Sir, – While some new year resolutions have merit and can, indeed, launch us on a path of change for the better, there are many which dangle from our necks in millstone fashion, an ever-present reminder of our less than perfect selves. Not surprisingly then that many are abandoned more quickly than they were dreamed up! In the dark days of mid-winter, it seems counterintuitive to burden ourselves unnecessarily with a deadline of January 1st as a uniform starting block.

Having been around now for some 62 new year resolution opportunities, I am reminded, at this time, more and more each year, that it is not the pounds of weight that are shed, the cigarette passed over or stubbed out nor the bulging bank balance which will prove to be the elixir of life.

Certainly, all of the above are worthy ambitions and in concert with finding pleasure and contentment in the simple things in life, and can be pursued for their own merits.

However, more and more, in today’s fast-paced world when we are perpetually “switched on”, in one way or another, the enjoyment and appreciation of life’s simple pleasures is much diminished. When we take the time to allow that life can be pared back, a little, it is then we can appreciate that it is the simple pleasures which often provide contentment in life.

Contentment in life is that which can effect real change. The recognition that it is the small pleasures which are the enduring ones is priceless. The gift of a crisp cold watery blue sky on an January morning, the promise of five seconds of more daylight as the days reach inexorably towards a distant spring all herald a renewal. Savouring a cup of tea or cappuccino in your favourite coffee shop as you stop for just a moment to decant from life’s merry-go-round is time we all have, if we choose to take it. Pause to enjoy the sights sounds and smells of your city, town or countryside. They are free. Above all value one’s health.

Unburdening of the shackles of the past year is cathartic and timely as we look towards a new beginning, a fresh start, mindful that no time wasted spent mulling over last year’s disappointments will alter them a whit. With that in mind, it is worth the effort to ditch negativity, in whatever form it presents. Better the company of one or two good affirming friends than a gaggle of life-sapping acquaintances. There are good people in abundance. Just go find them.

Then whenever the fancy takes you consider, what, if any new year resolutions fit your life. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.