I am already thinking past Christmas. I have done the Christmas shopping from the comfort of my own kitchen table, armed with only a bottle of wine and an iPad, I have written my Christmas cards, and I have forged my son’s wobbly scrawl of a signature on his cards. I have sent my clients a little something for their kind patronage, booked in my last client session and even thought about starting my annual Yuletide office tidy (thought about it, mind you, not actually done it: that would be foolish).
And I am trying hard to not think about New Years Eve. I have to admit, I am not a fan of the New Year’s Eve celebration. Because after nearly a week of shovelling vol au vents and sausage rolls down your neck over Christmas, mainlining Quality Street and Baileys, what you really need right now is another whopping great big feast and a party. Ooh, yes please, I haven’t had one of those for at least… 48 hours. And there is just that pressure to have fun. Sorry, FUN! Being the last day of the year, it is law that you simply have to have the time of your life – you cannot attend a New Year’s bash and not be seen to be having SUCH a good time that your head might explode.
And let’s face it, I am a parent of small children. Which means that whatever I do on New Year’s Eve, when the hands tick toward 11 o clock, all I can think of is the sleep that I am now losing out on and the distinct possibility that my 18 month old will be starting his day at half five. We had friends over last year for New Year, who are also parents. They left at 12.09am and I was in bed by 12.14am.
And then there is this whole New Year Resolution thing to deal with. New Year’s Resolutions are probably the most ludicrous idea I have come across since Pop Tarts (A pudding, disguised as breakfast, with the singular capability to burn your lips from your face… really?). Choose a potentially life-changing ambition, one that takes a huge amount of willpower, application and sometimes courage to achieve. Losing weight. Stopping smoking. Getting fit. Changing your job. Starting a business. Shouting at the kids less (oh look, there’s one of mine). Writing a book. Making your first million. These are not tasks that can be accomplished in the ad break of Coronation Street. Resolutions can be a life-long project. So why on earth would anyone think that January the 1st is the best time to start? At that point, you are miserable – either because you have put on 10 stone, or because you have had a hangover for the best part of a month, or because Santa brought you tea towels and not the sports car for which you asked. Then you get a bit more miserable because you have to return to work, and even if it your own business, it is still work, and there is something quite nice about sitting on the sofa and channel surfing, even if you do have to drag your attention away from the TV / magazine / iPad to help your son construct a Lego Star Wars spacecraft. And then your credit card bill arrives and you have to go and have a lie down in a darkened room for a while. Hands up who wants to not eat cake right now? Hands up who wants to stop smoking at this moment? Hands up who doesn’t want to shout? That’s right. No one. January is the worst time to be attempting a New Year’s Resolution. The weather is crap. The daylight arrives after you have left the house and disappears whilst you nip off to make an afternoon cuppa. Don’t make a New Year’s Resolution. I have a better idea. Make a Mid Year Resolution. Give yourself a break, have another Caramel Barrel , watch television rather than make a start on that book right now. Wait until you don’t have to wear three jumpers to go out, your credit card bill is in double figures and life is a little less tricky. Around May.
I wish all the Plate Spinner readers a fabulous Christmas and New year. May 2014 be kind to you, prosperous for you, and involve a manageable number of plates to keep spinning.