice, writes KEVIN GILDEA
The festive period can be stressful, especially those days after Christmas that hang ominously before us, like a shaky rope bridge over a ravine, a ravaaaaaaaaargh . . .
What is the nature of this anxious period?
Scientists who have studied it have identified the following composition: 25 per cent new year’s resolutions; 36 per cent the person sitting next to you; 14 per cent bloatedness and melancholy; 4 per cent Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; 2 per cent “Why can’t Enda Kenny talk to us the way the Queen talks to Britain?”; 1 per cent it’s not just the pudding I’d like to set fire to; and 18 per cent “other”.
New Year’s resolution
The pressure of new year’s resolutions lingers over Christmas like a vague threat. It’s in the back of your head as you carve the turkey, it’s there as you quaff the sherry, and as you cheer on the Nazis in The Sound of Music.
It’s a tension maker – like Mick Wallace in a technical group, like Eamon Gilmore at a Labour Party meeting, like Leo Varadkar in a group of humans.***
It’s a presence that makes itself felt, like Gorgonzola, the mythical Greek cheese monster.**
Here are two things you can do to escape the oppressive cloud of new year’s resolutions.*
One thing: forget turning over a new leaf: turn over an old leaf instead. Turning over an old leaf is much more fun and it’s easy. Make a list of bad things you used to do, choose one and start doing it again. You’ll find it a lot easier than giving up something and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re packing more into your life. They say people regret only things they didn’t do in their lives, so no regrets when you lie on your death Futon (except maybe the niggling doubt that you wouldn’t be so sick if you hadn’t taken up smoking again).
Thing two: despite the aspirations of self-help books, humans are, on the ground, in the flesh and up the creek, a negative bunch.
Of course there are exceptions: business people, politicians, stockbrokers, entrepreneurs and investors (they’re all really positive upbeat people – everything is rosy when these people are about).
With this in mind it’s best to make a resolution that you know you will be able to achieve by giving up something that you know you will resist.