Many elements of our lives are ruled over by arbitrary constraints. Time is one of them. From a prosaic point of view, the sun rose on exactly the same planet, with exactly the same state of affairs as yesterday. The only real differences, that actually stand testament to the fact that time has passed, are that some people’s milk has gone off, and the postman has been.
Yet January 1st each year marks a change in all of us. It might be a short lived change – some mumbling about losing weight as we wander to the fridge to get another pie – but it might not. In many ways, the duration of our resolutions is irrelevant.
Why ‘It’s just an excuse to celebrate‘ are perhaps the most evil words in history
The thing is, even if God and Stephen Hawking teamed up to give a PowerPoint presentation on why celebrating the New Year is illogical and makes us all look stupid, we should still do it. The idea that a cheap excuse to have a party, or be happy, or decide to improve ourselves, makes those subsequent endeavours worthless is like saying, ‘Well, you didn’t really need to have sex, did you? You had biscuits in the cupboard and a DVD you haven’t watched yet.‘
If logic ruled the world…
What a dull place we’d all live in. No one would have conversations with their pets (although people who give each other presents ‘from’ the pets are taking it a bit too far even in our enlightened world of selective sensibility), librarians wouldn’t say ‘Shhhhh!‘ really loudly, and none of us would mind the lack of E-Numbers in our food.
No, what we don’t need more of is cold, hard logic. What we need more of is the warm brightness of human spirit.
Why not celebrate and promise to better ourselves?
The New Year breaks up life’s little tediums – going to work, walking the dog, eating cold soup from the tin because we can’t be bothered washing up a bowl. It gives us a chance to evaluate our lives, and remember our desire for something more, something better than what we have.
True, many of us will think small (stop flicking pasta shapes at the Pope), but others will aim high, and some will achieve their goals. And those that don’t still get a reason to party hard once a year with the people (and drinks, crisps, pizza, movies, television and celebrities) they love the most in the world.
Either way, I call that a win for us.
Happy New Year.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? Comment and let me know.
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