Yeah right, like I would make an entire post about something as dry as my new year’s resolutions! You must’ve realised by now that I rarely blog in that way. It’s more like a timeless classic ’round these parts of the Internet: if you picked a random entry from the archives, chances are you wouldn’t be able to place it. Chances are, it would be a rant that really has nothing to do with the day it was written.

Except for posts like these. There are cultural customs that one is expected to pander (cater?) to. It’s just not done to skip the Christmas greeting card or message of goodwill. It would be like not bringing a celebratory birthday cake to school, or not saying ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes in England. I’m could get away without singing Auld Lang Syne – but not telling you my new year’s resolutions? I’m simply not that cruel.

It’s often said that new year’s resolutions can be as wild or as crazy as you like, but they should be, by some measure, attainable. I think some people will say that it’s good to have a mad, seemingly-unreachable target — something you can’t possibly do in one year — but I think that’s more of a goal. A resolution is an agreement you make with yourself. It’s something about you that will change in the coming year. I guess they are little steps towards a grander goal.

I was thinking earlier (I know, scary)… and my mind turned to the subject of apathy. It’s a state of indifference, ambivalence — not caring one way or the other. Steak or pasta; who cares. We don’t start off like that, you know. From a very young age we know exactly what we want and when we want it. Spaghetti now. Toys now. Walking now. Learning to talk now.  In each of these endeavours we nearly always succeed. It’s a mix of parental supervision and guidance, and our own force of will — but we do it because we’re not aware of failure being an option.

But then we fail. We fall, we tumble, we hurt ourselves — we fail spectacularly, pick ourselves back up and carry on. But it takes its toll, those failures. Eventually we become apathetic towards a single cause — food, finding love, whatever — and then other causes, and eventually we wither away into nothingness.

All because of a few pesky failures that snowball. We make a mountain out of millions of mole hills and then we die. Mors ultima linea rerum est.

That’s basically life laid out in its entirety. There’s some other stuff in there too, but mostly it’s just a path, route, litany or culmination of failures.

What if we don’t fail?

What if we never hurt ourselves or suffer hunger or have our heart broken… would life then be really, really grand? I think so.

That’s the whole point of new year’s resolutions: ‘This is a list of things I will not fail at for an entire year.’ I suppose, if you’re good at it, those things could stick for ever, leaving you with a new list of resolutions each year. Slowly but surely you could become a better, happier person.

The key of course is making resolutions that are actually possible.

Back to the original thought: how many people are living a life they don’t want or are unhappy with? How many people wanted to be a fireman but aren’t or can’t? How about those that simply want to be in love, in a happy relationship, but haven’t succeeded? I can’t begin to imagine how empty that feeling of failure (or loss?) must be.

Make a resolution that you can keep, that pushes you towards something you’ve always wanted to be or do. Then take another step. And another!

In that frame of mind, here are my resolutions for 2010:

  • Hang photos in a gallery, or exhibition of my work
  • Write a kick-ass short story
  • Find a pliable, wholesome woman to have my wicked way with
  • Visit a new continent and experience new civilizations… to boldly go…!
More 2009 introspection -- and some random photos
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I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.



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